Book Club Christmas

I’ve written before about the amazing book club I’m part of.  I’ve been with these ladies for many, many years and love meeting with them.  Our Christmas parties have looked different over the years…we’ve gone out for dinner, had wine and cheese with a gift exchange.  But my favorite is a potluck.  Everyone brings their favorite appetizer and we enjoy a meal together.  This year I hosted our fun evening and so enjoyed setting a fancy table for our time together.  The first of several Christmas parties!

A Cozy Christmas Weekend

While I write this Sunday evening, the snow is softly falling outside and it is COLD.  The fire is burning, the tree is lit, I’m in my comfy clothes, savoring the evening.  I’m enjoying the coziness of the evening so much that when the kids come down (after being tucked in) for another hug and “can you tuck me in one more time?” I’m not even phased.  It’s a joy to tuck them in again.  I don’t always respond lovingly but tonight I’m grateful for the patience and perspective of wanting these moments with them to slow down. 

We’ve had a lovely, cozy, Christmas weekend…in fact, when I picked up the kids from school at noon on Friday, I declared that our cozy, Christmas weekend had begun!  We had only one thing planned for the weekend – our church’s Christmas concert – and the rest of the weekend was going to be slow, restful, and full of Christmas.  The concert was a wonderful way to begin the new month and the celebratory mood of December.  The sanctuary and balcony were packed, the stage was full with choir and orchestra, and the singing together began.  We enjoyed the music and worship together so much.  

The rest of the weekend has been so enjoyable.  We’ve worked on our Christmas puzzle, played four square in the street while it was snowing, made homemade granola, read, taken naps, watched a Christmas movie, made Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, lit the first candle, the Prophesy candle, in our Advent wreath and read from Isaiah.  Of course we’re a real family and real families still have squabbles and irritations with one another even in the midst of all this loveliness.  But, we’ve tried to get right back on track with our coziness and keep going. 

Intentionality.  That’s the word that keeps coming back to me.  I had many things on a list that needed done this weekend.  I could have chosen productivity over togetherness.  And many times I do.  Kenny and the kids will be happily playing and enjoying themselves and I’m working away at something that I feel is important.  This time I’m so thankful I was able to lay my list aside – my selfishness aside.  The kids are so excited when mom joins in the fun too.  The list will still be there tomorrow.  And actually, with everyone at school and work, I’ll probably buzz through it much faster.  I’m so glad I chose to be intentional this weekend and make new memories with the family.  It takes more work to be intentional but it is so worth it every time.   

Do you find it hard to be intentional with your family at times?  How are you enjoying the slow of Christmas with your family?  

Deck the Halls

We spent the weekend after Thanksgiving decking our halls – we want to have as much time as possible to enjoy the Christmas decorations!  It always seems to go by so quickly.  

The tree decorated and the train around the bottom, lights on the house outside, the nativity set up front and center in the living room, the Advent wreath on the dining room table, and other Christmas touches throughout the house.  One of the kids’ favorite decorations is their Christmas countdown that Oma made for each of them.  I fill it with fun treats, one for each day until Christmas.  My plan was to purge a bit of our decorations as we went through them but almost everything seemed special to someone in the family.  I let go of just a couple things in the end and that’s okay.  If these items help us celebrate and get in the Christmas spirit, then by all means, put them out!  

Turning on the tree lights and the lights up the banister is the first thing the kids do when they get home from school.  I love that!  

What are some special Christmas decorations your family sets out every year?