IN case you need a reminder….

Hello there!

This will be brief because you and I both have a LOT to do and very little time to do it….so let me just remind you…

Don’t get drawn in to that just a few days before Christmas panic.

Don’t buy a bunch of last minute presents to “even things out”.

Don’t feel bad because you didn’t bake trays of cookies and you ate too many goodies.

Don’t skip sleep and drinking water and eating right.

Don’t forget to sit in front of your tree and enjoy the fruits of you labor.

Don’t forget that you are loved and precious and worth God sending His Son…

Now take a deep breath, grab a hot cocoa, wrap some presents, eat a cookie and have sweet weekend!

See you Monday <3

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Waiting…waiting…waiting….

As young parents with two little girls, we were still alternating visits between our parents’ homes each Christmas; while sometimes having Christmas morning in our own home.

I desired to have some kind of “tradition” that we could have for Christmas morning that would never change no matter our location.

Rachel had received a child friendly nativity at her birth, so using this, I incorporated a sweet custom I had learned – to leave the manger empty until Christmas morning. It was small and could be tucked in a suitcase to be completed wherever we celebrated each year.

If I wanted to build a sense of anticipation…mission accomplished.

They about drove me crazy as they got older trying to figure out where I had hidden the baby. One year, I hid him so well, I was afraid I wouldn’t find him before they woke at the crack of dawn.

Another year, the absence was just too much. One morning in mid-December, I found the Mama Bear (as in Berenstain) figure from a Happy Meal in the manger.

She lay, as if in state, with her arms folded in front of her blue polka dot dress; smiling kindly up into the faces of the holy family.

I laughed, but it made me think how we can get tired of waiting for Christ and decide to just fill in that place where He should be with something….anything… anyone…we can find.

While He always arrives perfectly on time, we can grow restless waiting…waiting for Him to change things, waiting for Him to heal, waiting for Him to provide what we think we need, waiting for Him to calm the storm, waiting for Him to make things right..and so we take matters in our hands. And our results are, quite frankly, as ridiculous as a Mama Bear in a manger.

Even when we cannot sense His presence; He IS…..Immanuel…God with us <3

Just keeping it real…

Here is a quick rundown of my accomplishments today:

Made numerous trips up and down the stairs to get the scotch tape…because I was trying to use it in the kitchen to tape up pictures from Christmas cards and in the basement to wrap presents…so it was NEVER on the same floor where I needed it…EVER….

Spent quite a bit of time trying to locate two quite important little gifts that need some painting … to no avail…

And in the process of the hunt, found three gifts I had totally forgotten about.

Couldn’t figure who one of them was for…until Russ came home. We puzzled it together and then finally realized we had bought it for …. me….

Finally got the dining room table cleared because I finished the Christmas cards, and realized I managed to order 25 too many pictures, had one more card than envelopes and bought enough gingerbread house stamps to last us through March….

In the midst of all that really has to be done to finish up food prep, present wrapping, and still need to tie evergreens to the lights outside…I decided to deal with the large table of photographs and memorabilia from 30 years of our life, my parents, my aunt, and Russ’s parents….

This involved cleaning out the bottom of one of the bedroom closets, which turned up enough yarn to knit hats for a small army…

I am glad I have to go to work tomorrow. I don’t think I have the energy to stay home…

Hope your enjoying the hubbub we create in this thing called “the holidays”

Smile. Laugh. Breathe.

Be blessed in all you do <3

 

Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas

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As we were chasing two little guys around Navy Pier on Saturday, I tried to soak in the large displays of how different countries celebrate Christmas.

They were lovely, like living pages of a beautifully illustrated Christmas book…but of absolutely no interest to those under the age of 4 in our party….

Each display featured a larger than life representative of the “Santa” and a story board with a description of ┬áthat country’s “typical” Christmas tradition.

The one feature that all seemed to have in common was something to do with the Christ-child…hay put out on the table, the lighting of a candle, the reading of the Scriptures.

Each was a sweet and tender reminder of His coming.

Each one of these was done before any gifts were opened.

Before any food was eaten.

I spoke with our middle daughter last night. They are both so busy with the work they do. She said she wasn’t putting a lot out for Christmas, probably not even the tree…but she mentioned…the nativity I brought them from Kenya is out.

If we have but one tradition, let it be the Nativity…let it always be Christ…

first…

foremost…

only…

and always…

Christ <3

Best day ever, again….

Because, like you, my To Do list is really overwhelming….we took our entire Saturday to….

IMG_3452Road trip to Chicago for …..

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(Not go to the restroom, although now that I see the pic, the sign is kinda prominent =0)

Because we didn’t want to miss…

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(again with the restrooms????)

and….

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and…IMG_3475and….IMG_3617

So if you go to Chicago, remember to keep your arms and legs inside the train…

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go with someone you love…

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and have the Best Day….

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ever….