Day 99 – 100 Days of Happiness

Today was a day full of errands to run.  But within the never ending go go go I did find a moment of happiness at the craft store.  I went looking for a gift cylinder to “wrap” a craft beer bottle for Christmas and I stumbled on a sale on a couple of supplies I ran out of while making Christmas cards.  I left with 4 things for about $11 … about half price on all of the purchases.  I love to shop like that!

12 Days of Christmas – Love

The one overwhelming emotion of Christmas is love.  Love of family, friends and faith.  You give to those you love.  Celebrate surrounded by loved ones.  And it is the love of Jesus that is the center of the origins of Christmas.  How many times have you seen couples engaged on Christmas?  Often a baby’s first Christmas is a highlight of the year… and that is just the love the new parents have, because the child will not remember a bit of it!  There is love and appreciation for the beauty of the season, the decorations and the shiny wrapped gifts topped with bows.  There are favorite parts of the holiday that we love.  The part I love is the look of happiness when I have chosen the perfect gift for someone… I love giving. What do you love about Christmas?

Day 98 – 100 Days of Happiness

In my last few days of writing for this challenge I feel I need to thank those of you who have kept up with all 100 of my entries, well 98.  I have struggled some days to find happiness but there has always been a small point in the day that has made me happy.

Like yesterday I have been writing more letters to go with my Christmas cards.  But I also did a little picking up of things to clear off the table where I usually wrap Christmas gifts.  It really feels good to be where I am at with my shopping and festivities for Christmas.  This is the first year in a long time I feel I will get all my cards to everyone before Christmas is actually here.  I recall many years writing addresses at 10 or 11 o’clock on Christmas Eve racing to the post office to get it into the mailbox “before” Christmas at midnight.

I think my happiness today is being on schedule with Christmas and all the trimmings.  I always seem to run out of time for something… this year I really feel it is all going to work out.  And that makes me happy!

12 Days of Christmas – Family

Family is a big part of Christmas for me.  I can remember back to when I was a child and we would drive the three-hour trip to my grandparents place to spend the holiday with them.  Later we would postpone the Christmas trip and go over afterwards but still there was always aunts and uncles, cousins and everyone around.  I remember eating in the basement with a huge table that we could use to fit all of us around… it had to be close to 20 people gathered.

Then as we got older it was the immediate family Christmas on Christmas morning and the later trip to Gma and Gpa’s.  Marriage, children and divorce all changed how and when we celebrated.  But no matter when it happened it was always with family around us.

This year I will go to my boyfriends family to celebrate early Christmas and then come back home for an immediate family celebration.  And the following week with my side of the family.  It does not matter where or when you celebrate, as long as you are celebrating with family it makes the holiday even better.

Day 97 – 100 Days of Happiness

I had dinner tonight with two dear friends.  One was a big help to me when I was going through my cancer treatments and the other has been a friend for years from work as well.  It had been far too long since we had gotten together to talk so dinner stretched out more than 3 hours!  We had to catch up on how our families were doing… and let’s just say it has been a bad year.  We decided tonight that 2017 has to be better… murder (of a family pet), suicide attempts, health crisis, alcoholism, etc.  We decided we should write a soap opera based on our lives as things have been so rough it is hard to believe.

But we got out laughter and tears.  Leaned on each other a little and exchanged wishes for a great Christmas and a MUCH better New Year.  We promised to get together more often and stay in touch.  It was a wonderful night with good food and great friends.  …now bring on that better New Year!

12 Days of Christmas – Children

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picture from the net

This one is from memories and as an observer both.  As a kid I remember my parents capturing my attention with a beautiful Christmas tree, all the pretty cards we would get and display and of course there was the magic of Santa.  Mom always said if you don’t believe you don’t get any presents… I believed with my whole heart!

As I grew up and saw for the first time my cousins wide-eyed expressions at the tree, Gma’s village and the gifts… it really made me appreciate the total wonder kids can have this time of year.  Those decorations are some of the shiniest, prettiest things they have seen in their short lives.

There is nothing quite like watching a kid open gifts.  They for one are very honest and you know if they like it or not instantly.  But the moment they open something they like it is like a new world for them.  A child really into the whole Christmas experience makes the whole day worth while.

Next week I will see a great-nephew open gifts.  He is now three and should be at a great age to watch.  The two nieces are too young for much wonder yet, but next year should be great with all three of them aware of the awe of Christmas.  Do you have young children in your family you are excited to see experience Christmas?

Day 96 – 100 Days of Happiness

Down to the last few days of my challenge… I think I will make it.  There were a few days that were a little tougher to come up with a happiness than others, but I did it.  Now I realized one of the best parts of the year will miss out on my happiness blog.  I will finish just a few days before Christmas, but there are many joys of Christmas before hand in the planning that bring me happiness.

Today I got to write 3 letters to family and friends to put in with their Christmas cards.  I love letter writing.  It can be such a personal little piece of yourself you share with others… of course it can be however you chose to write it really.  But me, I tend to share a lot.I can “talk” better to people in print than face to face.  I am sure my social anxiety is what causes that.

So my Christmas letters usually sum up the year, but I have never liked the form letter route so I write an outline of sorts before I start writing the letter so I don’t forget to share some piece of news from the year.  This year I have just been winging it though and so far so good.  But bottom line a letter does send a piece of you to the receiver.  And I don’t know about you but I would rather get a letter over a bill in the mail any day!

12 Days of Christmas – Spirituality

This is a post I am kind of afraid to write, but know I have to include it as a part of what Christmas means to me.  First of all I chose spirituality instead of religious as I have never felt I was a religious person, but I am spiritual.  And I take my spirituality as something very private and personal, so that is why I am afraid to bare my soul.

The saying Jesus is the reason for the season comes to mind every year… and I do believe in God and Jesus’ birth (although I have heard more than one person say there is no evidence that it happened on December 25th).  I don’t really care when it happened… I care that we take this time of year to acknowledge His birth.  I put a star on my Christmas tree to represent the star that lit the way for the wise men.  I buy presents for those I love like the wise men brought presents to the baby Jesus.

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I also believe there is a certain spirituality in the story of Santa… children have to believe in order to get presents on Christmas Eve.  You have to take a little faith in miracle like behavior (visiting all children in one night all over the world, flying reindeer, knowing what the children want) to keep the magic of Santa alive for the children.

There is not a year that has gone by as a parent that I haven’t felt a great deal of awe at the magic of Christmas.  There is just a feeling I get… you know one of those warm and fuzzy moments you can’t really explain… when it is late at night, the house is quiet and all the gifts under the tree sit in the glow of the tree’s lights.  A feeling I get when I see a child, my own or others, open a gift and express pure joy.  A feeling when friends and family are all gathered together however briefly it may be when there is love all around the room… THAT is the feeling.  That is the feeling of spirituality at Christmas.  A greater presence in the room.  A love showering down on us all.

I believe in the spirituality of the holiday… of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and any other celebration that brings together love and faith.  This is a magical time of year.  And I wish you all love, light and peace this Christmas season.

Day 95 – 100 Days of Happiness

Today did not go at all the way I had planned but it worked out great still.  I set out to make my Christmas cards today and had my planned wording and image saved, but when I went to cut it out, my Cricut machine did not want to work.  I fought design features and changing what I wanted to print for about an hour before I finally decided it just was not meant to be this year.  So I dug up my inking supplies and stamped a very basic card about 25 times then pulled out some cards in reserve to finish off my card list and in one afternoon I had addressed and made all my Christmas cards.  Now I have ten letters to write to go with them… I should have these done and MAYBE arriving on time this year.  A pretty good day in spite of the change of plans! 🙂

12 Days of Christmas – Cards

I still remember as a kid growing up how we would have Christmas cards taped to the wall every December for display and decoration.  There would be ones that I would love to look at all the time.  I would study who they were from and try to remember just from looking at the outside of the card who had sent them.

As I grew up and was engaged and then married I began my own traditions with Christmas cards.  I began to do paper crafts and would make my own cards to begin with, until we had a beautiful daughter who would change the meaning of the family Christmas card.  When she was old enough we let her (well honestly some years it was more HAD her under protest) draw the artwork for the cards.  My husband would get the image printed onto cards and I would then stamp the greeting inside… a real family card.

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Once my daughter grew up and didn’t want to do the cards any more I went back to creating my own again.  I did this every year except when I was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer and just did not have the energy to do it.

This year I will once again pull out my list of about 50 cards to send out.  I have the parts and pieces gathered and I need to assemble them now and get them in the mail.  I must admit I have never been very punctual with arrival times but I figure if I get them in the mail before midnight on the 24th they are technically  on their way before Christmas.

Some years I have added letters or short notes to a majority of cards, but this year I know I am short on time and energy to get that job done.  I will be happy and proud of myself for still at least carrying on the tradition of the Christmas card.  It is a great way to keep in touch with those you don’t get to see very often.  Do you send or receive many cards?