This year, I purposed in my heart and mind to simply enjoy all that the Season had to bring. To not let the stresses of all of the "to do's" get to me and rule my days. Instead I focused on the people that are reflected on my many lists of things that needed to be done (just a few of them are my kids...Rachael, my oldest son's girlfriend, Anthony, Dylan, Brandon and Alyssa). Was I still busy? Of course I was! Was it enjoyable? You bet! :)
Our family enjoyed many relaxing evenings watching our favorite Christmas movies, looking at the lights on our tree and spending time with family and friends. I often had crocheting in my lap during these family evenings, making hats for nephews and our niece, or making folded fabric ball ornaments that would be added to gift bags for family members. I kept busy with hand work and such, but enjoyed time with my family at the same time.
The kids and I worked on making candy to be added to the gift bags for family. Something we've never done before...molded chocolates on sticks and candy canes. What a fun project that was! Brandon worked hard on his snow men...they turned out great.
We also made sugar cookies...though they never ended up getting decorated, Dylan enjoyed trying his hand at rolling and cutting the dough. He did a great job too!
My husband's VERY talented brother does chain saw carvings. This year, he carved a bear for each of the kids. Dylan was so excited about his...they all were! Such a wonderful gift.
This year we decided it was time to splurge and get the family a Wii game system. We avoided doing this until this year, but I am so glad we went ahead and took the plunge. We've had such a good time playing games like bowling and tennis rather than just sitting around in the evenings. So much fun for all of us! I don't typically get into this kind of thing, feeling like there is just too much "screen influence" most of the time, but this was a fun addition to our home.
Brandon asked for one big thing this year...a shot gun. He LOVES hunting and even just target practicing. It was the perfect gift for him this year. The look on his face was worth it all...he was thrilled!
Alyssa LOVED the bulletin board I made for her. The fabric that covers it is a horse scene with trees and water. She was so excited...a simple gift, the fact that my kids appreciate the simple things they receive makes me so happy! They appreciate the effort in the making of the gift and don't need the pricey commercial trappings that so many kids these days get caught up in. Oh sure, they still want some of the other things, but the simple things are often their favorite things. :)
You know your baby has grown up when a box of socks brings a smile like this...he is forever looking for his socks. :) Our oldest is now over 20 and understands the value of a drawer full of socks. Bitter sweet, I think...though he did have a huge smile on his face when he opened the gift from his dad...his paintball gun that he had sold to his dad when he was in need of money. Wade had saved it and then gave it back to him for Christmas. :)
My parents came and spent the day with us on Christmas day. We had a wonderful time visiting, eating and watching the kids play the Wii. Times together are few and far between these days, it was nice to have a relaxing day to just "be" and catch up a bit.
One of the best gifts we all got this year was my sister...she has been away for too long. We had a fun day, catching up, playing the Wii and just enjoying time together. I think time with family was the greatest gift we all received this year. God truly blessed us with lots of time, relaxing, good food and many laughs. None of the material things from this Christmas really mattered much, even to the kids, we all just really enjoyed being together.