I've been a little absent here. In an effort to schedule a bit better for the holidays, I've let some things go, including my blog.
Last Christmas, with the down-turned economy and a struggling family business, was a stressful one, for my husband in particular. He didn't feel like decorating or being in the holiday spirit. He was too worried about the finances and keeping a roof over our heads. This year, however, my kids jump-started a rather rare desire to deck the halls, so to speak.
While shopping, my husband and I received a phone call from our youngest asking when we'd be home. He and our daughter had put up the tree, he said, and were waiting for us to come home and decorate it together. Now, my kids are 11 and 13 and have assisted with putting up the tree. They've never took it upon themselves to drag it out of the basement and do the job solo. I wasn't sure if we'd come home to a crooked tree or something that looked like a giant Charlie Brown tree from not properly "fluffing" the branches. I must say, they did a beautiful job.
That action spurred more decorating. We have giant snowmen on our windows, homemade paper snowflakes, several nativity scenes, wreaths, baskets of potpourri, Christmas stockings and Santas all about. It is very nice after last year.
We were able to share our holiday spirit with my niece and nephew, ages 4 and 5 months. Ok, the nephew was a little oblivious, but I think my niece had fun. We've never had the pleasure of babysitting the kids, and I was hoping it would all go well. My niece is a little, um...afraid...of her uncle. It has taken her 4 years to warm up to him. However, she gladly accepted his help with building this gingerbread house with my son and daughter.
Didn't they do a fabulous job?
The house is decorated and my Christmas shopping is almost done. While things certainly aren't financially perfect, they don't look as dismal as last year. No, the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with finances. I hate the materialistic focus on the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But not having the added stress in our household this year, well, it makes a person smile just a bit wider...