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 – 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?

12 Days of Christmas – Friendship

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A part of Christmas for me always revolves around friends.  Whether it is co-workers, neighbors or friends for years from school there is always some get together.  A shopping trip together, a lunch to unwind from the shopping, a cookie exchange, even a company gathering.  There are cards to send out to reconnect with friends we have lost touch with in distance and schedules that are too busy.  I can’t count the number of times I run into someone I haven’t seen in ages while shopping.  Friends make life bearable.  I have always believed they are the “family” we choose.  Call a friend up and take some time to let them know you still care. This Christmas embrace the warmth of friendship, one of the greatest gifts of all.

12 Days of Christmas – Nature

I am undertaking a new challenge of sorts.  It is leading up to Christmas with the 12 days beforehand with some of the things that make Christmas what is so magical for me.  I will try to match a photograph with each as I go. I hope you enjoy some of these same things no matter what holiday customs you celebrate.

How can you go through Christmas without thinking of nature?  After all a lot of people decide to make a tree a focal point in their houses this time of year.  Wreaths and pine garlands add a fresh scent of pine to homes.  And every office I walk into has at least one poinsettia plant.  Who can say they have not tried to capture a little mistletoe kiss?

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So many people will do things like sledding, snowmen building and yes, even shoveling snow… I have spent my life in Iowa so I don’t really know what is the norm for a green Christmas in a warm climate.

I hope in this last week and a half or so until Christmas you take a minute to see the moon’s glow (we just had another super moon), watch for a shooting star, soak up the warmth that the sun offers and even admire natures beauty of snow or rain from the warmth and comfort of your home.  Admire that tree, not just the lights and ornaments.  Breathe in the scent of pine, even if it is only from an air freshener scent.  Nature is a part of my 12 days of Christmas… how about yours?