Thanks so much to all of you who shared your favorite things with me the past couple of days.
"From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other." Emily Matthews
You have shared your heart and your home. I have enjoyed it so much!
The joy of Christmas brings us all together. Thank you Jesus!
Sweet Dawn sent this picture in. I wish I could snuggle up on your couch, Dawn, and share a hot cup of joe.
And these are adorable. I mean...
The expressions are priceless. Dawn, I am in love.
This weekend we have been in Memphis visiting Brent's brother, Brian, and his family.
Christmas began for me when we arrived.
These little cousins make a very joyful noise...
Grant. Ethan. Austin. Olivia. Luke. Eliana.
The Twinshaws and the wives went out for a Christmas-y night on the town.
I heart my family.
One of Erin and Brian's traditions on Christmas morning is the "Pickle" gift. Erin will hide this ornament somewhere in the tree and the first to find it gets an extra present!! Cute!
Now this next tradition is one we will adopt. You will love it, too.
Every year an extra stocking hangs on this Memphis mantel.
An extra stocking for Jesus.
Each person in the family gives Jesus something back for Christmas. They write down what they want to give and stick it in the stocking. Erin keeps the papers placed inside from year to year.
I enjoyed looking back on what they have given Jesus.
Last year, Austin gave Jesus all of his heart.
If it is financial stress, relational strife, future plans, they write it down and give it to Christ. How awesome to look back the next year at what the Lord has done.
Luke and Eliana are discussing what to give this year. This is a deep conversation.
Here are a few fun things you all shared over the past couple of days...
Tonya: I love the entire month of December...we have a visit from our advent elves who create "messes" throughout our house each morning. They help count down the days until Christmas and return with Santa on Christmas Eve. And I love the Christmas Eve service...makes you remember why we are here and what we are called to do!
Sara: Oh, there is so much to love about this season, but I think the joy, anticipation and excitement as our little girls try to wait patiently for the Birthday Party of the year... Jesus' Party!!!
Alex: Music and decorating!
Donny: Our family Advent wreath.
Tisha: Family photo cards!
Susie: Cookies! I'm only half-way serious. Since I was a little girl I have loved stockings and Christmas trees. These are the only two things I've managed to put out this year!
Debra: Music, stockings, pulling old ornaments from my childhood out of the boxes (yup, one is 40 yrs old), and 11p Christmas Eve services (esp. now that it's pretty impractical to attend...but one day I'll be back!)
Dawn: I LOVE that love89 (our local radio station) plays CHRISTmas music for a whole month!!!!! I LOVE decorating the tree and sitting in front of it each night reliving the memories of each CHRISTmas and each ornament! I LOVE watching my friends and family open the gifts I have found for them!
Melissa: Each kid has their own tree in their room. My son's is a white 4 ft tree and it has a bit of a retro feel to it with silver garland. My daughter has a little 2 ft tree that is super girly and modern like her. Bright pink ornaments. I let them decorate them so the tree may look a bit ornament heavy on one side or they may all have the same type of ornament but it is their tree and they have fun decorating it. They also get an new ornament each yr that goes on the main tree which when they move out they will then have all those to decorate their own tree. That is what decorates my tree all the ornaments I got growing up.
Amy: My favorite things are the kids' ornaments. They get a new one each year, and it normally has something to do with what they're loving that year. For instance, this year, Elizabeth actually made an origami crane, and Cody turned a couple of LEGOS into ornaments. Usually, we buy something that they love, but they were creative this year! :) They now get to hang their own ornaments, too, so I love looking at the tree & seeing where they thought the perfect place was for each one!
Sue: My favorite thing is definitely the Christmas tree lit! I love it, I wish I could keep it up year round. I like to sit in the living room and just look at it all lit up! I love the lights!
Love, love, love to all of you!!!!