I hope you had a lovely Christmas! Let me begin by thanking each of you who checked the blog or my Facebook and Twitter pages in the midst of the goings-on. I am so grateful to you and for you! There are a couple of pictures on Facebook from our festivities along with some links to articles, both useful and funny, that I thought you might enjoy.
I relished multiple celebrations with my friends and family. We hosted a dinner for the church staff on December 11 and enjoyed our first fried turkey then. On the 23rd we had “family day” at home, where Jay, the kids, and I simply spent the day together. I set out a spread of junk food and we grazed, watched movies, and played games. Then our daughter made her debut as a vocal soloist at the Christmas Eve Service and we were very, very proud of her. The fact that both sets of grandparents were able to be there made it even more special. On Christmas Day we opened our gifts at home and then drove to my in-laws’ home to spend the rest of the day with my husband’s family. Jay fried another turkey for our meal and we all enjoyed it very much. Then on the 26th we made the trip to visit my parents so we could celebrate with my side of the family on the 27th. Yes, we have been thoroughly spoiled by our families. But now it’s time to move on from Christmas, rest & reflect, give thanks, and get ready for a fresh start in the new year.
Rest & Reflect
Today I am recovering. Laundry will get done tomorrow. Decorations will come down in the next few days. But right now I am resting from the excitement and digesting all of the good food and reflecting on how blessed I am.
The blessings come into sharper focus when I remember that not everyone has had the same experience. The weather in the U.S. has been unusual. Tornadoes, which are very rare at this time of year, have destroyed homes and claimed lives. Criminals have certainly not taken a holiday. Friends have lost jobs and suffered illness. Others are missing loved ones. It’s heartbreaking. If your Christmas has been bittersweet at best, I pray that 2016 holds special joys for you! I trust that God doesn’t allow meaningless suffering and hope that He’ll allow you to see “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28) next year.
I also want to share a picture of one of the gifts Jay gave me…a pocket knife! It’s not my first pocket knife but it’s my new favorite. As you can see from the picture, it has bottle opener and a can opener and a pair of scissors. “Nifty” is the word that comes to mind! But in all seriousness, I’m very grateful to him for such a practical gift.
We have so much…our family, our health, our home. While others may have more or fancier “stuff” than we do, we are so rich in so many ways.
Jay & I have been talking about how we might make some necessary repairs and improvements to our house in the coming year. We’ll need to go over the budget in light of those plans and our daughter’s anticipated dual-enrollment university expenses. I hope to inventory and reorganize the pantry since it’s a tool I can use to support our financial goals.
One thing I haven’t done is shop the after Christmas sales. I ordinarily go out to get gift wrap, bows, ribbon, table service, and other themed items at half price. A couple of days before Christmas I took inventory and decided that I didn’t need anything this year, so I stayed home. While I love a bargain as much as anybody, sometimes the best deal is to keep my cash in my pocket!
There will be more about budgets and pantries and projects on the blog in the days ahead. I’ve missed our chats even though I’ve been celebrating Jesus’ birthday. So often I’ve wanted to hop on the blog or Facebook and say, “Look at this!” But family came first, as it should. So I’ll take today to reflect and give thanks, then tomorrow I’ll jump back in to life with new energy and plans and a grateful heart.
Do you have any fun plans or projects for 2016?
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