Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas!

I hope that your Christmas Eve was full of exciting anticipation, and that your Christmas morning was filled with peace and joy.  I truly hope that as Christmas continues on, your days continue on to get merrier and brighter!  I didn’t get a chance to blog on Christmas, but I thought of my readers and of wanting wish you all a merry Christmas.  Thank goodness there are twelve days of Christmas.  They have saved me in more than one way!  And saving, so fitting–that really is what Christmas is all about.  Saving up the memories you make.  Saving up to buy gifts for others.  Honoring He Who came to Save us all.

I’d just like to take a moment to wish you a Merry Christmas!

“May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.”
– Ada V. Hendricks

 

~ Merry Christmas, 2017! ~

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December 2017

December 2017

 

“On cold December fragrant chaplets blow, / And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.”  — Alexander Pope

Hello, December!

I’m so glad it is December.

This is absolutely one of my very favorite months ever.  And the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas…well, this month is more than welcome around here!  As I said in my last post, I like writing to-do lists.  But I like writing realistic ones.  Or at least ones that give me a breather some months.  Last month, my to-do list was pretty soft.  But I knew I had a baby on the way and didn’t want to overcommit.  (<–Or let’s be real…I wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would have had guilt along with it!)  Anyway, I’m looking at another soft month ahead, and I’m totally excited about that!  Here we go, December 2017:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  I’m about halfway done with her gown.  I can’t wait for her special day!!
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Currently thinking:  rigatoni, crab pot pie, and sloppy joe’s…I still need one more.
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  It’s part of my grand plan for a cleaner house with less cleaning. ha!
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Sleigh Ride” is a real favorite of mine.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.  Because it’s Christmastime.
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  See above.
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I’m making a turban and a stocking for my baby!  Shhh…it’s a surprise!
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! Because stationary and photos are so much fun.  And I kind of need to.
  9. Wrap presents.  And there are a lot of them.  Good thing I love wrapping paper parties!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  I LOVE Christmas!

And that’s pretty much it!  So, not a lot of hardcore “t0-doing.”  But that’s because I know myself too well. haha  Because when it comes down to it, all I really want to be doing in December is spending time at home: cooking, knitting, crafting, drinking coffee (and shopping online).  So here’s to a restful December 2017!  What are your plans?

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Round-Up: December 2016

december 2016

“Remember this December, That love weighs more than gold!” – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Happy End-of-December!  This month is my favorite of round-ups, because it’s the round-up of all round-ups.  It almost feels like I need to do a yearly round-up, but that’s basically what I did in my blogiversary post a little while ago.   I guess it didn’t provide a round-up of my life, but it did explain a year-in-review of my blogging journey.  (hint: this has been quite the year of changes for my blog).  But getting back on track, here is my traditional monthly to-do list, which was only half-done!

  1. Make a few ornaments for our tree.  There were 2 “brand” new additions and some fixer-uppers!
  2. Make a Christmas wreath.  Kinda forgot, kinda love my fall wreath too much to take it down.
  3. Visit the local library with my baby.  We found a BABY version of Jabberwocky.  *dies*
  4. Start reading a new book.  Twilight.  Does it count as new?
  5. Begin reading a french blog.  La Revue de Kenza– http://larevuedekenza.fr
  6. Do an act of charity daily until Christmas.  Would like to maybe expand this next year!
  7. Try two new recipes. Mac n’ Cheese (amaze!) and salting pork (not a recipe, but a new technique!)
  8. Rework my Google Ads.  Saving this for January. (read: didn’t get around to it).
  9. Take my blogging course.  See above excuse.
  10. Complete my craft projects for Christmas. I sewed a Mass quiet-time book and cross-stitched a onesie.
  11. Do all my Christmas shopping/mailing!  For the first time ever, I didn’t even feel rushed!
  12. Celebrate Christmas with my family. Truly is the most wonderful time of the year! <3

This December 2016 was really a good one.  It is impossible to not enjoy the holidays–and we definitely enjoyed them!  Decorations were unboxed, stockings were hung, cookies were baked, cards were sent, Christmas music was played, so many pictures were taken, and memories were certainly made.  I even think I saw one single snowflake!  haha  The best part about it all was spending so much time together as a family.   I wrote a post about military Christmas traditions during time of separation, but I didn’t write one about our normal Christmas traditions.  Maybe that will make it on next year’s to-do list?  Leave a comment below about your Christmas traditions!  Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

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5 Christmas Traditions for Military Families Facing Separation

 

If you are a military spouse then you have probably spent your fair share of holidays apart from your spouse. Our first Thanksgiving married was celebrated via Skype, and to this day, we still have yet to spend a single Halloween together! The separation can be especially difficult if it occurs over Christmas. It’s hard being apart for any holiday. But at least none of the others have songs playing in every store about “being home” during them. You probably already have a set of Christmas traditions, but consider adding in a new one to mix things up during separation.

1. Decorate your tree with red, white, and blue ornaments and lights.

One of my friends does this when her husband deploys, and I think it’s such a good idea.  Decorating patriotically can serve as a constant reminder for “why” you are both enduring holiday separation. While the tree can primarily be covered in red, white, and blue, I think a yellow ribbon in place of the star wouldn’t be out of place!

2. Set up a mini-tree instead.

When we were apart during the holidays, it was too hard to try to set up our Christmas tree as if everything was normal. Because it wasn’t. At the same time, having a bare house when the entire town was fancied up was depressing.  A good balance for me was making my house feel Christmasy without setting up the way we usually did together, with all the special ornaments and the family tree.

3. Find someone who is having a rougher Christmas than you and help them out.

This is definitely not a case of misery-loves-company. It can cheer you up to help someone else, and remind yourself that you don’t have it all that bad.  Of course its lonely to be apart during Christmas. But you have the rest of your lives to spend together once he returns home! There are others though who are expecting to have a rough Christmas, whether that’s because they are homeless or terminally ill or abandoned, and they aren’t necessarily looking forward to better years in the future.  You have all the Christmases of the future to look forward to, but they might not.

4) Begin a new Christmas decoration tradition.

We all have our own way of decorating each year–whether that be a manager scene or a nutcracker collection. But consider changing or adding to your collection something new. Put yellow-ribboned wreaths on each window, or buy a soldier santa for your front lawn. There are many, many, many military-themed Christmas decorations.  Collecting nutcrackers was a good way for me to add a bunch of soldiers to my decor.  If all else fails, there is nothing more classic than a Christmas wreath for your front door that shows off your patriotism.

5) Save Christmas for when he returns.

As an Army brat, growing up we often didn’t celebrate holidays on the day they were supposed to be celebrated, if it meant leaving my dad out of it.  Consider opening a few handmade gifts with your children, or with family if you have any visiting.  But save the “real” Christmas present exchange between you and your spouse for when he is home! It’s just as fun as the real Christmas Day celebration, I promise.

At the end of the day, being alone for Christmas is hard.  And even though familiarity is comforting, don’t try to make the holiday be exactly like it was on the other years.  It’s going to be different, and so embrace it and make it so.  Even though it’s really hard being “left behind,” think about your loved one who doesn’t even get to be home for Christmas.  No matter what kind of separation you are enduring, try to make your soldier a part of the day.  Call, video chat, or even just write a long in-depth “Christmas edition” letter.   Any way you can feel connected during the time apart is a good thing.  And remember, next year, you won’t be spending it apart!

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December 2016

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“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.” – J. M. Barrie

This has always been, and will always be one of my very favorite months–just like the rest of the world!  I am so happy December is here.  It couldn’t have come soon enough, and now that it finally showed up on my doorstep (with some cold weather) my home is all aglow with December feels.  My to-do list for this month is pretty fun, which is good since “fun” and “to-do list” aren’t always synonymous.  But in December, everything is more fun.  Here it is:

  1. Make a few ornaments for our tree.  Until our daughter is old enough to fill the tree, it’s still my job! haha
  2. Make a Christmas wreath.  I can’t decide between traditional winter greenery or snow white fluff.
  3. Visit the local library with my baby.  There are some very fun programs running next week we should catch.
  4. Start reading a new book.  Possibly a result of the above library trip.  But I do have some ready to read too.
  5. Begin reading a french blog.  I’ll leave the link at the end of the month for whichever one I choose!
  6. Do an act of charity daily until Christmas.  Kind of my own version of 25 ways in 25 days.
  7. Try two new recipes.  Hopefully Mac n’ Cheese and pot pie, but we’ll see.
  8. Rework my Google Ads.  They still could use some adjusting here and there.
  9. Take my blogging course.  I enrolled in it last month, but now it’s time to actually TAKE it.
  10. Complete my craft projects for Christmas.  I’m knitting a baby sweater & sewing a Mass quiet-time book.
  11. Do all my Christmas shopping/mailing!  It’s going to be a lot this year.  But so much fun.
  12. Celebrate Christmas with my family.  This is what I’m most looking forward to, naturally! <3

Please pretend I didn’t make a twelve item to-do list in imitation of the twelve days of Christmas.  I have a weakness for matching things up.  It just made sense, to me, that is.

Have a very merry December and as always, thanks for stopping by!  Even though there will probably be some more Christmas-themed posts, I have some other ideas that will be making an appearance.  Until then, Merry Christmas!

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