"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

22 December 2008

Well, since Christmas is my most favorite holiday (hey...my love language is gifts...what else can I say??), I guess I better accept this award and play along.

Many thanks go out to Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story. She is the one who awarded it to me. I loved reading her 5 fave things about Christmas....I encourage you to go check it out!

So....here are my 5 favorite things about Christmas (although I have waaaaayyyy more than that....but the rules of the meme say list 5 so.....)

  1. The Christmas Movies: no, I don't mean Rudolph and Frosty or even Charlie Brown although at least that one depicts the actual "reason for the season"! I am talking about the ones like the old classics: Miracle on 34th Street; White Christmas; Holiday Inn; The Bells of St. Mary's; Boystown; Christmas in Connecticut; It's a Wonderful Life; The Polar Express; The Nativity. I love how they are packed away all year and we get them out to view again as a family during the month of December. They just don't make movies like they use to, do they??
  2. Gift-Giving: since my primary love language is Gifts, this really helps me to feel emotionally charged all month. I love purchasing special gifts for my family and close friends. Although we have cut way back this year and are not giving to as many family members/friends as in years past, we still feel the need to give. We belong to a church that has a ministry for needy families who are members of our church. So we participated in that ministry this year for the very first time. What fun I had in purchasing little girl school dresses with matching tights and hair ribbons. What a good lesson my own daughters had when helping me decide what to buy. I think they thought that everyone who attends our church is affluent. It simply isn't true. It does seem to be a "rich" church because for so many of us we have steady incomes, health insurance, good homes in the 'burbs, good schools, etc. But...for several families amongst the approximately 2100 that attend, there are those who have no jobs right now, who are single parents, who have terminal illnesses, no health insurance, etc. It gives me great pleasure to help someone have a special gift at Christmas time and it reminds me that it is the least I can do when God my Father sent His most Precious Gift of all.
  3. Christmas Trees: I love the real thing but last year we decided to stop buying a dead tree and buy an even dead-er one! LOL. Seriously, we always had a real balsam because it is my most favorite tree but I was getting tired of being the one to do all the vacuuming, watering, etc. And my husband was just tired of getting it home, trimming it to fit in the living room (or family room depending on what we decided) and so he went out last year and bought a gorgeous fake one that really does look real. I spray Evergreen room spray from Avon to capture a "real tree" smell or I burn my Mistletoe Candles (Yankee Candle brand). I love the symbolism of the tree: it is everlasting like our Savior's Love. It endures through all kinds of weather, just like our Redeemer is always there. I love putting our variety of ornaments up on it because each ornament has a story behind it. We do not have any ornaments that match....but that is how we like it!
  4. Candlelight Christmas Eve service: the one thing I was most looking forward to when we transitioned from our former church to our current church was that we found out they do a Christmas Eve service. In all of our 17 years at our old church, we only had ONE Christmas Eve service. And it is something we wanted to do as a family. We have gone to a service every Christmas Eve for the last 3 years and we just love it. It is such a special time. This is our 4th Christmas in our "new" church that...praise the Lord...doesn't feel new any longer!...and we are so excited. Each year has been a little different with different styles of music, different type of worship time, different message but the one thing that has stayed the same is the candlelight at the very end of the service. We are fortunate to be in a church that can offer 3 different times to fit different families' needs (4, 5:30 and 7 pm). We have typically chosen 7 pm and we just love it. This year, our oldest daughter, Courtney (my teen!) decided on her own to help out at one of the services as a greeter. She will then attend the 7 pm one with us. There is nothing like looking over a congregation of about 500 people and seeing all the candles being held in the dark and singing Silent Night. It melts my heart and I almost always shed a couple of tears for the beauty of it. It warms my heart to hear my daughters singing beside my husband and I. It is just awesome.
  5. The Christmas Story: I do love the story of the Nativity. It is amazing to me that God chose this lowly young girl to carry His Son and give birth to Him. It blows my mind that He was born in a barn. Shepherds came to worship him. The air was filled with angels. Wise men journeyed a far distance to bring Him gifts that held special meaning. God became a Baby. For us.
So...there ya have it!
I love so many more things about the Christmas season.....we are thankful that this year we get to enjoy a white Christmas...very unusual for our part of NYS this time of year....my oldest has a journal we keep for each Christmas and she has only seen 4 out of 15 white Christmas's. They are anxious to get the sled and saucers out.....but....meanwhile....we are enjoying the last days before celebrating our Savior's Birth with some last minute baking, Claire's school holiday party, and time together.

Now...I tag Sandy from Jesus and Dark Chocolate! Her blog has definitely been showing the Christmas spirit.....go check it out!


e-Mom said...

I'm with you on #4... my absolute favorite part of Christmas. It's also fun to jingle our keys while we all sing jingle bells. (Yes, in church!) :~D

Susanne said...

I love your list! So many nice things. I had a hard time sticking with 5. LOL.

Kimberly said...

A wonderful list! I, too, love a candlelight service on Christmas Eve...so beautiful!!!

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas! Oh, and we love our mismatched ornaments on our dead tree, too. :)