Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cherished Books Treasured Memories

Christmas at our house was the most wonderful magical time a child could ever experience, in fact it was that for anyone that had the honor or privilege of being in the presence of my dad. Daddy decorated everything, he would wrap the front door in foil paper and then put fresh pine all around it so the fragrance would hit you then minute you approached it. As for the tree and the gifts, to be completely honest I don't think mom and I were allowed to do very much, every ornament had to be in just the right place and the gifts were all wrapped in white tissue paper with hand tied colorful ribbons to match the tree. He gave attention to every detail, especially the gifts he gave. I remember the first book he gave me, I was 12 years old and it was the complete Peanuts Charlie Brown Collection. After that daddy started giving me a book every year for Christmas. The books became especially important to me because I wasn't allowed to open it until Christmas morning and with my mom and dads divorce that same year. It was like having him with me Christmas Day. He still gives me my book on Christmas Eve and I'm still not allowed to open it until Christmas morning. Since the tradition started my mom has also started giving me a special Christmas book, after all it was her that instilled in me the love of reading. Growing up she owned a beautiful Christian Bookstore "Wings of A Dove".

I use to put away my books with the decorations every year but now I proudly leave them out to enjoy all year. Everyone needs a little Christmas everyday. A few of my favorites are "Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect", "Polar Express", and "The Time Life Book of Christmas".

About 5 years ago my day had to go in for operation just before Christmas, at the time he and I were having a few problems and I was doubting if he loved me. I'll never forget when they brought him out in the hall to go to into surgery and he had a wrapped gift in his hand; it was my Book...and I was told a could open it right then. This is why my books are so special, they remind me I'm loved.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Expectaions

Randy has warned me this morning to curb my excitment just a little; and with good reason, I am one of those people that tends to get so very excited that even the most perfect laid plans can not live up to expectaions my anticipation has created in my own mind.

I look foward to Thanksgiving and Christmas longer and with more anticipation then all the other holidays combined. The anticipation is what brings me the greatest joy. Christmas Day itself is not what brings the thrill, it's the journey that brings the real joy, the planning and participating in every moment that this magical time of year has to offer. I tend to get what you might call an emtional overload created from my own expectaions of myself and what I expect from others.

So occasionally he or one of the boys will reel me back in so that I don't experience the Chistmas Blues created by expecting a Norman Rockwell Day! My family teases that Bing Crosby had me in mind when he sang "A Marshamallow Word" . But we are so bombareded by "It's a Wonderfeul Life" and our Hallmark movies that it's easy to want to our homes to look like they do in the magazines and our families to dress and act like they are straight out of a Dickens Novel. When in reality things aren't like they are in the movies or in my favorite books, but it is fun even if only for just the few weeks before Christmas to escape our real lives and live like we wish we could all year.

So to keep eveyone in my house happy I will stay as grounded and possible and will take thier advice and manage my expecations of myself and those around me so that I don't let myself down by an emotional overload of unrealistic ideas of a Norman Rockwell Christmas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daddy's Christmas Village

"In the meadow we can build a snowman", well today daddy and I built more then just a snowman ~ we built a whole village! I had so much fun with daddy and Betty today putting up the Christmas Village. Daddy loves Christmas and everything that comes along with it; every corner of the house is decorated, the counters are lines with all kinds of sweets and fresh fruits, and gifts, there are gifts for everyone, friends, family, neighbors, I think he even gives something to the mailman! Normally he doesn't start decorating until after Thanksgiving, but since he is scheduled for heart valve replacement the first of December, he needs a head start. This way he can enjoy them while he recoups; daddy's love of Christmas is probably why he needs a heart valve, his just isn't strong enough to handle all the love that flows through it. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gifts that touch the Heart

Long before the tree is picked out and the decorations are hung. Even before the wrapping paper is selected I take a long look at the list of family and friends that I would like to give a gift, that will express my love and appreciation for what they mean to me. A gift that will reflect what my heart holds dear. I don't know that such gifts can be purchased in stores or found on the Internet, these gifts are ones that are more often then not fashioned from love and made by hand. As I think back on gifts I have received it was not the lavish or expensive ones that stand out in my mind, but the ones that required a love ones time and careful attention to detail that were the most impressionable.

Which leads me to why I felt led to write this post. Until about three years ago I myself was caught up in the commericalness (is that even a word) of Christmas giving; going out and purchasing gifts I could not afford, or finding something on sale that looked expensive but held no meaning for the recipient. Unfortunately we live in a society that knows the price of everything, but never the value.
Until one day I decided to change my situation, and started giving the gifts I wanted to give, that would not be just another gift, but an expression of love.

I remember showing up at our family Christmas with my baskets of goodies and being nervous that everyone would be looking down on my meager gifts; that instead of investing money into I had invested my time. But contrary to my thoughts, my family was eager to see what goodies awaited them and the gifts I gave that year generated more excitement then any I had given in years past.

It may not be easy to break out of your present gift giving habits, but giving gifts to those we love should never be a burden or a hardship. Giving is meant to bring joy to the giver, and if it's not bringing you joy then more then likely it is an empty experience for the one receiving it as well. Remember it is not the gifts that we touch with our hands, but he gifts that touch our hearts that make us rich

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thank you Daddy for the memories..

I am so excited I've just added some new pages to my Christmas Notebook. These are the most cherished pages I will ever insert into my book or my heart. Daddy made these pages for me, they contain pictures of my Granny, and thought from daddy's heart about why Christmas has always been so special to each of us, and that it was actually Granny that instilled the love of Christmas in our hearts and lives. It also contains a page of the history behind the wrapping paper that he uses every year to wrap mine and my sisters 25 days of Christmas gifts. Yes we are spoiled we have a gift from our dad to open everyday of December until Christmas day, and he has used he same paper every year for as long as I can remember. He will never know how very special this handmade pages are to me and how I will cherish them forever.
Just anyone reading this post my not understand their importance but my family and friends at Magical Holiday Home will all comprehend the their value. Thank you daddy for making Christmas so magical and wonderful for me not only as a child but even now, my love for you and the memories you have created for me are and will always be my greatest treasure.(Click on photos to enlarge)

"All Wrapped Up"

Well the challenge this year is where to organize myself...Since Eric moved back in, lost my Office/My space; but I'm not complaining, I love having him back home. However, trying to figure out where to do organizing and wrapping is another subject.
After he and got home from shopping last night we started wrapping our gifts, imagine Michaels surprise when he realized most of them were for him.

Check out our cool 3D galsses

We finally decided to do see the Christmas Carol in 3D, and glad we did, I don't think we would have enjoyed nearly as much if we had not. The movie is very tradional, Scrooge is almost dark and dismal. We were expecting a comical twist on Scrooge since it was Jim Carrey, but he played it straight. In fact had we not known it was him, we wouldn't have recoginized him, not even his voice but in a few spots. Wouldn't take children under 10 or 11, not becuase it would scare them, but I think they might become board. We had a ball though, because we were together and we love the classic! Not exactly what I was expecting, more George C Scott then Jim Carrey, but enjoyed the special effects.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Should have used red ribbon.

Star bright, star light, I think I'll decorate my stars tonight. Only I used the wrong color ribbon, I was just so anxious to do them I used some ribbon I already had. Which means tomorrow I will have to go out and buy some red ribbon and redo them. Why can't I learn to be patient. How many times do I have to make the same mistake until I learn what God is trying to teach me.

Check out Michael's Retro Sweater

It's a good thing Michael never checks out my blog, that way he'll never know I tried on his new sweater. He's 23 years old, and I can't believe he picked this out...I love it!! Infact he and his brother both wanted it, but Mike won out, as he normally does when it comes to his big brother.

Happy Birthday November Babies!!

We had a wonderful second Sunday Breakfast with the Hudson's. Courtney was experiencing morning sickness so she and Charles weren't able to make it, but we did have a good time. We celebrated four November birthdays, Eric, Mike, Granny Patsy and Gigi's. Elizabeth decorated their cupcakes and they turned out very pretty. Our next Breakfast will be Sunday December 13Th. I just love our family time together, everyone is so relaxed and we can just laugh and make memories to share years from now on a second Sunday when we have grown older and need to remember the days of our youth.

Elizabeth gets creative with cupcakes...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I can't wait any longer!!

I couldn't stand it any longer so I had the guys bring down the decorations from the attic: here is a sneak preview of what's going on in my "Visions of Sugarplum World".