Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Things

My fireplace mantel including the beautiful collectible
Nativity set
my mom gave me last Christmas.
I had no idea I would love it soooo much!

I am fairly confident that during the next two weeks I will not be spending much time online. Boo is off school, Daddio will be working from home, and we will be enjoying family time together.

So to close out the year, I present a few of my favorite things about Christmas. Advent in general is my most favorite thing, but here are a couple of the more tangible things dear to my heart.

My tree includes many special ornaments. We have the "depth of years" look, with a handful added each year. Both sides of the family get into giving ornaments, and I absolutely love the variety we have. As we get out the ornaments each year, the kids always ask where each ornament comes from. It helps me also to remember and be thankful for the people in my life.

Two tree decorations that are especially meaningful to me are this one from my Nana, of Santa kneeling in front of the manger; and the cardinal.

Several years back when my mom let me choose a selection from her collection, she made sure I took one of her several cardinals. She commented, "Your Papa loves cardinals." Cardinals are the state bird of Ohio, where he (and I) grew up, and they are red, his favorite color. I am pretty sure that for him there was an Ohio State connection too, but I can't swear to it.

Anyway, two years ago was Papa's first one in heaven, and I cried a few tears for my loss of him as I carefully placed my cardinal in a spot of honor on the tree. I happened to mention it to my Mom and my Nana, and next thing I know everyone in the family has a cardinal on their tree, too. It's sorta like Papa is here watching and enjoying his descendants having a happy Christmas morning.

January 2008 marked a special birthday for Justin's mom, and I got to decorate for the party. It was as much fun as decorating for a wedding, only without the added stress a wedding brings! Since her birthday was in January, we had a snowflake theme, and now I have a lovely collection of holiday-appropriate decor purchased at Hobby Lobby's post-Christmas 90% off sale! It is so much fun to display these things this year in my new home.

The peppermint cuss bark was merely a small setback, as the next batch turned out lovely. I just love using the red and green striped candy canes because they also have a purple stripe down the inside which makes them look like gems when broken up for the bark! The spiced pecans have been a staple of my diet all week. It's nice to have a holiday treat that includes protein!

And my Christmas celebration, while it truly only needs Jesus, would be missing something without these gems to motivate me. I was more than impressed this morning to be able to dress them up for church, and then actually get them to pose for a photo session afterward! All I had to promise was an hour of play on the Wii, and they were like putty in my hands.

I've posted more photos of them on Facebook, see these adorable children by visiting the album 2008 Kids Christmas Pics.

This week will bring more memories, more cementing of the traditions, and more time to reflect on the wonder of God's gift to humanity, in the form of a humble baby. May you be blessed by God's grace this Christmas.


  1. Heh! Wii IS the modern day motivator. :) (I am looking forward to all of the Wii games my KIDS are getting for Christmas... Hee-Hee)

  2. I love the story behind the cardinal! How wonderful to pass on the stories that go with special ornaments to our children!

    Merry Christmas, Krista! And I am so glad the peppermint cuss bark got more cooperative! :)

  3. 1 - yes, the cardinal certainly does include the concept of Ohio and Ohio State. Papa Doc graduated from med school at OSU and followed the games through the years.

    2- I love the way you used the books to highlight the nativity set on the mantle. It pleases me that you do love it so much!


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