Category Archives: Holidays

Share The Gift

Last week, as my personal traditions dictate, we put up our Christmas trees and decorations on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That evening, we learned that my husband’s work partner had been killed in a car accident, leaving behind 4 children aged 3 weeks to about 10 years. We were sorrowful and very concerned for the family. Obviously, we didn’t get the decorating done like normal! Shopping – never my favorite thing anyway – was stressing me out because all the sales were going on and I wanted desperately to catch a few. I was becoming consumed over the death of this friend, worrying about money, trying to get my thoughts (and house!) organized. 

On Sunday. I was almost finished setting up our Nativity when some friends came by. They invited us to watch this short little video called “He is the Gift”, so of course, we did. Honestly, I didn’t “feel in the mood” when we started, but I was so thankful I had agreed to watch it by the time it was over! The Spirit of this beautful video is so strong! I felt such a sweet, calm peace when it was over. In all the uncertainty of life over the weekend, the pressure to be sure to catch that sale, the desire to have a beautifully decorated house, I had temporarily forgotten the reason for it.

story_mary

Jesus is THE Gift and through His atonement and grace, He has given me everything I really want and need.

Now that the atmosphere is set, I can concentrate on all the sweet traditions that help us to focus on Him during this season: singing carols, reading scriptures about His life and mission, participating in our daily advent calendar, baking cookies for friends and neighbors, enjoying our Advent wreath and candles, the wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and the appearance of the baby Jesus to sleep in the manger filled with straw placed one piece at a time for each act of service given, received, or observed.  These are some of the things that I do to share the gift with my children and friends.

Here is a link to the video:

http://www.mormon.org/christmas  – click the “view video” button.

Please watch it and let me know in the comments how you Share the Gift.

Felt Food: Super cute, easy to make, fun to use!

Early in last December I was snuggling with JuneBug on the couch before she went to bed and I was reading a book called Homemade Christmas Gifts by Toni Anderson on my Kindle. It had pictures of the projects and about the 15th project in, JuneBug sat up and announced that I “could make these for her so she could use them! Please, mom! Please!”  I took another look at it, said “maybe” and put her in bed. =)

Felt Cookies & Doughnuts

Once she was settled I looked them up on the computer and loved the whole idea of making these cute little felt cookies and pizzas. It really would be easy and fun – and inexpensive!  I could see the younger girls loving this idea for several more years.

(It would also meet my needs since we try to give the girls one handmade by us gift at Christmas. Yay!)

What I didn’t expect was how easy they were to make, how cute they would be, and utterly relaxing it would be for me! I created my own patterns. You can download them free here:

 Felt Cookies, Brownies, & Doughnuts

2013’s Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Houses

We have been making a gingerbread house since the oldest girls were in public school kindergarten. This year when we were at the store, the girls begged to do it again. We found this kit that had FIVE small houses in it. That was perfect for our family – it lets everyone participate with the minimum amount of arguments.  Oops! I mean, happiest of attitudes. LOL

Gingerbread Collage - Construction

Gingerbread Collage - Little Girl'sGingerbread Collage - JitterBug & Mr. Bug(We affectionately call Mr. Bug’s house “The Outhouse” because of it’s shape.)

Gingerbread Collage - HorseyGirl's

The last picture was taken a couple of weeks later. BittyBug keeps sneaking the candy off the tops when no one is looking. 😉

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Some random scenes from December and some of the ways we celebrate the Christmas season.

Christmas Collage 1

Making Christmas presents has been fun for me this year. I’m doing another post about that.

Christmas Collage 2

One of our traditions is making a Gingerbread House – this year we made 5. I’m doing another post about that, too!

Christmas Collage 3

And we are listening to Christmas music all the time. I love it!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Snow Pine Tree

Everybody in the house was delighted when we actually got some real snow!  (Except Mr. Bug, who drives and delivers packages to support our family. At Christmas time, snow is stressful for him because he can’t deliver to some people’s homes in bad weather and he worries that people won’t have their Christmas!)

Snow Oak Trees

It is exciting to go outside into a quiet, white world…and then start playing!  Sledding, snowball fights, snowmen…the fun begins.

Snow Deck

We enjoyed two weeks of snow – now we are getting rain just in time for Christmas! 😉

O Come Emmanael

I know that I posted this last year, but it is such a wonderfully done version of this song I wanted to share it again!

Every time I watch the beautiful scenes of Christ’s life accompanied by the light delicate piano and rich warm cello, I get teary.

What a magnificent gift in every sense of the word!

O Come Emmanuel