Sunday, November 23, 2008


Yesterday, my 14yo daughter and I had a wonderful day together, just the two of us. This was a huge blessing to me and a good lesson in trusting God. I had planned to go to the Christmas show (three warehouse sized buildings filled with gifts, crafts, etc.) with a friend, and when that didn't happen, I was upset that my plans didn't work out. I had always planned to take my daughter, but as we walked around the Christmas Show, I realized I wouldn't have been as focused on her had my friend been with me. I would have missed the many moments of talking that we had. We laughed and shopped and were just together in the truest sense of the word. I came home happy and hopeful.

Raising teens is hard-- connecting with them on an individual basis when you have other kids can be even harder. I was thankful for the way things worked out-- even if it wasn't my plan, God had a better one. I felt Him whisper to me as we walked around together: "If you make investments in your children now, you will have given birth to your best friends later." Wow. What a lesson for me to take hold of.

I didn't spend much money at the show, but I did buy a few fun things:

  • My biggest splurge was on two semi-expensive handpainted Christmas ornaments from a favorite artist, whose paintings I have collected for years. Usually she has sold out of these ornaments by the time I get there, so it was a special treat for me to find two left, which I promptly scooped up!
  • I also bought the Chris Botti cd, December, which I am listening to as I write. Beautiful. (His version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is just gorgeous, and his "Ave Maria" will move you to tears.) This cd will be the soundtrack to my Christmas season this year, I am certain.
  • I also bought a string of beads that perfectly match the shirt I bought to wear to my parents' annual Christmas party, which takes place at a country club-- ooh la la! A very cool side note on that shirt-- my daughter and I found the exact same shirt at one of the little boutiques at the show. I paid $17 for it at Ross, and this boutique was selling it for $44! I was tickled at my bargain shopping abilities! Truly, not much else makes me as happy as knowing I got a steal of a deal like that.
  • Finally, I got a cute little topiary to put out at Christmas for a mere $5.
  • And a gift for my niece that I think she will really like.
  • Oh, and we just had to buy cinnamon roasted pecans and almonds and two boxes of strudel too. I brought that home to the rest of the family as a surprise dessert last night!
Today we are preparing the house for Thanksgiving. Curt is painting walls that need painting-- nothing like having company to inspire you! I will be cleaning the ovens and other areas of the house, and preparing a menu and shopping list for the big day. (I will be pulling out my copy of A Recipe For Christmas Joy to do that, as all my recipes are in there!) I might even string some twinkling white lights on our front porch railing to welcome our guests that evening! I can't wait for Thursday: the parades, perusing the paper to look at ads for Black Friday, listening to Alice's Restaurant (a tradition that hearkens back to my childhood when a local radio station always played this very long song on Thanksgiving Day) the family and friend time and, of course, eating the yummy food.

Be sure and keep checking back with me between now and Christmas, as this week I am kicking off a series of daily posts all centered around your family's Christmas celebration, including some exciting giveaways! That starts Monday and will be continued every Monday to Friday from now until Christmas. I hope that we can all share with each other and be inspired as we work towards making memories with our families, while keeping our priorities in place.
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jdearing said...

My mother has been my best friend for years and even now as she struggles I still look forward to sharing with her. I also just love Chris Botti's music. I hear your holiday excitement! I look forward to this season, the decorating, baking, and gatherings with friends and family.

Arlene said...

Congrats on the shopping bargain! Good job! This can be an awesome time of year, if we allow the Lord to teach us a new lesson every season. I pray many blessings upon your home this Thanksgiving.

nancy said...

I have always told my children it's all about making memories. Memories help us to stay focused on what's important; our faith and our family. Last spring we unexpectedly lost our 8 year old daughter, my husband came down with the worst case of shingles the hospital has ever seen (he had it in 3 dermatones), and we endured the hardest season for our farm. Yet this Thanksgiving we can focus on the fact our daughter is dancing with the angels, my son graduated high school, our first grandbaby was born a month ago, and my husband gave his life to Christ this summer. This Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for...we have wonderful memories to hold these thoughts dear. I am so glad we held to making the most of our family and holiday traditions. Somehow it was the glue that kept us focused and it is now the memories of no regrets.

Rachel said...

I always loved the cinnamon peacans and strudel from the Christmas show. I have some fond memories of time spent there with my Mum!

MDearing said...

One day as I changed the diaper of my first born daugher, it hit me, she is going to be my best friend. She is 4 now and it is so easy to disregard that because of her age, but I need to daily invest in her and her siblings for who they are and for who they will become.