I would use three words to describe my Christmas this year:
Brian and I had made a decision that we were going to take a year and make a lot of sacrifices financially. So I knew this Christmas would be different than any other Christmas I have had before.
First, I really wanted the holiday to be more spiritual than commercial. I didn't want to feel stressed and overwhelmed. I didn't want to fight crowds to buy gifts and I wanted my Christmas to become as special to me as Easter is.
So along with our financial decisions, I said no to many parties, I waited to shop for Christmas for one day and focused our Christmas time together more on the spiritual side of things.
Honestly, this Christmas meant more to me than any other Christmas I have had in a long time.
We were so blessed that I would fall on bended knee and express great gratitude for the gifts and blessings that we were given. Interestingly enough, all the gifts or traditions that we decided to sacrifice on for this year still came but from the love of others who had no idea of what our circumstances are about.
We had a Christmas that was very focused on family. My parents and my sister with her children came into town and we spent some time downtown and it was wonderful and joyful. We played, we saw the temple lights, we ate like kings and we had a wonderful family Christmas together which has not happened in a long time. Thank you Mom, Dad and Janet for coming up and giving us this wonderful gift. It brought such great peace and love to my heart and my cup runneth over.
We went to my Aunt Joyce's house for her Christmas Family Home Evening Around the World. My Aunt has a wonderful tradition of celebrating Christmas from all different countries and teaches us all the different traditions and foods. She is always so generous with her crafts, activities and gifts. This year, she had a seashell object making table and I loved it! Here is a giraffe that I made for Shae:
The best part of Christmas was that I started my "Christ Centered Christmas" Much like my Easter celebrations. Instead of focusing on the last 7 days of his life, I focus on the 7 figures in the Saviors birth. I was a bit late this year, so we were only able to focus on 4 but it was so great.
This year we focused on Mary, Joseph, the lamb and Jesus Christ.
Every night we were reading scriptures and expanding so much to the Christmas story. Every person and animal has a lesson to teach about life from the Savior's birth. I simply loved it and cannot wait to get to do it again. Here are a few pics I took:
Mary -"Ponder in our hearts"
The Lamb - "Tender Mercies tree and Being a follower of Christ"
Next Christmas, I will have to post all the different activities, but it was very beautiful and so many spiritual experiences.
Some fun and funny things that happened to us at Christmas is that my sister sent me the coolest countdown board that can be used not only Christmas but countdown anything that we want.
This is a darling and great gift to be used all year long. I'll explain that later.
On Christmas Eve, we went to visit a couple of elderly friends who are alone and Shae and I had to go home because she wasn't feeling well. After an hour nap, she was back to her normal self. We went ice skating and she played with her friends.
That night, we went to the Cheesecake Factory with my grandma and all of the sudden she wasn't feeling well again. She laid down on a bench and we had trapped ourselves in with 3-4 adults on each side. By the time they served our meal, she turned to me and said she was going to throw up.
WE WERE TRAPPED!
So I told her to crawl under the table and run to the bathroom. She crawled under the table and stood there and waited until I could come. Well, the vomiting began and she tried so hard to hold it in. By the time I got to her, I ran her down the aisle to the bathroom as she was puking the whole way. She had not eaten all day and was throwing up water basically. We ran into the bathroom and as we went in a lady came out and slipped and fell in Shae's throw up. Oooooohhh!! So sorry!
Her shirt was sopping wet and so I went back out to get her coat and Brian was standing there with all our stuff ready to go. But I wanted to at least eat my meal and get my Red Velvet Cheesecake!! No, it was time to go! Luckily, my Aunt Darcy had our meals wrapped up and grabbed us as we were heading out the door. No time to get Red Velvet. Boo!! Because of the chaos, I made no cookies for Santa and Shaeler slipped into her Christmas Eve pajamas which were the right size on the hanger but 2 sizes too small on the tag! DANG IT!
She threw up through the night but anxiously got us up at 6:30 am to see her presents. Shae got some clothes and a motorized scooter. I got a pillow and a workout outfit. Brian got his TV and a water purifier. By 7:30, she was back asleep in our bed, exhausted and Brian and I had a peaceful quiet Christmas breakfast.
On New Years Eve, we had a hustle and bustle of a day and by the time the evening came, it was best for all of us to just go to bed. Sadly, we were all asleep by 9:30 pm. I awoke to Brian making breakfast for New Years and we toasted with sparkling apple cider to the exciting things that will be happening this year. A couple I will share:
1. Remember the countdown board my sister gave me. Well we are now counting down to the Christmas present my mom and dad gave to us.
We are going on a cruise this year!! WOOOOWEEEE!
2. I'm happy to announce that Rentmeister Construction will be building its first spec home to sell this year. I am so excited!!
May 2013 be as memorable as 2012. May God bless us with peace and love and may we strive ever so hard to be worthy of it!