Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday preparations

I'm feeling pretty good at the start of this Thanksgiving week. At a time when many are frazzled and hurried, I feel relaxed, well-prepared and in control. Let's hope it stays that way, eh?

Last week I got Christmas shopping out of the way. I was thrilled to be able to have money to give gifts this year. Last year was rough in the Blinn household and no Christmas gifts were exchanged, but this year we're in a better place financially. We're just exchanging gifts for the littles this year which meant getting gifts for our two nephews and niece. I found lots of fun stuff and could've bought lots more. We might do a couple other small gifts for special people in our lives, but that will most likely be online shopping so for the most part, I'm done with the craziness of stores for the year!

On Saturday I got supplies to make an advent calendar and our Christmas cards. If I believed in reincarnation I really think I'd come back in the next life as some sort of paper crafting thing. I could walk through aisles of 12"x12" scrapbooking paper every single day and not get tired of it. Put me in an aisle with stamps and fancy pens and paper punches and embellishments? Shoot, you better have lots of time on your hands because I can take And oh, how I love Martha Stewart's craft line at Michael's. Again, I got some fun stuff and could have bought a LOT more.

This morning Z and I made dough for Gingerbread Men Cookies - some to snack on, some to use as Christmas tree ornaments. We also made the dough for Glazed Butter Cookies that we'll take to the MacCaugheys' on Thursday evening. On Thanksgiving morning (for my family's get together) I will make Green Bean Casserole, one of the simplest dishes to make. For Blinn's family meal on Friday afternoon I will make a new recipe, Apple-Cranberry Crisp.

The tenants who lived here before us left behind their 6 foot artificial Christmas tree so that's crossed of our list of things to do/get! As much as we'd love to have a real tree, it doesn't make a lot of sense for us this year and since there's a freebie in the basement, we're using it. I'll buy a candle scented like a live tree and all will be well. In addition to the tree, the peeps left about 8,439 strings of white lights. Score! I'm hoping to decorate outdoors in the next week or two and then get our tree up in early December. We've kept our decorations simple in years past and I like that. The items we've chosen to display have gone a long way as far as inducing holiday cheer.

He doesn't know it, but I bought the husb a small Christmas gift that I'll be readying for the next few weeks and if there's time, I hope to make him something m'self. (Ha! If there's time... Z has no concept of time as it relates to others beyond herself! The only reason I'm able to type this out is because she's currently in her booster seat at the table making a mess with drips of water from her water bottle. Meh, who cares?!)

Sunday is the first day of Advent and thanks to Landing Place days and the traditions deeply rooted in Blinn, its one of my favorites from the Christian calendar. As we continue to move towards the day of Christ's birth I want to focus - extra hard - on the things in my life that bring me joy and peace. Something that's bringing me joy and peace today, albeit rather shallow, is the fact that I don't stress at this time of year. For the last few years its been less and less about the commercialism of the months of November into the beginning of January and more about the true meaning of the holidays within those months. As we raise a little girl Blinn and I are ever-aware of how key it is to teach her the importance of Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and I hope we're on a good path of doing that. 

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