Ten Awesome Things…
Updated: Jul 27
Oh, sweet friends. The joyful festivity, hustle and bustle and pure merriment of the holiday season are in full swing. Encompassing us with the oh-so-perfect gift packages to wrap, twinkling lights aglow and chocolate-covered treats teasing us day-in-and-day-out. The time that spans from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day are some of my favorite weeks, days and memories from the entire year. No matter what’s going on in life, everyone stops to make an effort. To reach out to distanced friends. To attend family gatherings. To find themselves feeling at “home” back in church. To remember and reflect on the most a.m.a.z.i.n.g. gift ever given to mankind. The birth of Jesus, the Son of God. My heart is working overtime to take it all in.
I am especially grateful this year to have rediscovered my love for writing. Something that has remained in my heart since I was a very little girl. Creating books. And through middle school stories, collecting my “creative writing” awards. And finally, being able to reignite this passion in a new and fruitful way. Leading me to friendship after new friendship. A community and support system of amazing, faith-filled women, ready to help me with a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. at any given moment.
I feel like a “new” person. I feel like I am doing what God wants me to do right now. Listening carefully to those whispers in my ear. There are times when I feel a “writer’s block”, but it only lasts for mere hours. And then life happens. I hear that sweet voice prompting me, “Did you see that how I did, Elizabeth? Did you notice that little detail? Don’t you think another mother might want to hear that today? Go for it. You’ve got the words in your heart. In your mind. Now let them out.” Amazing.
This time of year in general is amazing. There are so many things for which to be thankful. To embrace. To celebrate. Here are a few of my most favorite things during the holiday season…
1. I l.o.v.e. being outside. Summer still ranks up there as season #1 in my books. But winter. Winter forces everyone to become nice and toasty close and cozy. Squeezing that extra cuddle time with the girls, watching movies, playing “sleepover”…you name it. The closeness is oozing with sugary sweetness.
2. The hunt of the p.e.r.f.e.c.t. gift. I l.o.v.e. to give. I adore the quest for the absolute perfect gift. (And I think I am pretty good at it!) Seeing someone’s reaction to a gift that fits their needs, desires and unacknowledged secret wishes warms my heart beyond belief.
3. Baking. Baking. Baking. Baking has always been a (secret) passion of mine. I love to make breads, and around Christmastime, I have so much fun experimenting with different types of traditional holiday cookies.
4. Watching the girls’ excitement build. I try, as hard as possible, to keep as much of the focus on the true meaning of Christmas. They love the advent storybook, activities and calendar. But they are still sweet little babes whose anticipation and excitement for Santa’s big visit grows each day!
5. Snow. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from others that they “despise” the snow. Not me, sweet friends. Nope. Although by February, I have usually had my “fill”, the beauty is bestows upon the world is incredible. It covers any “blemish” seen by the naked eye. It forces everyone to slow down for a few minutes. And it creates an entirely new world of fun and entertainment for little ones and big ones alike!
6. Hot tea, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider. I am not a big coffee-drinker at all. Maybe occasionally, if I am really struggling in the staying-awake department. But otherwise, those three drinks are my favorite. And the cold weather pushes them into my hand more and more each day.
7. Lights. Twinkling, sparkling, let’s-make-this-world-glow-round lights. Colored lights. White lights. Icicle lights. Christmas tree lights. House lights. Yard lights. Downtown’s-all-festive-lights. Small-town-lining-the-streets-lights. “Can-we-puhhhhhlease-go-look-for-more-lights?!” lights. So. much. beauty.
8. Christmas movies. Oh, friends, I am a total kid-at-heart when it comes to Christmas movies. My all-time favorite…Rudolph. You know, the one made 30ish years ago. Yup. Can’t get enough. And, oh, don’t even get me started on “A Christmas Story“. A one-day-marathon just doesn’t cover it. 😉
9. Family. Just another reason to slow down. Get together. Embrace one another. Talk with our mouths full. Surprise each other with an unexpected treat. Decorate our walls, or kitchen cabinets with the flood of incoming Christmas cards. As reminders of just how very blessed we actually are.
10. The reason behind it all. Strengthening my faith. Coming full circle. To the “true” reason for the season. Celebrating the purpose of Jesus’ life. Listening to the Christmas story. In a church pew. Singing “Silent Night”. Followed by “Joy to the World”. There is nothing more magnificent on Earth than being in church on Christmas Eve and remembering why we are all here, and how we are called to serve, in the first place.
What about you, my beautiful friends?! What would be your “10 Most Awesome Things About December” list? Maybe this is a harder time for you. I have been through that too. But with having three little ones, it is a constant-in-your-face-reminder about the joys and love this season has to offer. Happy Holiday Season to each and every one of you!