Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A few of my favorite things!

This Christmas has been different than any other Christmas I have ever celebrated.  I started off  the season in a funk because of the fairly new budget we are on.  I was struggling hard with the fact we were paying cash for everything, and I was stressed that due to this fact I was literally not done with my shopping until December 23rd.  (Usually I am done before November 1st!)  

After taking the commercialization out of Christmas, I was forced to look for the deeper meaning of the season, and believe it or not, I found myself.  (Somewhere between a little bit of eggnog and a Christmas tree that would rival Charlie Brown's tree.) 

I got caught up in the small miracles that made this holiday one to remember, and it was beautiful!  These were a few of my favorite things:

 This little Charlie Brown-esque tree caused quite the argument between The Reluctant Farmer and I .  She wanted our usual tree, big and beautiful.  I didn't trust myself to put up a big tree for fear that I would stuff a bunch of expensive gifts under it.  This little tree reminded me to simplify, and made staying on budget much easier. 

I wait on these buckeyes every year, they are the next best thing to Heaven.  A co-worker knows I love them so much.  I am so blessed that she thinks of me every year and always saves 2-3 just for me!  

Even though we were on a budget, we were still able to donate to less fortunate folks.  I am forever grateful for the opportunities I had to serve others this holiday season.  This is what the true meaning of Christmas is about!

Katzya performed in her first play.  She joined the Tipp City Players for a performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  It was adorable, and really drove home the reminder that the season of Christmas was not about commercialization.  

I was able to attend my nephew Isaac's first school play, and I was the proudest Aunt in the all the audience!  (He is the redhead in the red shirt in the center of the screen...)  There is nothing cuter than a bunch of kids singing carols.  When you watch the innocence and faith on the faces of these little people, it is refreshing to the soul...  

The Reluctant Farmer made Christmas sweaters for Esa and Fat Tina, since we were on a budget and couldn't buy sweaters.  They were so cute, and I was in awe of her talent!

We started a new family tradition: Bingo!  The Reluctant Farmer and I won 5 rounds, making the rest of the folks a bit jealous, so I am not sure but they might be plotting their revenge for next year.... 

This cookie was made by my niece Katelinn.  She and her sister had just taken a cookie decorating class, and brought these cookies to our family gathering.  It was so cute that I couldn't bring myself to eat it!

The one event that drives home Christmas for me every year is the candle light service at church.  There is nothing like 400+ people singing Silent Night in unison to put you in the Christmas spirit.  This year I went with my sister for her first service, and it was something I will cherish forver!

Due to our budget many of my Christmas gifts were handmade.  How blessed am I, just look at this fabulous stuff!

 The Reluctant Farmer made me this awesome alpaca/wool blend hat.  

I got the cutest bag made out of an old sweater!

And the most touching gift?!  My daughter drew this zebra, freehand, and then pained it.  I am in shock over this painting.  It is beautiful!  She is so talented!  (I think she gets that talent from her father.) 

I started this holiday with a little less zest than normal, and minus the Charlie Brown tree, I pray I can relish in the simple things of the season again.  (The Reluctant Farmer has already warned me that next year her big tree is back.)  I now realize that with out the commercialization of Christmas, this holiday went by beautifully slow and I was able to savor more of the season than ever before.

I hope you were just as blessed this year!

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