Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas is one of my most favorite holidays. Who am I is my favorite holiday. Not because of the presents but because of all that Christmas means.

It actually starts right around Thanksgiving. We set up our Christmas tree and decorate our home. All done while listening to Christmas music. Not the Jolly ones about Santa but the meaningful ones about Christ and family. After we are done decorating, we turn off the lights, light a fire and light the tree. MAGIC! There is something mesmerizing about watching the lights on our Christmas tree. Each night that follows it is the same ritual. I will never get tired of it.

I like to have the Christmas shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving so I can relax and enjoy the holidays and not be stressed out trying to get gifts, go to parties, make food, get my neighbor gifts ready and all the other things we do during December. But this year that didn't happen. I did have a lot taken care of, but not all.

I love to have a wrapping day where I wrap all the presents I have purchased so far. I get my list out that I keep all year as to what I have purchased and for whom. After reviewing it, I get out all the presents, wrapping paper, tapes, scissors, ribbon and accoutrements. Let the wrapping begin!

There are so many things to do during this wonderful month. The lights at Thanksgiving Point, the lights at Temple Square, driving around just looking at the magical wonderment's of strangers yards. But, amongst all the excitement one thing we do has been a tradition since 1997. We go to our friends home in Wichita and we read The Forgotten Carols, complete with the music of course. Now, I know many of you know what that amazing story is about and how it touches so many lives but for those of you who don't you need to investigate it.

It is the story of carols written about different aspects of Christ's birth and life from essentially outsiders perspectives. For example...the Inn Keeper. And how one man has been there to witness it all. An amazing story for the season.

I wish our home was bigger or at least the living areas were set up differently. When we have large gatherings of people for dinner I want to have them all sitting at tables that touch but yet have plenty of room to walk around. I also would like to not have to displace all my living room furniture in the mean time. We love to have family over to celebrate and what better way to do it them dine on deliciousness. When I say deliciousness I mean it. Turkey, Ham, Braised Pork, Prime Rib or Cornish Hens. Other accompaniments like garlic mashed potatoes, regular whipped potatoes with all the yumminess of cream, butter and chives, green beans with bacon and onions, cheeses, fondue, and desserts of all kinds. Can you say salivation?

Christmas morning is the pinnacle of the entire celebration. We don't get up early anymore as the kids now are adults. They like to sleep in as much as we do. We have rituals about opening gifts and if I ever try to deviate everyone always says NO!!!
We start the morning with the Christmas stocking. Each person goes in turn and opens theirs while everyone else watches. After, we make and eat breakfast. Quiche, home fries with a spin, juice and hot cocoa. After clean up we all head back to the glow of the Christmas tree and warmth of the fire.

The presents are passed out by name and when they are all distributed we open them one by one from youngest to oldest so each of us can see the their joy and the care that someone took to choose the gift. I love to see this process as it brings me great joy to see the joy and happiness of each person. What more can you ask for then to be with your family celebrating Christ's birth.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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