Warm and Cozy Day at Home...

Chuck roast with veggies and gravy in the oven, fire in the fire place, wooly slippers on, bread rising...today has been a full one with errands done early, and dinner in the oven to roast all day. I love days like this, when you putter about all day just doing things on a whim. Things that need to be done, things you do as you see them in passing, on your way from or to doing something else.

Yesterday was a nice and unexpected break. It was my Friday off from work, and schools were unexpectedly closed for the day. We did not leave the house all day! Waking up with a migraine wasn't in the plan, but a trip back to bed with a steamy wash cloth over my face, sleeping a bit more, and taking a nice warm shower upon waking did the trick. It's been a while since I had a bad one, and there was no warning before hand. All in all though, the day was a welcome retreat.

Bought our Christmas cards at 70 percent off while out this morning. I am excited to have them done by November 1st, so we can mail them out the day before Thanksgiving like we use to do. I would like to write a personal message to each family, but when we are last minute and rushing, like we were this year, that becomes a bit difficult. I'm planning on writing 7 each month up through October. I've never thought of it as a chore, and haven't missed a Christmas yet! Not in 31 years...since getting married in 1982. It is a tradition we don't want to stop, because that is a big part of what Christmas is about, staying in touch with the people we care most about, letting them know they matter, and they are thought of often. Even those we see and talk to on a regular basis are left with a good feeling after receiving a lovely card meant just for them. Many people have stopped sending Christmas cards, and there are many who haven't. Postage is high that's for sure, and it's about to go up again! I feel like it is a very small price to pay though. Keeping in touch is priceless.

Warm and cozy at home is where we are at right now. Away from the rest of the world, doing, planning, cooking, dreaming, and renewing our souls for another day, another week, another month, all leading into another year of living. Hoping your time at home or where ever you happen to be is warm and cozy. If not in temperature, then at least in your heart and soul.


Extending the Magic of Christmas...

Another Christmas gone by...well, that is if you don't take into account that today is actually the 11th day of Christmas! The 11th day of Christmas you say? Yes, the 12 days of Christmas are actually the 12 days following Christmas Day, ending on January 6th. Everyone just assumes that it is the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.

At our house the stockings are still hung, the Christmas lights still on, the tree is up and decorated (didn't get it decorated until the day before Christmas Eve, but that's another story in itself) lights shining bright, Christmas music fills the air, we are watching at least one or two Christmas movies an evening, and I am stretching the gingerbread cookies as far as they will possibly go. Which by the way, may take us into February, considering I am only decorating/icing them one and a half dozen at a time! And to think, I was so worried about having gingerbread cookies baked but not decorated in time for Christmas Day! I'm thinking this is our new tradition...get them all baked (all 185 of them), then make enough icing for all of them and put the icing on them in small batches, one or one and a half dozen at a time, once a week or so.

We absolutely love Christmas because of all these things...the things that are fun to do as a family. It's a celebration of love and friendship, of warmth and giving, of all things kind and joyful. Our hearts are more open during this time of year, so why wouldn't we want to extend all those wonderful feelings, and to keep celebrating the birth of Jesus. He after all is the reason for all of it, the one who we celebrate. So, in trying to extend Christmas we are reminding ourselves over and over of God's infinite love for us all. Trying to hold on tight to these moments of pure delight and joy reminds us to carry it through the year...carry it in our heart and soul for all who we come into contact with, even during our most harried days.

If you too are wishing for everyday to be like Christmas, then make it so...treat every ordinary day as though it is Christmas Day. Fill your heart with joy, your eyes with light, and the air with beautiful music...the sounds of laughter, singing, and praise for He who made the world possible.
Extend the magic of Christmas, and feel the blessings of each and every ordinary, but also extraordinary day you are given...choose to live with hope and joy, and the promise of God's undying love.