Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Memories

This time of year makes me so nostalgic! Lights on the houses, the smell of pine and peppermint, Christmas specials on TV, holiday tunes on the radio... all flood me with thoughts of my childhood. Warm, cozy, joyful, carefree memories. I feel so blessed to have grown up in a 2 parent household, for most of my childhood, with 2 loving parents who truly made the holidays special. So special that 28 years later the memories are so vivid and sweet I love to recount them. Hence, this post.

One of my favorite traditions was getting our Christmas tree, eating lunch at Burger King, and heading home to decorate it. Even the year my dad cut his hand pretty bad with "Old Hickory," a knife (of all things) he was using to cut some of the bottom of the tree off with. Yikes! I bet he still has a scar. Haha! Sorry, dad ;)

Sleeping with my sister every Christmas Eve with the radio on and hearing our favorite song, Transiberian Orchestra's "Christmas Canon." My sister now cries whenever she hears this song.

Watching all of our favorite shows, from the below list, that my mom had recorded off  TV (if you haven't seen any of the below, check them out now):

For Better or For Worse: The Bestest Present
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
Nestor The Long Eared Donkey
The Wish That Changed Christmas
The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas
Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Charlie Brown Christmas
Frosty The Snowman
Garfield's Christmas Special
The Year Without A Santa Clause

My mom baking Rich Almond Snow Drops, Honey Cookies, Toffee, and Peanut Butter Cups while my sister and I played around the house; not even realizing the smells and sounds coming from the kitchen would someday be the smells and sounds that would take us back to more carefree, innocent  times. Ahhh... how sweet.

Opening one present on Christmas eve (which was always Christmas pajamas). Still do this one :)

My grandma's elaborate Christmas decor that she still puts up to this day! Shelves with different Christmas scenes, a smoking cabin, a walking talking Santa with a bell, a Santa with a list of each and every family member's name on it, musical mistletoe, and so much more!!!

Playing with the tinsel and decor while my mom decorated the house and doing more damage than help. But she never got mad :)

Nothing compares to those times. I suppose as we grow-up, we rekindle this joy when we have our own children. Experiencing the sites, smells, and sounds of the holidays through a child is the best way to to relive those days. I see it when I'm with my niece and nephews and one day will with my own children, too. For any child or adult out there not knowing what I grew up knowing, my prayers go out to you. That you feel the peace and joy of the season in not an earthly way, but in a way only our heavenly father can give you; a peace that surpasses all understanding, a deep down joy, and a love more great than you've ever known! Merry Christmas and JOY to the world!

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? I would LOVE to hear them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's A Girl!

I have been wanting to sponsor a child through Compassion International for quite sometime now. I looked at various programs and Compassion is known to take very little administrative costs and my church works with Compassion, as well. The next step was going through hundreds of adorable babies all needing a sponsor. How the heck could I choose?! Well, I finally had Compassion choose for me! I picked the gender, location, and age and left the rest to God. I decided to pick a young age because I thought it would be fun to watch my sponsor child grow. I am very excited! I already wrote her a letter before I even got the information package in the mail. Can't wait to hear from her! Friends and family meet, Chistie:

Age: 4
Location: Togo