Hi All! Wishing you the happiest of holidays! I hope you are finding your “happy”, wherever you are, with whatever it is that makes your heart filled with joy.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. My early childhood Christmases were magical. As an adult, I have unapologetically created as much Christmas magic in my home as I possibly can each year.
First off, congratulations to my winner of last month’s blog giveaway – Laurel P.! Laurel, I hope the beautiful tatted wreath pin makes you smile!
One of the things I love about Christmas is the traditions. Through the years, through generations, many traditions of Christmas have fallen by the wayside. I see less of certain things. (Some, I am okay with…like fruitcake. Ugh, fruitcake. No offense to my mama, who loves it). However, others I hold steadfast to, and hope my daughter someday carries them on.
First off, I love to decorate. I finished my classes this year that I teach earlier than usual, and began doing that “Christmas thing” the day after Thanksgiving! It has taken me me a full
six seven, long solid days of decorating inside and out. When you live in a house for almost thirty years, you tend to accumulate lots of decorations for the holidays. That’s okay – the hard decorating “work” makes me happy. Many of our decorations have become traditions – and remind us of wonderful past memories.
When it comes to Santa, I am steadfast in my opinion. Give me a traditional Santa. Don’t put him in shorts with a surfboard. Don’t make him buff like he has been working out, with a clean-shaven, trimmed up beard. Make him jolly and round, with a long, wild beard and pink, wind-chapped cheeks. Dress him in velvet with a sleigh and reindeer. I love jolly Santas and mischievous looking elves!
I started my Christmas cards this week. I love Christmas cards – real ones, not e-cards. I love glittery, cheerful cards the best, or cards with pictures of friends on vacation or with their children. It’s fun to see how families grow from year to year. Christmas cards are JOY in the mailbox.
I save my cards each year (personal cards, not the commercial ones from the dentist office, for example). Each year’s cards are tied with a ribbon and put away. I always tell my daughter that someday cards from grandparents and other loved ones will be a treasure. You just can’t get that same feeling years later from an e-card sent over the internet! At Christmas, I always remember a dear woman who lived across the street from me as a child. She passed away years ago, well in her 90’s. She loved Christmas as much as a child, and loved to send Christmas cards, always signing them “Love and Blessings”. Isn’t that the best thing any of us can ask for? Love and blessings? What a great “tradition” to sign on a card.
I keep my holiday DVD collection ready to play! During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is good to pause, relax a bit and enjoy the spirit of the season. One of my favorite traditions is to watch Christmas movies. I have already watched White Christmas, my favorite, twice since Thanksgiving.We snuck out to the cinema recently to go see a movie (also streaming on Apple tv). “Spirited” starring Will Farrell and Ryan Reynolds was so entertaining – we all LOVED it! It is a modern twist on a classic Christmas tale, and while it is a musical, appeals to even Generation Z. Maybe it will become a “new” tradition? If that movie doesn’t fill you with Christmas spirit, nothing will!
Sometimes, happy accidents can create new, wonderful Christmas traditions! This year, we went to get our tree. We felt a bit hurried, as they had promised a bad storm later that day (and it was the only day we’d be able to go). Well, when we got home, our tree was too small, too thin, and too short! We think they misunderstood how much we asked to cut off the bottom, or we may have gotten home with the wrong tree! We ended up going back in the middle of a huge rainstorm for a larger tree. Not wanting to waste a beautiful, fresh but small tree, we made lemonade from lemons and stuck it in my lettuce pot on the back porch. We love it! It is such a cozy spot to sit and have hot cocoa, and now we will look for a “Charlie Brown” tree to put on the porch each year (and next year, perhaps find a live tree to plant)!
Our pets bring us such joy, and force us to take pause. Trooper is excited to have his first Christmas in his FUR-EVER home! I can’t wait to spoil him rotten!
I have lots to do in the coming weeks, but I will try to remember that Christmas is meant to be joyful and embrace that! I do like the “busy” that this time of year brings.
We will take an evening to look at Christmas lights, visit the Gingerbread village, and eat some good meals, as we do every holiday season.
This year I am also happy that we will be seeing more friends this season than we have in the last two years. It was a hard couple of years past for our family, but this is one wonderful year that I will look back on fondly, and I wish the same to all of you. I am so grateful for my blessings, my family, my friends, and for YOU, dear readers!
So, don’t stress too much over the holidays! It’s okay to embrace (a lot, or even just a bit) of joy, even when the outside world is seeming so less than joyful. Try to keep some traditions, and do what makes YOU happy. Holidays make our years extra-special, and tie our past, present and future together, like a big, beautiful bow.
Until Next Time, Farmgirl Hugs (and Love and Blessings),