Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmastime is Here

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful time of the year! I was concerned before the day of Christmas arrived that things just didn't feel like Christmas. Last week I was constantly on the go, preparing, cleaning, cooking...only to rest during the nighttime, which recently hasn't provided much rest (more on that later). I felt overwhelmed and frustrated and tired, which is NOT showing my usually overwhelming positive Christmas spirit.

However, when Saturday morning arrived, it didn't take long for me to pop right into the excitement and joy of the day. We spent the night with my parents on Christmas Eve and woke up to one very excited little sister who was actually disappointed she had slept until 7:00?! Santa is a big deal in my house. We began our morning by reading the Christmas story from Luke. Chels read it at the top of the steps before we went down.

As soon as she finished, with the video camera rolling, we all four (sisters+me+Blake) walked down the steps to our respective Santa stacks. I wish I had taken a picture of this every year. The gifts come from every corner, and the stockings are overflowing. We are blessed beyond measure and I can only be more and more thankful every year.

One of our favorite gifts this year was a Canon EOS T1i. Hello amazing camera?! To show you why its my favorite, I took some pictures of our house decorated for Christmas. I got home today in a state of nostalgia and wanting to remember everything about this Christmas...not only because it was our first white Christmas, but because it is our last Christmas as a family of 2.

Here is our Christmas Tree. Funny story-we went to the Farmer's Market like we do every year and wanted a bigger tree than the one we had last year. Assuming (key word) that our ceiling is a 12-footer, we got a 12 foot tree. We realized, once we got it in the house, that the ceiling is in fact 11 1/2 feet high. Needless to say, Blake did a little cutting after that. The tree turned out beautiful, though!

Our mantle...on the sides you see Carolers...these are all passed down from my mom's mom. Mom has lots at her house, and I usually get one for Christmas every year. This year I got a Mrs. Clause!

This is one of my favorite Christmas areas. This is our piano, also passed down from my grandmother, with the most beautiful Nativity Scene ever. It is the Willow Tree Angel scene, given to me as a wedding present from a group of amazing women at school. It is absolutely beautiful!

Here is our sitting area in the kitchen.

Lastly, here is the front door in the living room.

Christmas was wonderful this year, but I think my best memory will be with my class. This year, we really dove into the Christmas story. We were able to look into the perspectives of each character - Mary, Joseph, the shepherd, the wise men, Jesus...We would write journal entries in their perspectives about what they were feeling about Jesus' arrival. When we talked about Mary, I played this song for them. One young lady, as she was switching classes, said this:
"Mrs. B, can I talk to you for a minute? You know...I've heard the Christmas story every year, and I know it is very important, but until this year and hearing that song, I never realized how emotional Christmas is!"

Now while I had to hold back the oh-you're-so-precious laughter, this young lady was right on. The kids ate our Bible time up...they would groan when it was over. I've realized that is how I should be every day! While the story of Jesus' birth is SO important and special, each story in the Bible holds importance and is vital to my role in this family of Christ. And the Bible holds so many "emotional" stories, and if I truly valued them as I should, I don't think a day would go by without me on my knees in sobs thanking our Lord.

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, and I pray that you were touched in a special way by remembering our Savior's birth and everything that came with it.