Friday, December 24

12 days of SIMPLE holiday gift giving • day 12

Day 12.

Can you believe it's the last day of our "12 Days of SIMPLE Holiday Gift Giving"?
If you are like me,
you still have shopping to finish...
neighbor treats to deliver...
and presents to wrap.

I could easily get bitten by that Scrooge Virus I mentioned a couple of days ago.
But I'm warding it off by being true to my daily dose of holiday music...

I'm looking forward to reading our Christmas Story tonight with the girls...
having them open their Christmas pajamas (our annual Christmas Eve tradition)...
and wrapping things up. (literally and figuratively).

We've accomplished a lot over the last 12 days.
I think it's time to wind things down and
prepare ourselves for a little bit of...

Day TWELVE
holidayreflection

One of my most favorite things to do during the holidays is to sit alone near the Christmas tree...
snuggled up on the couch with a warm blanket...
Everyone else asleep...
everything quiet...
and lights off...
except for the ones on the tree.
I'll occasionally put on some Christmas music - depending on my energy level...
And I'll just sit.
There's something that's so peaceful about looking at the tree and all of the pretty white lights...
Just sitting there contemplating...

I haven't had that opportunity yet this year.
But I will be doing that tonight.
And my thoughts will more than likely start and end with reflection.

Reflection of my childhood Christmases...
the magic...
the traditions I love and remember...
the silver tinsel my grandparents used on their tree...
the annual Estee Lauder makeup kits my grandmother always picked out for her daughters...
the mini bottles of liquor my grandfather would have me wrap up for the mailman and others...
the year I got a puppy for Christmas...
the one Christmas Eve night my mom awakened me to point out Santa's sleigh in the sky...
(I still remember not really seeing what she was pointing to but believing he was there)...
my grandmother's cream cheese cookies and her cookie press...

(we use it every year at our annual family cookie baking night)
grandma's cookie press

Reflection of the Christmases over the past 14 years as a mom...
the traditions we've started as a family...
the gifts for my kids that seem to get more and more expensive each year because they are growing up...and because we live in a world of ever-changing computer technology...
the homemade ornaments that are now a "completed collection" because the girls no longer bring them home from school.
the "Christmas" pre-school plays that have now evolved into "Winter" band concerts...
the annual tradition of taking the girls to see the NutCracker ballet that I haven't done in almost 4 years. (so much for tradition...*wink*)
and of course...hoping the girls will experience true excitement opening their gifts...
and most especially that they'll be sincerely grateful.

Reflection about my grandparents...
How very much I miss them...
the wonderful Christmas memories they provided that were rich in tradition.
how much I wish I could share another Christmas with both of them.
the many things I would say...
the things I would thank them for...
the questions I would ask if I had the opportunity.
the hugs and kisses I would shower them both with.

Reflection about this closing holiday season...
things that helped make it all the more meaningful:

our movie night together...
the cups of hot chocolate and marshmallows I made for the girls...
the tree falling over...
our "self-timer" holiday cards...(I'll share those tomorrow)

the annual cookie baking night with my girls, my mom, my aunt and two cousins...
cookiebakingnightcollage

our trip to "Santa's Tree Forest" where the girls picked out the most PERFECT tree EVER!!
christmastreefarmcollage2010

watching my older girls put real thought into gifts for other people this year - without my encouragement.

personalized homemade "letter" cookies made 100% by my 11 year old, Ema.
emacookies9412

gifts created and wrapped 100% by my 14 year old Clara -
claragifts9427
all of the baking...
snowflakecookies9404

and so much more.
how grateful I am for being SO blessed...
with so much.
my heart really is full.
and my holidays couldn't be more "happy".

I've enjoyed these 12 days of SIMPLE holiday gift giving...
they've done more for me and my family than I ever expected.
I hope you found it to be the same for you!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone...
Take some time for reflection...
even if it's just to count your blessings.

SIMPLE HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING IDEA
Take a minute at some point today and share one of your favorite holiday memories with your kids.
And then ask them what their favorite holiday memory is.
The gift of sitting with them, listening and sharing is by far the best gift you could possibly give them.

Need a recap?


KEEPING IT REAL
I was completely caught off guard by the rush of emotion I experienced while typing this post; the tears wouldn't stop.
I really am so grateful.

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!
I love you!

4 comments:

Lisa of In Pencil December 24, 2010 at 9:17 AM  

Merry Chirstmas to you and your family, & thank you for your blogging, which inspired and entertained me all year.

Celebrating Moments by Marcie December 24, 2010 at 8:56 PM  

ohhhh... we are so alike! I have been an emotional mess all night!
writing messages to friends... def have a heart FULL of gratitude!
just wanted to say thank you for these posts and also share my husband and I ran around the neighborhood tonight "elfing" people. We knocked and ran and hide behind cars. It was a BLAST!
Going thru a really tough time but this and other things focusing on others has so kept my eyes off myself & the hurt and has filled my spirit with such JOY!
Many Christmas Blessings to you and your family! <3

Renee December 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

Jess, this is such a beautiful reflection of all that is special to you! I am so glad that your holiday season has been so joyful! I hope, too, that you are having a most wonderful Christmas day!!

'Sending lots of love to you and your family and a special Happy Birthday wish for your Mom!

Hugs,

Renee
P.S. I am certainly looking forward to catching up on some of the days I missed here for the 12 days of Simple Holiday Giving. xox

Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm December 26, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

What a sweet post!! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!! hugs!! Britt :-)

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