Friday, December 16, 2011

So this is Christmas…

I remember as a kid hating to count down to Christmas. Because I was always looking forward to it, but somehow after all the gifts were unwrapped and scattered across the floor, that’s when I remembered that half my Christmas break was – gasp – over. As much as I loved Christmas and the anticipation of it, I knew that the time for me to return to school seemed much closer at noon on Dec. 25 than it seemed at noon Dec. 24. 
This year, Christmas is different – for many reasons, good and bad. Bad, obviously, because this is the first year without Betty. The second week without Betty. My parents and I are actually exchanging gifts tonight because a) my dad will be home and b) I mean…why not? 
Additionally, Kyle and I have (mainly) exchanged gifts. He has one more than I had shipped to Misti’s house to open, and he actually has to have mine installed (auxiliary cord in my car, what what!). But it’s just different this year. 
But it is Christmas, despite this stupid 70-degree weather we had yesterday. If I’m running in shorts and a T-shirt in December, it’s just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’ve been wearing sweaters despite the weather. It’s December, dangit, and I want to wear sweaters.
One really sweet moment in this month, however, is Christmas at my house. Our new house. Kyle and some friends put up lights outside (for the first time EVER), we bought an eight-foot live tree, and I strung Christmas lights all around. I made some new crafts for the holiday, and we bought a few new decorations to add in our house.

My holly jolly Christmas wreath I made. I must say, I'm quite proud of it! =)
Our Christmas mantle 

My nativity. I've lost a few pieces, but I still have the Baby Jesus. That's kind of necessary for any nativity, really.

Tinsel going down the stairs...
Tinsel going up the stairs. =)
Our photo Christmas cards (as of Monday!)
Peppermint trees I made resting on a silver tray my aunt got me for my birthday
Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree... 
Our eight-foot tree! LOVE how it smells and how beautiful it is!
Lol, just a fun Christmas tree cheese/tomato tray I made for a work party
Beautiful memories have been made, and more have yet to be made. I love spending time with my friends and family, even though the time with family is a bit marred by sadness. But, still, in the pain, praise God for His mercy. She could have suffered for longer, but He welcomed her into His presence in peace. She was with my aunt and grandmother – leaving loved ones behind but being welcomed by Christ and other loved ones.
Continue to pray for us, friends. This is a difficult time. I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to be off of work for two weeks, to spend time with my family, with my husband’s family, and to refresh myself for 2012.


sara said...

I love all your new decorations!! and you did a fantastic job on that wreath!!

Praying for you and your family. I remember the first Christmas after losing my beloved Aunt and thinking how amazing that she got to be with Jesus for CHRISTmas! Praying each of you would find JOY this season and in the wonderful memories you have.


Brooke said...

of course you have my prayers. any first holiday is difficult, but more sore i'm sure with the pain so fresh. {{{hugs}}}

how are your cards hung? we're running out of space!

Penny said...

Brooke -- I hung a ribbon from a column and just pinned the cards with clothespins. We actually don't have enough space, either! I'm having to add extra ribbons on the sides now!

SusanD said...

Your tree is gorgeous. I love a real tree, but the hubs doesn't like the mess it makes. The wreath you made is beautiful. Nice job.

Holidays w/o our beloved family are tough, no doubt. Still praying here, for you there. Blessings, SusanD

Mari said...

Your decorations are gorgeous! I love, love, love that wreath!
Praying for you all as you go through this season without Betty. Of course, it's such a comfort to know that she is having the best Christmas ever!

jenniferblair said...

Your decorations are so lovely!

the domestic fringe said...

Merry Christmas! I LOVE the wreath you made. It's beautiful. I'm sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers this Christmas.