The Christmas Hustle is not what is important

Ahhh, the Christmas hustle. The shopping, wrapping, planning, spending, baking and cooking. All these activities can be fun, if you don’t shove them into a few days. If you spread out all this joy, perhaps you can enjoy Christmas even more.

Most of us, though, myself included, try to jam the Christmas hustle into one week. We look up and Christmas is at our front door and we still have so much to get done.

Christmas hustle

When I reminisce about Christmas past, when our children were young, I don’t really remember all the Christmas hustle. I remember the joy, the fun, the love. I remember many Christmas Eves filled with wonderment, excited children and Christmas movies in the background. I remember how excited I would be to see the excitement in their faces. Their sweet little faces.

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Christmas traditions to start for your family

Christmas traditions, in families, have been the handed down generation to generation, or they can start today. Traditions must start somewhere, at some time.

Now is a good time to start your own traditions or to begin a new one for your family. Christmas traditions are a fun way for families to engage in Christmas festivities, making memories, year after year.

Christmas traditions

Continuing family Christmas traditions, even as twenty-somethings, is both necessary and meaningful. My husband and I began our own traditions when we married 30 years ago and started our own little family. These traditions are still very important to me, and my entire family; we continue them today. Even though my youngest is almost 24 years old.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. -Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Decking the halls with Christmas trees. Many Christmas trees!

Christmas trees are the main element in my Christmas décor when I deck the halls at my house.

There is a quote I like a great deal; it sums up the way I started decorating for Christmas. “The Perfect Christmas Tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!” Charles N. Barnard brilliantly exclaimed.

Last year, I wanted a change in the way I decked my halls. I had used a lot of the same décor for years. Being empty nesters, and not having grandchildren yet, (YET!?), I was ready for a change. A grown-up change. I turned to Pinterest (duh?) and I found the change I was looking for in one picture.

It was a simple tree, in a simple wooden crate.

Christmas trees
Simple tree in simple crates

It was an ‘ah-ha’ moment! I have crates and baskets and tins, galore! I already use them year-round; all I had to do is buy more stick trees and that would be my new motif!

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Through simple kindness, you can change the world, one smile at a time.

Kindness is something we have all been taught at a young age. All mothers want  kind children. My mother taught me, and I taught my children. I think they listened.

Thumper learned kindness, as well. Thumper said in Bambi, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, [long pause], don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Kindness. It starts at home.

our three kids in a kind moment

Based on Matthew 7:12, the common English phrasing is one we should all adhere to everyday. My mother would always tell me, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I think I listened.

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Being thanksgiving-full on Thanksgiving Day

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day, the heart will find the pathway home.” Wilber D. Nesbit, I hope you are always right. I always want to be full of family on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day to me means being full.

I have a saying that I (unfortunately) say throughout the year when I happen to over-indulge. “Thanksgiving-full”. This is the feeling of being too full of food. Stuffed. Like the turkey. (although we don’t actually stuff our turkeys)

Every Thanksgiving Day, I eat all the sides (I mean carbs), I eat all the desserts and just a little turkey and ham. I am full. Stretchy-pants-Thanksgiving-full.

Thanksgiving-full can also be a positive thing when you are full of all the other things Thanksgiving Day should offer.

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Being a first-time mother, I was filled with joy.

When a first-time mother first learns, she is pregnant, she is filled with such joy. Love, joy, excitement. There are no words to describe.

Danielle Davis has been loved since March 18, 1988, the day I learned I was pregnant. That’s when I knew God made me to be a mother.

first-time mother
Danni and I at 20 months old

I had never wanted kids before I met Mark. I had never been a baby-lover. I never ohh’d and ahh’d over babies, especially kids. I had never been a baby-sitter. Didn’t care for them really. They just didn’t interest me at all.

Not until I met Mark, we feel in love, got married and then, I couldn’t wait to get pregnant.

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Pain insists upon being attended to. Psoriatic Arthritis pain is no exception.

Pain. It can bring you to your knees. It can take your breath away. You can overcome pain. Sometimes in life there is no other choice. Psoriatic Arthritis pain leaves you no choice.

I was just diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.

arthritic hand

I had pain before the diagnosis and I will have pain well after. Now, I must learn to deal with it and fight through it. I can’t give in to it. I can’t let it win and let it tell me when I can enjoy life.

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He has led me to write (thirty-one day challenge)

And so it ends, on this All Hollow’s Eve, the write thirty-one day challenge, or as I deemed it-thirty-wonderful days of writing.

thirty-one day challenge
my desk where I normally write

But was the write thirty-one day challenge wonderful?  Not the entire time.  Yes, I got a lot of practice in writing my blog and had to stretch myself and dig deep.  But did I dig too deepStretch myself too far?

Writing thirty-one blog posts in thirty-one days was hard and I actually failed the challenge.

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I think I have been taking pictures all my life.

Taking pictures and making memories.

Two years ago, tomorrow, Danni and I left on an adventure across the globe, all by ourselves, to go see Cameron.  It is still one of my favorite trips and I think of the fun time the three of us experienced together often.

taking pictures
London calling!

Cameron was attending Texas Tech University and was doing a study abroad.  She left in early September, all by herself without knowing a soul, flew to London, where she joined other college students to study.

taking pictures
On the London Eye

She attended Kingston University, southwest London, about a thirty minute train ride outside of London. The university was founded in 1899.  She stayed in a dorm with three other dormmates–boys and girls.  A few of them did not speak English. She luckily had a bedroom and bathroom all her own.

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laugh in flowers

When we were in San Francisco, there was a lovely man who owned a little sidewalk flower shop in the neighborhood of North Beach. (right down the street from the gelato shop!) We stopped and bought flowers from him and I am so glad we did.

laugh in flowers
Mark buying flowers in San Francisco

He was an Italian and had a lovely accent and was so happy when Mark told him to keep the change.  He hugged Mark and gave Danni and I a long stem rose each.  It was a nice moment that I won’t forget.

I wish Waco had a place like this downtown.

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