Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010 has come and gone. This is the first Christmas since I moved to college that I have been home for all of the preparations and did not have to travel at all. What an incredible blessing!

Our Christmas was low-key this year, but the season was full of family and love. I started the season feeling less than excited for Christmas for a few different reasons. The end of the semester is one of the busiest times for me, and for the first time in years, I worked until 5:00pm (really 5:30, but who's counting) on the 23rd. I love Christmas because of the message and the magic, but it really is different when there aren't children around. That's a lot of what had me down prior to the holiday. I'll just go ahead and say it - as much as I love and cherish my family and wouldn't trade them for the world - being single at Christmas just sucks.

So....I made sure my season was f~u~l~l! haha From Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas day seems like a whirlwind. I've decided it would be much easier if I didn't work. Food for thought. Or wishful thinking. Take your pick.

Some of the pre-Christmas activities around here:

  • Attending the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with special guest Michael W. Smith - it was awesome. That's the only word that can be used. I went with my mom, cousin, and my mom's friend. We had dinner before the performance, and our seats were in the choir loft behind the orchestra so we were able to see everything. Simply breathtaking and a perfect way to start the season.

  • Sadie's Christmas program at school. This was the first year I have been able to attend, and I was so impressed. The great thing about going to a church school is the Christmas program is actually about Jesus - not Santa. Afterwards, the school had a 'reception' for the kids with cake and punch. I felt so blessed to be a part.

  • At the reception after the performance - please note my mom's incredible ability to take candid pictures of me ;-)

  • Decorating the house with a little of my own flair. After decorating my own place for the past few years, it was fun to blend some of my personal style with my mom's while incorporating some of our traditions as well. I was pleased with the outcome, and already have a lot of ideas for next year!

  • Pampered Chef party at our house. My mom and I booked a Pampered Chef party back in early fall for the first weekend of December. I had never hosted a party like that before, and it was so much fun! We did a make-and-take candy party - four stations of candies (chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, pecan turtles, pink ice (peppermint chocolate), and Oreo balls. Yummo.

  • End of the semester pot-luck at work. Man, did we have a lot of food. I was blown away with the cooking skills of some of my co-workers, and we enjoyed a great time of fellowship and food away from the hustle and bustle of the telephones and people coming in.

  • ICE Exhibit then dinner at the Gaylord Texan with the family. It was cool (pun intended). This year's theme was Charlie Brown Christmas, and the whole concept was fascinating to me. The entire exhibit was made of ice and was housed in a tent kept at 9 degrees! Thankfully we had friends go the day before us and warned us that although they hand out parkas, you still need something for your head and hands. I am not a fan of the cold, so I appreciated the warning. We had a great afternoon as a family - exploring the exhibit, sliding down the ice slide, admiring the decorations in the hotel, then enjoying dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants.

    • Time with my Gran-Gran. My mom's mother - my only living grandparent - joined us for Christmas this year; we are truly blessed. She was here when I got home from work on the 23rd, and left on the 28th. We had a great time of fellowship, shopping, looking at Christmas lights, and playing games each evening. We spend Christmas eve at North Park mall looking at decorations and eating Chinese food, then went to church together.

    • Unexpected and fun visit with old friends. Ian called the week before Christmas to say that he was in town for a class, so I was able to spend an evening catching up with him and Jason - both college friends. It had been many years, and was like putting back a missing piece of a puzzle.

    • Annual pilgrimage to Neimans downtown to look at decorations. Mom and I try to go down there every year, and have yet to be disappointed. This year they partnered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the bigs and littles created the decorations. They also partnered with design students from the University of North Texas to design some of their trees. As I have no creative bone in my body, I was more than impressed with their creations.

      Through all of this, I was busy trying to make homemade gifts for some friends and family, as well as being incredibly busy at work. Right before we left we hired a new Learning Specialist who will start on Jan 3rd and have completed all the phone interviews for our new director. Things are progressing with the staffing of our center, and I am anxious to see the changes that take place in 2011.

      I'm sure there is more, but I can't think of it right now. I can say without a doubt that I have never felt more blessed. My brother and I decided months ago that we did not want to do gifts as a family because the experiences we have had with our parents this year are priceless. I would not trade the past eight months for any gift in the world. Instead of filling our Christmas morning with loads of presents, our day was spent eating omelets (a tradition in our house), playing games, then going to the Cousin's for dinner with my Aunt & Uncle, and my Cousin and her family and gifts with the kids.

      Opening & trying on the skirt and shirt I made her.

      Another example of my mom's candid photos of me - haha

      All and all, Christmas 2010 was wonderful. I love the constant reminder of the One who we celebrate. As cliche as it sounds, it is my prayer for myself and for each of you that you keep a little Christmas in your heart all year long.

    • No comments:

      Post a Comment