Thursday, December 24, 2015

One More Sleep

 It's Christmas Eve already. The stockings are filled, the gifts are wrapped. The food for tomorrow is prepped, and we've had a lovely season so far. All of our traditions have been fully enjoyed - from tree trimming to the town parade to zoo lights to making tons of gingerbread to visiting Santa.

Tonight, the kids opened their gifts from grandparents and their Aunt Lucy.

Then, we got ready for church.

It was a gorgeous candle light service. My children's choir sang two songs, and the whole congregation gathered to celebrate and enjoy. Lovely.

Afterward, we came home, got the kids into their jimjams, and got down to the last of the pre-Christmas business. The J-bird and Miss V put out the cookies and milk for Santa

an apple for Rudolph and his buddies

the Santa key on the door

and we walked through the manger story.

I hope your holiday season has been lovely and that you know love and peace now and in the coming year.
Always - G

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Welcome Christmas, Come This Way

 The holidays are in full swing now, aren't they? My very favorite is always Thanksgiving. Oh, how I love to feed people. It just satisfies something in my soul. Our dear ones, the D'Elias came over again this year, and Traci and I made music together in the kitchen. It was a gorgeous day.

I made pie crust in my mom's vintage bowl.

The kids wrote down all the things they were thankful for

There was plenty of silliness

And good heavens, the food

For the record, the baby got the big side of the wishbone. She wished for a real unicorn. With wings.

You know how, when you're a kid, if you're lucky, you have traditions that are really important to you, because of the comfort of the sameness each year? Now that I'm grown, and I have a family of my own, there's such incredible beauty in creating those traditions in my home. For example, we always try to put up Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving (we have a strict "No Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving" policy, but after that, it's on, baby). The tree goes up, and then Miss V puts her "First Christmas" ornament - the one with her little baby handprint -  on the tree first, followed by the J-Bird, who hangs his. After that, it's a free-for-all of ornament placement, with our ridiculously huge star going up top. I love it.

Another Christmas tradition we love is the town parade. I'm pretty sure most of the town turns out for it, even when it rains (this IS Oregon in the winter time, but hey - we don't melt, we rust). Everyone lines the sidewalks with smiles on their faces. We drink cocoa from thermoses and sit in camp chairs until it starts, and then we all excitedly wave at the third of the town that's not watching the parade because they're IN the parade - riding in floats pulled by tractors and walking with Scout troops and the high school marching band. All the adults help the kids fish tossed candy out of the street, and then, when it's over, we hug our friends and leave feeling that much more ready for lights and gingerbread and gift wrapping and carols, with kind and loving feelings about our town and our neighbors.

 (My sweet friend, Emma)

Welcome, Christmas. Bring your cheer.