The Simplicity Of Christmas

**Disclaimer** this time of year makes me horribly reflective and often very nostalgic.

It’s also a perfect breeding ground for the musings of my mind, which in turn propels me to write……so I will be doing some fun family, Christmassy kinds of posts through the month because that makes me happy and there are other facets to me besides my focus on sane health and fitness …

You may now proceed…. ūüėä

Like many of you, I was scampering around doing some Christmas shopping today. I’ve scored a lot online which has been the cats meow but there were other things I prefer to search for in person.

Like for all the littles I shop for.

I want to hear what a toy sounds like, feels like, and more importantly, looks like.

Shopping for the kids is always fun. Seriously.

Maybe it’s just a time that I can just recall wonderful memories of childhood Christmases.

I still think baby dolls belong under the tree. I loved this doll.

Kids still have this untainted, happy, grateful attitude with Christmas that often gets lost as many grow older.

Kids don’t care if a certain “name” is on the gift….meaning designer things don’t impress them. They don’t care what store it came from or if they will be able to impress their little friends with it.

They don’t care about the cost. They aren’t leveling any judgment if they think you didn’t spend enough or if the quality isn’t up to their level of expectation.

Looking back, it was often the most random, inexpensive things our kids would love.

Children still have a refreshing grasp of Christmas. They embrace the magic and simplicity. They are still caught up in awe and wonder and the pure joy of receiving gifts.

This is why it makes it so fun and easy for me to shop for them.

Maybe, just maybe, in our grown up adulthood we could embrace some of those pure child like characteristics again at Christmas.

After all the first Christmas was filled with awe, wonder, and a whole lotta supernatural magical moments.

The first Christmas when Christ was born wasn’t by any means extravagant. It was simply embraced with awe and wonder, deep musings, and a whole lotta joy.

I hope in the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season you allow yourself to embrace it with the purity and simplicity of a wondering child, and that in the stillness of those moments you also find the pure beauty and simplicity in the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the most amazing gift of all.

Monday Musings

Hello world! Well not only is it another edition of Monday Musings, it also happens to be Christmas Eve on this particular Monday…. which gives me another perfect reason to write a Christmas post.¬† ( I told you it would be coming ) We’ve got plenty of time heading into 2019 to continue our health and fitness conversations.

But for now…..

As I write this it’s Sunday night. My weekend has been busy with all kinds of preparations and the usual Christmas activities getting ready for the big day.

Who else out there hasn’t been up to their eyes in wrapping paper and tape?

I’m ready to be still for awhile, drink some coffee, and let my thoughts out writing.

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this is my current mood and comfy place while I’m writing. This cute fox cup is one of my favorites Starbucks offered at Christmas two years ago.

Yesterday the kids and grandkids were over to decorate cut out cookies. These are definitely a more time consuming cookie to make, but are so worth the effort.  I get the cookies made, (using cutters that were my grandmothers)  and the kids decorate till they are covered in frosting and sprinkles.

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Can you resist a fat sugar cookie?

I may or may not have eaten one or two”ish” ūüėČ

I love building memories with my family. It’s especially fun watching not just my kids playing and making cookies, but my grandbabies as well.

Oh… and if you know anything about cookies like this then you know they have to be rolled out to a specific thickness.

Rolling pins are the necessary tool….

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Old family rolling pins and some greenery gave this a festive look…. just ignore the coffee part… I was to lazy to change it ūüėČ

So the cookies are done ( well mostly) I never think I have enough. I kinda like giving stuff away to people too and the clan likes having some left to graze on… which means plenty of candy and cookies all around.

Speaking of all those treats…..¬†

It’s always tricky finding the right ways to put the treats out, yet keep them safe from the dog or little child hands.

I love how this 100 year old desk I refinished earlier this year looks so festive with some¬†goodies on it….

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The cookies are made… the packages are wrapped and spilling from under the tree….

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Christmas evokes many emotions and feelings…..

I love all of the traditions we have during this season. I love the energy and excitement of it. Most of all I love watching my kids during this time. Even my adult kids still get excited.

I recently asked them what made Christmas “Christmas” for them, excluding gifts. (this is what happens when your Mom has a blog and writes. Everything becomes a writing exercise. )

My oldest son told me that Christmas made ¬†home feel “extra homey”

Another one told me that “Christmas is Christmas when all of us are piled up in the kitchen in our jammies, anticipating gift opening and just enjoying the company of FAMILY.”¬† ( when everyone is older, it’s easier to wait till day breaks to open gifts haha)

Another told me she “loves the “glorious mess” created in the living room on Christmas day.¬†” she continues…. ”¬†I love the excitement we get waking up, eating breakfast and then opening gifts .”

( it should be noted, they anticipate my breakfast as much as gift opening)

I am going to remember and hold onto the “glorious mess” reference.¬† I think it’s one of those cool statements to keep for future use. ( I will attempt to remember this in the aftermath on Christmas day)

Christmas is also bittersweet……

I think of all markers of time, each Christmas shows me how we’ve all changed in a year. I look at my children, now adults, and in my mind see them years ago as they were on Christmas morning, children.¬†¬†Now I watch my grandkids with the same eager anticipation of the morning and know next year, they too will have changed.

Next year as well,  we will have a new family member with the addition of another granddaughter.

I look at all of their excited faces as they sit in their “spots” we all claim each year. This has had to adjust at times when someone new comes into the¬† Christmas morning.

I see my husband playing “Santa” handing out gifts as he’s done for …well… a whole lotta years now….and think how blessed I am to have him and share another Christmas with him… our 36th.

The dogs are awkwardly everywhere not sure of this loud chaos in their morning.

As I look around the room at my “tribe” my mind also goes to Christmases past, thinking of family no longer with me. Thinking of times when my parents would take certain places on the sofa, or how we’d tease about them falling asleep on each other in the afternoon when things had settled down.¬† They would come loaded with beautifully wrapped¬†gifts for everyone in huge bags.

My parents were children at heart during the Christmas season and loved doing for others.

They haven’t been gone that long that the ache in my heart isn’t still tender and deep with a carefully grown scab on the grief.

My mom has been gone 4 years and my dad not quite 2.

So my mind sees them and thinks of those days… I remember them in their places and with all their funny quirks that amused us.

I miss them and fiercely wish they were still a part of our family and Christmas celebration.

The beauty in bittersweet….

Although my mind may wander back to Christmases from the past and memories of those I loved, I focus on the beautiful blessings of those I have and the memories we are creating together.

Nothing makes me happier than one of the kids telling me something they enjoy or mentioning a tradition they look forward to.

I find myself doing the same thing I once used to tease my grandmother and mom about. Everyone would almost be done opening gifts and they would have a pile of gifts around them, lost in watching everyone else open theirs.

Last year my kids were like… Mom! open your gifts! As I too, had my pile around me,¬†watching the antics of my family.

So I will join in opening my gifts this year, watching, and adding to the “glorious mess” of the morning and another Christmas will go down in the books.

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Gorgeous right? An unexpected gift this week

But for now…..

For now, tonight, I will sit and admire the beauty of the tree with all the gaily wrapped packages under it.¬† I know in just a short time, the place under the tree will be empty again. a “glorious mess” left in it’s place, ¬†so I will appreciate the view for this season, for these last few hours.

I will drink my coffee in my fox cup, memories dancing through my head, with my mind thinking about things to still do, tasks still waiting on my list before Christmas day arrives.

I will give thanks I have so much that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree and it’s those gifts I value the most, those are quite priceless.

And Christmas will come and go, and long¬†after a¬†gift may be forgotten¬†there will be new memories, stories and traditions that will become a part of the tapestry of our family, and that my friends, is what makes Christmas “Christmas” for me.

I wish you all the merriest holiday season and a joyful New Year!

Now tell me… what makes Christmas “Christmas” for you?

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