Day 12 of the 12 Days of Giving

Merry Christmas friends!

I hope you all had a blessed and glorious Christmas today! I can tell you we sure did. My favorite holiday was definitely not a disappointment. Since last Christmas, our lives have changed a lot. We are more appreciative of little things. We are more grateful for time spent together, good food (even if it’s limited for me) and great company. We are more faithful. Last year, I remember taking a picture of our tree completely covered with presents and the walls surrounding it. I’m talking stupid amounts of presents. This year there wasn’t and we loved it. We still got great gifts from loved ones that we loved. However, the time spent together was much greater. Yesterday, we were able to see my husband’s family for a little while before Mass. Unfortunately, yesterday was a bad day for me. I never know when I’m going to wake up with a “bad” day ahead and I’m sad to say that yesterday was one of them. Today was better but a bad day tends to linger a while. However, my family has become very understanding and I guess “used” to it. Today, my side of the family (and my husband’s parents) came to our house to have brunch. I’ll be honest, Thanksgiving was not enjoyable for me. This year has been a year of ups and downs for me (emotionally, physically and mentally). Thanksgiving was hard as I couldn’t be around all those foods I’ve always eaten. I brought my own foods in a little lunch box and stayed clear of the tables and counters of food. It was hard and I felt very alone. For Christmas, I didn’t really want to do that so my family agreed to have brunch here. I know how hard it is to cook gluten free but it is also hard to understand what all that entails – label investigating, cross contamination, etc. While I still had to make my own separate foods that I could tolerate, it was nice not having to worry about getting any gluten crumbs in my foods. The food was great (or so I’m told) and we enjoyed each other. We didn’t exchange many gifts but they were great – I rec’d a lot of gifts that were made locally (from farmer’s markets, homemade, etc). We loved them! Part of me felt a little guilty because my son knew he got a lot more presents last year but I reminded him that’s not what Christmas is about and he was content. He did get a new bike and was too distracted with that! Overall, it was a wonderful holiday spent with the people we love most – can’t get much better than that!

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Today, we are also thankful for all those people who have to work this holiday. Sure they can celebrate on a different day but it isn’t quite the same. We appreciate all those people and the sacrifices they make. We appreciate our troops who are serving and away from their families during holidays – not just Christmas but any time! Today, my husband smoked some racks of ribs and we took them up to our local hospital for the staff who were working. I wasn’t there but he said they seemed happy! There are nurses, doctors, staff, firefighters, EMS, police, etc who are all working to keep us safe while we celebrate with our families – thank you for that! I might be a little biased but my husband makes some tasty ribs so I hope they had a good Christmas dinner. 20141225_165204

While that caps off our 12 days of giving, I hope that these posts have given some new ideas or inspiration. I don’t post these days of giving to boast our good deeds or get a virtual “pat on the back”. Frankly, I would prefer them all to be completely anonymous but I just like sharing with others and love getting new ideas for giving. There are so many good deeds that happen around our worlds that we don’t hear about. Please share them with us so we can all feel that holiday spirit!

Day 12 of family time:

As I mentioned above, we had an entire day of family time! We also opened one more book today. It was titled “Happy Birthday Jesus!” It is hard with all the gifts, bustle, commercials, etc promoting material items and presents to try and focus and teach children about the real reason of Christmas. This year was much better with our kids than last and I’m hoping next year is even better. While we have technically 12 days of gifts (one a day), the kids didn’t open much from us today. I think they each got one present from us, one from each other and Santa gifts. They got PLENTY of gifts from others but not much from us. At first I felt bad because they didn’t have much to open this morning. However, my son expressed his thanks with sincerity many times today. That makes me oh-so-happy!!! He genuinely was grateful as were we all. What’s even better is my husband is off work again tomorrow and then we have the weekend so we get another 3 days of family time together…. if we can all make it through alive! Remember, I do have this little princess who has officially hit that “Terrible Two” stage 🙂 IMG_20141225_120150IMG_20141225_122921

Merry Christmas to you all and Happy Holidays!!!

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