December is HERE!!!

I have ALWAYS loved the month of December.  Well, it starts with Thanksgiving, but just rolls right on through December and continues into the New Year.  FAN-TAS-TIC!!!

I don’t want to take it for granted that people will know I love December because it IS the time to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Our family celebration tradition was very simple:  Christmas morning began for us when my dad would read Luke 2 (which always made me cry) and we’d sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.  It always made me stop and think about what Christmas symbolizes and all the “fluff” of holiday shopping and everything that tries to distract us from the REAL meaning of Christmas would fall away…  I always thought of Mary and wish I could have seen the REAL nativity even for just a moment.


I’ll be honest, it also has a little something to do with my birthday.  I’ve only had one birthday that I dreaded (my 25th), and the rest I celebrated with excitement, enjoyment, and for the most part, bliss.  Growing up, my mom always cooked my favorite meal for my birthday (usually pizza, but sometimes BBQ ribs – mmmm) and my favorite cake (even despite the barbie doll cake) was Texas Sheet Cake.  Oh – the fudgy frosting was always TO. DIE. FOR.  Even as an adult, I enjoyed celebrating my birthday with friends and even enjoyed the occasional birthday serenade at my favorite restaurants…

Anyway – as I’ve gotten married and become a mom – December has only gotten better.  Roy’s birthday is the 4th of December (and he gets older before me!), and our anniversary is the 7th (certainly A Day That Will Live In Infamy…) followed by my birthday on the 10th.  This year, we turn 39 and celebrate our 5th anniversary. Some of our best friends celebrate birthdays and anniversaries this month along with us, and my sister in law, Lyn, celebrates her birthday on the 31st.  December is a GREAT month full of reminders of the blessings in our lives!

Despite my best efforts and my usual anticipation of our week-long celebration, however, I’m feeling the pinch of 40 creeping up on me a year early.  How in the world did I get so close to 40?  How did 40 get here so fast???  I can’t be that close – there’s just simply no way I’ve lived that long.  Sigh.

Anyway.  God’s given me 2 little girls who keep me young.  And exhausted.  But that’s another story.

The holiday season – for me – begins with Thanksgiving.  My favorite holiday.  And now I have so many more reasons to celebrate in December.

gooseberry-patch-logo1One thing that ALWAYS gets me excited about Christmas is reviewing my collection of Gooseberry Patch books.  One of my FAVORITE parts of getting ready for Christmas.  I’ve been reviewing my collection of books for gift ideas and recipes to try this holiday season – and I’m getting very excited about it!  I’ll post some favorite recipes throughout the month!

1208_ff_december_magazine_coverI received my Family Fun magazine (December/January) last Friday and found some REALLY cool kid-craft ideas!  Glittery Window Clings – made with dimensional fabric paint – is not only simple, but inexpensive and really pretty. Curly & I hope to make some next week!  I also liked the idea of Sparkling Ice Crystals – they remind me of a time when I decorated my office at work by hanging sparkly curling ribbons and glittery snowflakes from my ceiling. =)  You’ll find a ton of easy, kid-friendly Christmas decorations, great cookie recipes and more by clicking here.

(While not specific to the holidays, I also found this at Family Fun, too.  My mom used to decorate our brown paper lunch bags with cute tracings, love notes, and messages – this kinda reminds me of those!  Only this is designed as a “survey” for your kids to let you know how their day at school went!)

mini-christmas-treasury-smallIf you’re shopping online this month, don’t forget about Usborne Books – I especially love the Mini Christmas Treasury!  Not only is it beautiful and bright, it begins with The Christmas Story, and is followed by other familiar Christmas stories and carols.  If you’re looking for Christmas themed books, you can start here.

I will post every weekday this month.  Tomorrow I will begin an interview series with my mom, Queen Martha, that will continue on Tuesdays through December.  I’ve often referred to her as “Martha” with great affection – both as Martha from the Bible, and Martha Stewart (who could probably learn a lot from MY mom!!!)  Please stop by – comment, ask questions, and enjoy this holiday season!!!

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