On the Eighth Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

On this eighth day of Christmas, we’re enjoying a quiet family day in gratitude for how much we have. Not everyone gets to spend his/her life surrounded by love. All of us have ups and downs in our lives, but being surrounded by people you love makes it all worth it.

My wish for the new year is to be the kind of person who spreads hope, love, and joy where ever I go.

What are your hopes for the new year?

Merry Christmas!

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me four calling bird, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

4-calling-birds

As I start work on this fourth day of Christmas, I’m listening to my all-time favorite Christmas CD: John Berry’s O Holy Night. It’s contains some of my favorite songs, and I love John Berry’s voice.

My husband and I had conversation last night about how we could better honor the Christmas season. We decided to exchange one small gift each day next year. We set a limit of $10 per gift with handmade gifts being the preference. I’m actually really excited about finding or making him gifts throughout the year.

Today, I’m wondering what things I can bring from Christmas season into Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. I deeply desire a life where the peace and grace of Christmas are carried through the year.

What is your Christmas wish?
Merry Christmas!

On the Third Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

FrenchHens

On this third day of Christmas, it’s (relatively) warm and rainy here in Tennessee. I’ll spend the day in my home office with my wax warmer on to cover the scent of wet dog. 😉 I’ll be enjoying Michael W. Smith’s Strings of Christmas while I work.

After work, we’ll spend a quiet evening eating leftovers and enjoying Live Free or Die Hard. I’ll also be starting part two of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve never seen the movie (an probably never will), but I’m enjoying the book immensely. For us, snuggles and quiet time on the couch are a great way to be present and enjoy the holiday.

How are you working to be present?
Merry Christmas!

On the First Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree. 🙂

Really what he gave me was help getting my desk set up complete. I still need to find just the right ergonomic keyboard for my personal computer and tidy up/zip tie my cords, but I’m almost set up to be able to run my work system and writing system from the same desk. Big necessity for my office space!!!

We had Chinese with our only unattached daughter and are settling in for Die Hard marathon.

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Reflections

ChristmasPresents

For the first time in three years, I’m actually getting commercials. In our new home, our Spectrum internet service comes with a TV app that has 25 channels. Now that the days are shorter, I can’t be outside until 8:30-9 o’clock, so I’ve been settling in for some Property Brothers on HGTV on Wednesday nights.

I’ve been surprised at the number of commercials versus actual show. I know the statistics, but to actually watch it… WOW.

What I find more troublesome though is the message behind all the advertisements. Your wife will only know you love her if you find the perfect piece of jewelry. Your kids won’t feel loved if you don’t by them the latest toy, cell phone, etc. Your husband won’t feel loved if he doesn’t get a new grill, toolbox, car kit, etc.

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To Santa or not to Santa?

HOT HOT HOT, HOT CHOCOLATE!There’s been a screenshot making the rounds on social media. I’ve included it below, so you can read it for yourself. It asks parents to stop giving their children expensive gifts from Santa, so poor children won’t think they’re less important or less valuable to Santa.

It seems innocent enough on face value, but if you dig in, it couldn’t be more political. It covers issues of religion, parenting, and socioeconomics all in one. A loaded bullet for sure!

As friends and family have shared the post, I’ve lurked, reading the arguments in the comments. Some parents think that children young enough to believe in Santa shouldn’t be getting iPhones and iPads. Some parents think other parents should stop coddling their kids. The list goes on and on.

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Struggling to Find the Light

I’ve always struggled in the winter. Not only does the cold slow me down, but the shorter, darker days leave me depressed and unmotivated. I’m normally a health nut, eating right and exercising every day, but this time of year, I indulge in cookies and donuts and am lucky if I hit 5,000 steps on my Fitbit Alta HR. The farm chores seem harder and less rewarding.

To add to the depression, I’m put off by the obligations of parties and gift exchanges that have so very little to do with the season of Advent. I enjoy the quiet contemplation that fits so well with Advent, but I live in a world that calls people to shop until they drop and to attend one party after another.  Instead of preparing the way for the Lord, the world around me consumes and consumes and consumes some more.

For me, Christmas existed to remind me of how much I wasn’t like others. As a kid, I hated opening box after box of things I didn’t really want, pretending to love each one.  As a mother, I hated the ridicule I received because I taught my daughter the stories of Saint Nicolas rather than following along with American traditions of Santa Claus. As a Christian, I resent being told to celebrate the season when it isn’t here yet and being expected to prep for the next holiday when for me it’s still Christmas. Continue reading