Ready for Christmas

It always seems there isn’t enough December for all the things I want to do during the Christmas season!  It took me three weeks to put up all the Christmas decorations.  I would work for ten or fifteen minutes and then get distracted or (better yet!) tired.  We always wait till about 10 days before Christmas to get a tree (because I’m terrible at remembering to water) so we just finally put away the last Christmas decoration box.  But on the up side, I finally hung lights along the front of the house this year – 14 years of owning a home and we have outdoor lights for the first time – Score!

I always want to give my neighbors and friends goodies – but I’m not much for cookie baking.  We made Popcorn Bark (I guess that it is what it is called – popcorn coated in white chocolate and crushed candy canes and sprinkled with M&Ms) which I thought would be fairly quick. My popcorn making skills are sorely lacking – we have a bunch of regular popcorn which I wanted to use.  I should have just given up and bought bags of microwave popcorn!!  It took two afternoons to make enough for all the people I thought I definitely wanted to give treats to – I need to find something I can make that I can give to fifty people without it taking three weeks and a fortune to make!!  But it was so fun to pack the kids in the car and run treats around – they had such a good time running bags up to front doors and visiting with our friends – especially this year when we know them all so much better because they have been part of our support.

If Christmas wasn’t enough to do in December, we have two birthdays to celebrate!  A lovely friend gave us tickets to A Christmas Carol to go see on the kids’ birthday this year, so I didn’t have to plan a party (or two).  It would have been perfect if the traffic hadn’t been terrible that night.  We got to the theater late, which was a bummer, but once we finally got seated, we had a great time.  The celebrations were rounded out with cake and ice cream on Sunday with aunts, uncles and cousins.  The shopping for presents part was the most difficult part of this year’s preparations.

Speaking of shopping, does anyone else dislike December shopping as much as I do?  Everything is so crowded and I get sensory overload just walking through the doors.  I find myself wandering in a daze thinking, “what did I come in here for??”   Every year I tell myself I’m going to do my shopping in July – ha!  Never going to happen.  I should stop deluding myself like that.  What I really need to do is get better at Amazon shopping.  Especially the stocking stuffer stuff.  Spencer said he will help me this year so I’ve been putting it off until he gets home.  But now he is here, I guess I have no more excuses …  Only a couple of more days to go so I guess I really have to finish the present shopping.

A couple of years ago our family did a Secret Santa 12 days of Christmas for a neighbor.  We had  such a good time and it really made the holiday season so enjoyable.  This year, the kids and I talked and decided we wanted to do this again.  But the thought of getting gifts together started making me second guess the idea.  At the last minute I started thinking about things we could share that we already had or could make without having to do any major shopping and then I got excited again.  We have had a great time running out each evening to drop our gift.  There’s the mad rush to ring the bell and then race to the car hoping not to be seen.  Every night it is exciting and fun!  I’m glad we decided to do this again.

All the outer trappings of Christmas may or may not get done this year (though I did get a Christmas letter written so I’m patting myself on the back for that one!), but one thing we’ve done that has made us ready for Christmas is taking time each night to share part of the story of the Savior.  He was the first gift and the best gift.  How grateful I am for his life and example and for his sacrifice for me.  I hope that in all our getting ready for the holiday, I can keep Him in my sights.

23. December 2014 by tjsjohanna
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