Holiday musings

26 Nov

I’m so glad that I have the next 2 days off from work. Not only do I still feel under the weather, there’s not much work to do (can you tell how my job is a rollercoaster–nothing to do one minute, overwhelming the next…don’t even get me started)?

Tonight, Travis and I are getting together with some friends from church for dinner and game night. It is the night we usually have our care group but with a lot of people out of town, we decided to just do an informal get-together. We are having stirfry with (I hope) couscous. Two things I have been craving lately: butternut squash and couscous. I know, it’s weird. And no, I’m not pregnant.

Tomorrow, I plan on sleeping in. Then I will have to cut vegetables for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. We are going to my old boss Carol Ann’s sister-in-law’s house. 2 of my other co-workers (who are married) are coming as well. But we’re not the only ones…there will be 47 of us there. It’s good I grew up with a big, loud family I guess or that might be overwhelming! 

But I still always get a little nervous before meeting a lot of new people at one time. Luckily, I relax after about 10 minutes or so. And if they’re all as friendly and welcoming as Carol Ann, then we’ll have no problem fitting right in!

The day I’m really excited for is Friday though. Travis and I are going to get up early and go shopping for a new DVD player. We saw one at Big Lots for $35 and it’s a VCR/DVD combo, which would be great (we currently have to switch the wires back and forth from the DVD and VCR…yes, I still have VHS tapes. Thanks.) I wish we had everyone’s Christmas list now so that we could do our Christmas shopping when all the deals are going on. But we don’t.

After shopping, we’re going to decorate for Christmas. I already started a little (I love Christmas way too much to have it last for only a month!) but we still need to put up our tree and hang the lights outside. We’re going to decorate our lone tree in our backyard because we look out at the backyard a lot. It’s my family’s tradition that we listen to Manheim Steamroller while decorating for Christmas and opening presents. I told Travis that we must carry on the tradition. Maybe we should start our own tradition as well…something like hot chocolate with a little Peppermint Schnapps? 🙂

Saturday we’re going to The Nutcracker with our friends Paul and Carrie. Our other friend Amy is performing in the ballet, which is the main reason why we’re going. I’m really excited (I love doing Christmas-y things! And I love the ballet!) but Travis wishes we were going to see The Nutcracker on ice. Maybe next year…

Sunday we work in the Toddler classroom again (we did last Sunday too) and then the day is pretty much wide open. I will be baking a cake though because it is Travis’ 24th birthday on December 2nd.

I am very thankful for Thanksgiving and the break that it brings from the daily grind. I am thankful that we decided to say here instead of doing the weekend marathon, driving to MN and trying to see both families. Whew! I get tired just thinking about that. I am thankful most of all for my husband, who makes life just that much sweeter. I am so blessed by him.

Another great thing about Thanksgiving is that it means Christmas is almost here. Yay! It is seriously one of my favorite times of year (and now that I live in Colorado, it may just be my #1 favorite, since the previous #1 was fall and well…they don’t really have fall out here–at least, not MN fall). I love the excitement, the coziness, the family, the cheer, the generosity, the colors, the snow, the cold, the songs, the services. I love that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth because the atmosphere of the season is so fitting. It breaks my heart to know that not every one in the world can celebrate Christmas like we do–and I’m not talking about the presents. I’m talking about the family, the food, the togetherness, the warmth.

Travis and I donated 2 shoeboxes full of toys and school supplies to Operation Christmas Child this year again (though we were a little more prepared than we were last year, when we ran around buying our stuff before church the day it was due). Last year, we got to go volunteer at one of their processing centers in Denver. We missed the boat on that this year, which is a bummer, but hopefully next year, we’ll do it again. 

The Lord miraculously worked it out that Travis and I get to go back to Minnesota for 10 days over Christmas. We’re leaving on the 19th (driving) and coming back on the 29th. Because we want to go to Mexico with my family in March, we were planning on taking a shorter Christmas vacation (I have only 10 days of vacation a year…and I have to accumulate them). But I have 3 holidays (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after). So yay for us!

After hearing tragic stories of people losing their jobs, being foreclosed on, and the other sad things that are happening, I am reminded of all the little things that I have to be thankful for: a roof over my head, food on the table, friends and family who care about me, a loving husband, a job that pays the bills (and is rewarding too!), and most of all, a Savior in heaven and a Father who loves me more than I can fathom.

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