Friday, November 26, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the gift of time with your family and friends yesterday.   Every year we make the journey to my in-laws' home.  We're lucky -- they live about 10 miles from us.  They treat all of us to a traditional meal 
made with lots of love.  

And boy, did I enjoy this year more than last.  And I'm not talking about the meal.
Last Thanksgiving, I was recovering from surgery and was having a hard time just standing up.  My family surprised me by coming over the day after Thanksgiving and decorating our house for Christmas.  Half of them did the inside, the other half did the outside.  They were like little elves sent from heaven.  I know there aren’t elves in heaven, but work with me here.
Given that I could hardly lift a stocking, I can remember crying while my Mom was placing our stockings on the mantle.   And, if I recall, I had just bought my first wig that week and hated it once I tried it on again at home.  I looked like a very bad country western singer from the 70s.  But really, the tears were more from being so very touched by their kindness.  But it was a very bad wig.
So this year, I broke out Christmas even before Thanksgiving arrived.  I cranked up the Christmas music on KOST-FM.  They start playing it a week before Thanksgiving, you know.  Some of you may hate that, but I adore it.   Nothing touches my soul like Christmas music.  Oh Holy Night is my favorite.  Doesn’t matter who sings it.  My heart melts every time I hear it.
So I thought I would photograph some of my decorations and share them with you.  I mixed things up a bit this year and had to photograph it anyway.  If you don’t know this tip yet, you might want to use it.  Photograph each part of your home that you decorate and put the photos in a box labeled “dining room”, for instance.  That way, next year, you follow the photos and are done in record time.  Another hint:  I also take a photo of my house before I break out the decorations, so I can put it all back together again in record time.  Do I have OCD?  I think I may.
So, these are just a few of my favorite things... 

Christmas greets us at the front door.

An old platter with "snow", reproduction mercury glass ornaments and a sweet wreath that came atop a gift last year.  

I love to add touches of greenery and berries to most every corner of our house.  I love this frame my girlfriend gave me.  It reads, "A Family Built on Faith."

I added this little peace ornament to our tree to remind me 
of God's peace I felt this year.

And my most favorite addition this year.  An old Pepsi crate filled with a nativity scene and a card that reads, "For Unto Us, a Child is Born."  

I realize that Christmas isn't about the decorations.  
And it's not about the gifts.  
It's about the gift.  
Jesus' birth.  

As you decorate your home this year, remember to celebrate His birth.  Maybe knock a Santa out of his usual position on a side table and place a nativity scene there instead.  

I have another nativity scene that I didn't photograph.  But it's gorgeous.  I bought it this year at Costco for $79.  The best $79 I ever spent.  I placed it on a wooden sideboard that's in our family room.  I added a few glass candle votives and light them at night after turning off all the lights except for those on the Christmas tree.   

I try and imagine what is what like when Jesus was born.  To be there beside Joseph and Mary.  To watch Him sleep.  To see the North star shining above Him.

And then I recall the words from Oh Holy Night:

"Oh holy night.  The stars are brightly shining.  
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth."

May you and your family celebrate the night of our dear Savior's birth. 
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


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