I truly believe the song line that says "It's the most wonderful time of the year..". I love the season of Christmas. I begin celebrating before Thanksgiving but I keep it a secret because my husband doesn't want to hear a peep about Christmas till after Thanksgiving!
This year I told the children that between the fact that I wasn't even sure where our Christmas decorations were and that we were going to be gone part of the Christmas season we were only going to get out the tree and decorate it and nothing else.
Well, Gary and the kids brought down the boxes from the attic and as we went through them it was, "Oh, we've got got get out the nativity set, Mom." and "Aren't you going to put the snow village out." and "You know every year you decorate the cabinet." and "Whose going to kill any mice we might get during Christmas if the nutcrackers aren't out?" Being the very-sentimental woman that I am the next thing you know I had everything out except one box of snowmen I couldn't find! So much for not getting anything out but the Christmas tree items. I have to admit when I sit at night and look at it all I'm very glad I didn't listen to myself!
And what is my personal favorite? Well, I love the nutcrackers. Asher loved them when he was little and one at a time they showed up as gifts for him from his grandparents. The only one that doesn't belong to him is the mouse king. He showed up on the last day of the pocket calendar as a grand finale a couple years ago.
We love the story of the nutcracker and our cartoon version is just about my favorite Christmas movie. Every year if we get a mouse in the house during the Christmas season it shows up dead at the feet of our nutcrackers--but the nutcrackers are not my favorite Christmas decoration.
I love the pocket calendar. It began when the older children were little. I made a homely little pocket calendar with 25 pockets and each day a little surprise or promise note showed up in the pocket. It was put there by Ralph our resident Christmas elf. He has been known to fix toys, hide treats and generally be a true fun friend to have in the house for the month of December. Alicia was certain when she was little that she saw him moving through the branches of our Christmas tree. I really think she still is a firm believer in Ralph! :) But the pocket calendar isn't my favorite Christmas decoration!
I also love my Hoosier cabinet decorations. It started with just a few and grew till the whole cabinet top was filled with Christmas each year. One year I thought it was a little too much and decided I wasn't going to do the cabinet any more. Alicia was already married but let me know that it wouldn't be Christmas without the cabinet being decorated-so it still is. However, the cabinet is not my personal favorite.
It begins with Nazareth which is in my living room right now behind my chair. During the move the floor disappeared so this year their home is extremely shabby, but they don't care. One day a Roman soldier shows up to their little home and leaves a notice from Caesar on their door--they must go to be taxed. So they put a bedroll on their donkey and begin the long trek across the living room to Bethlehem. (Which is in the kitchen this year.)
I love it when they all end up gathered around the newborn Jesus and the star is shining above it all. How perfect. The wise men even show up to worship even though I am fully aware their timing is off when compared to the Bible. But we can't keep the nativity set out long enough to let them do it accurately!
And just to think--this is just the beginning of this wonderful season! I am looking forward to the many things we still have to do. We're taking my mother-in-law to see the lights in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg and visit Hammers Dept. Store, we're going to be making a trip as a family to see my Idaho grandbabies and our newest little granddaughter, I still have lots of ideas floating around in my head that I hope I have time to carry out, cookies and candies to make, wonderful once-a-year food to cook and Christmas books to read and movies to view.
Above all, it's a time to thank the Lord for coming to earth in human form that He might save us from our sins! Thank You, thank You, thank You!
I pray that you're having a wonderful holiday season and savoring every sight, smell, future memory, and every moment with your loved ones. May God bless each one of you and grant you a Christ-filled, joyous holiday season.