Top Ten Christmas Activities

What are your top ten Christmas activities?  I’m listing mine below  (in no particular order) and would love to hear from you!  Merry Christmas, and God bless us, everyone!

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Decorating the Christmas Tree and our whole house for Christmas.

I so enjoy home décor, period, but I get so much joy in pulling out meaningful ornaments and making my Christmas trees pretty.  I had planned to buy another tree for my dining room, but they were so expensive that I decided to wait for the after-Christmas sales.

Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were tossing their tree because the lights weren’t working anymore.  They said I could have it, so I drug it across the street and put new lights on it.  I used only silver ornaments, while we used the other ornaments on our living room tree.  My “silver tree” is so beautiful–one of the prettiest I’ve ever had.  It lights up the whole dining room with it’s white lights and silver elegance.  (At least I think so!)

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Hearing my husband read the story of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2:1-20.

The story of Jesus’s birth is so beautiful.  The verses are like a balm in their rhythm and the hope they give us in our world.  I think people are more generous and kind at this time of year because so much is focused on our Lord, the Light of our complex world.

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Baking Christmas goodies

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Grandmother Lindsey (who lived just across the pasture from us, when I was growing up in rural south Alabama) used to always make the best in sweet Christmas goodies.  My favorite were her date balls, fudge, and divinity.  When I was supposed to be practicing the piano, I’d go swipe a piece between songs.  But I think she knew about it! 😉

Shopping for Christmas gifts for everyone.

Carefully selecting Christmas gifts for everyone is a favorite hobby of mine.  I like to get the best gifts at the best prices and be a good steward of my cash.

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Crafting hand-made presents for family and friends.  Being crafty in wrapping gifts.

I am in my element, my happy place, my zone when I’m making presents for family, friends, and Princess Buttercup’s teachers.  Furthermore, I like adding just a little bit of creativity when wrapping my gifts.  I’d better get on it, actually.  I’ve got only 2 weeks till show time!

Singing Christmas carols.

We went caroling last year.  I did that for the first time when I was in college and loved it!  I want to get a brave group to sing in our new (as of June 2016) neighborhood.  Any volunteers?

Spending time with family and friends.

Spending time with those I love makes Christmas a special time for bonding and building memories.  It’s the time of the year that Lefty takes time off of work, and Princess Buttercup and I love that!

Opening presents.

I’ve gotta be honest…opening presents is just plain fun!

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Silver snowflake, a gift from my friend Kibbers.

Attending all the parties and eating all the good food!

We southerners are known for our food.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the feasting.

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Smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas” to people I meet.
</h1>Like I said for my second activity on the list, people are so much friendlier around Christmas time.  True, traffic can be a nuisance.  And true, we’re southerners, and people from other places say that we’re friendly, anyway.  But I think people are kinder around Christmas because so many more are thinking of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Isn't this a cute little evergreen.

Isn’t this a cute little evergreen.

When I was a girl growing up in south Alabama, one of our favorite Christmas traditions was to go fetch our Christmas tree.

Mom, Dave, whatever dog we had at the time, and I would bundle up in our winter coats, our “Bama” toboggans, and mittens and meet Dad around the corner of the house and store where he kept his red, Massey-Ferguson tractor. Dad would pitch some loose hay in the back of the wooden trailer.

Down the field road we would go on the puttering hay ride, singing Christmas carols until we were hoarse and trying to stay warm.

We crossed the railroad, and Mom would jump out to open the gate so that the tractor and ensemble could ride through. She would close it up behind us, hop back in, and we would drive through the pasture.

Across the creek and past wide-eyed cows and horses.

Many times we’d find the right tree along our barbed-wire fence line. We drove until we found just the right one—some obscure little one that would look like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the pasture, dwarfed by oaks, sweetgums, and large cedar evergreens. But once we got it into the house, it would be huge and majestic.

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Dad would stop the tractor, and we would all follow him to the lucky tree. He would take the saw and pull it back and forth until the tree was free of its base. We would all climb back aboard the trailer, tree and all, trying not to get stuck by the tree’s prickly branches.

When we got back home, Dad would saw off some of the extra limbs so that it could fit in the Christmas tree stand. Then the decorating would begin!

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I decided to find you all a similar tree along a fence line in north Alabama. I went out this 29 degreed-morning—a beautiful, blue, sunny day—to take the pictures. The forest looked beautiful and snowy with a sparkling jack frost that is impossible to capture with my little point-and-shoot. We don’t get much snow around here, but the frost still makes it a winter wonderland.

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An Alabama winter wonderland.

An Alabama winter wonderland.

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Putting up Christmas Lights and Singing Carols

Dad puts up the Christmas tree lights.

Dad puts up the Christmas tree lights.

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I meant to blog about Thanksgiving back in Jachin, but I got caught up with all the stuff I had to do that I didn’t have time.  Maybe next year.  Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

I also like Black Friday.  We refused to shop on Thursday evening because we wish that retailers would let their employees have the whole day off to hang out with their family.  When I was first out of college, I had about 3 jobs in Huntsville.  One of them was a retail job.  I drove down to Jachin to spend it with the family, and then had to drive the 250 miles back up to Huntsville after we ate because I had to work Black Friday.  At least I got to spend most of the day with my family.

Last Friday around 6:30 a.m., I drove to get my teenage niece, and we took Princess Buttercup on her first Black Friday shopping trip!  We all had fun, even though we only bought a few things like craft supplies and some shoes for Princess.

This weekend, Princess Buttercup got Lefty to go into the attic and bring down all of our Christmas decorations.  We played Christmas music while we decorated.  It seems so weird that it is December already!

We follow the same “rules” that Mom had for us when we were growing up in rural south Alabama:

  1. No Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
  2. No Christmas carols will be played until after Thanksgiving.

Mom used to tease Aunt Joyce for playing her Christmas carols in September! 

We have seen lots of these rule-breakers as we go down the road.  Some of the nicer subdivisions had their rooftop strands up mid-November.  Other people had their whole lawn a-glow. 

What about you all?  What are your traditions for putting up decorations and singing carols?

I watch Dad put up the lights.

I watch Dad put up the lights.

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