Happy Homemade Christmas.

I think I probably took the very least amount of pictures this Christmas than I ever have before in my life.  Having a phone that takes pictures now, I find it so much easier to snap a quick shot and save it onto Facebook rather than click it with my camera, download it to my computer, and then eventually get it onto this blog.

Too many steps.
So little time.
Homemade Christmas Crack to give to our neighbors.
Saltines.  Butter.  Brown Sugar.  Chocolate Chips.  Refrigerated and Broken Apart.
But, I want things recorded here, and I want things written down so that we can remember -- even if the posts are few and far between.  Little is better than nothing.  Something is at least indeed something.  So, although this next year's blog book will be the thinnest of them all -- and even though this year of life has been the craziest of them all --- and although your Mama has probably felt the most frazzled than she ever has before in her life these past twelve months --- it is such a very good life.

And we are so very, very blessed...
I want us to remember that.
Daily Advent readings...
Trying SO hard to keep the focus on Jesus and not stuff....
Our family memories need to be recorded.
I want them to be remembered.
The crazy right along with the sweet.
And the frazzled and frail right along with the Epic and the awesome.
Because that's what life really is anyway, right?  A nice potluck mixture of it all....
My Christmas Gift to ME.  Happy Homemade by a friend from church.
So, here we go...
Let's remember....

Every year, I struggle with Christmas.
I love giving gifts to my kids, but I hate - like really, really hate - our culture of "gimme."
I love celebrating and doing special things, but I want things to be simple, and I want them to be savored.  I want us to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus, and I want them to be thankful -- no matter what they find or don't find under the tree on Christmas morning.
Peppermint Patties for our neighbors and my Marmie.
Christmas is tricky.

Birthdays for me are so much more simple.  That's the day you were born, so we celebrate YOU! Let's make it big, let's make it loud, and let's make it all about you! Christmas is the day that Jesus was born, and yet it's hard to focus all of the celebrating on Him when there are gifts upon gifts to be unwrapped with name tags other than "Jesus" on them. Sometimes it's hard to silence the cynic within me.  It's such a weird message we're sending.  And I get it - "Jesus gave us the greatest gift when He gave Himself as a baby....so let's remember and respond by giving gifts to each other in return."  But...sometimes, that just falls a little flat with me.
Christmas breakfast traditions.  I love tradition.
Some year I would love to ditch the whole gift getting all together and do something crazy like go and work at an orphanage or spend the whole day at a homeless shelter or nursing home.  Some year, I'd like there to be no money spend on us -- and every dollar spent on others.  I think that'd be so cool.  And so counter-cultural.  Sometimes I like going against the flow of what everybody else is doing...

And maybe someday we will.

But, for now, we just try to keep things simple.  And I try to get the boys as involved in the spirit of gift giving and Advent waiting as much as possible.  We made little treats and cards for all of our neighbors, we made lots of homemade presents for each other and for others, and the boys went shopping intentionally for each other as opposed to merely looking for gifts that they themselves would like to have.
Christmas morning Christmas story reading.
 (Kaden wrote everyone a super sweet little card with fun little illustrations)...

And I do love the magic of Christmas.
I love the child-like wonder.
I love doing things for my children that bring them joy.
And I love being intentional.  With our money.  With our time.  And with this Holiday.  Balance is good.

And while there were days when the boys were flopping over in their chairs with boredom during our Advent readings...and while there were times that we were Christmas shopping for a sibling but we were more focused on what we were hoping to get for ourselves for gifts....

I still hope - and believe - that little tidbits of truth were sinking in.
I can see with each year, a growing maturity - a growing sense of joy in giving a gift as opposed to just receiving.  I see them catching onto our theme of "Happy Homemade" and simple pleasures.  I heard thank-you's before there needed to be reminders, and there were many unsolicited hugs of thankfulness.
I have no words for this picture.  None...
This makes me happy.
And my family makes me happy.

The love my boys have for their sister and for each other is one of the greatest gifts for this Mama's heart to see.  My husband of 15 years - still my most favorite person - and still the Hero of my Heart makes me super happy.  Jesus coming down - wrapping Himself in human flesh - and loving me always and forever no matter what really makes me happy.  These are my greatest gifts.  All things that no amount of money could ever buy.  We are indeed blessed beyond measure...pressed down and filled to overflowing.

The gifts under the tree were just a bonus...

No comments: