Ever have one of those days . . . where there seems to be more things to do than there are moments in the day? In past years, that is what the Christmas season was like for me. I've come to 'acknowledge' that I've had a love/hate relationship with the season. There is nothing more valuable to me than connecting with others - and Christmas seems to be the peak time of year to do this, there are Christmas parties, gift exchanges, Secret Santa, Christmas letters, mailing packages, receiving packages, Christmas sales, Christmas baking, Christmas wrapping, Christmas travel, Christmas concerts, Christmas shopping, Christmas hours, you get my drift! I am not a fan of 'stuff' nor what I consider the (over) commercialization of the season. This year I approached the season with an attitude of simplicity. Here are some highlights from my Christmas Season:
Christmas Hamper - I spent the Friday prior to Christmas volunteering for the Whitecourt Christmas Hamper. This was my 4th year assisting with the wrapping of gifts. I was grateful to know that many local families would indeed celebrate the Christmas season thanks to the exemplary efforts of the Whitecourt Christmas Hamper.
Coloring Contest - My 7 year old daughter entered a coloring contest at a local retailer, CDL Designs Inc. Mikayla and I enjoyed an evening together while she prepared her artwork for the contest. Mikayla was ever so excited to recieve a phone call that she had won and elated to claim her prize. She received a wonderful basket full of 'girlie' goodies which was a holiday highlight for her. We enjoyed the Polar Express movie many, many times over the holidays thanks to her winnings!
Photo Contest - The beautiful Melissa Weicker Photography hosted a contest entitled "Open Your Heart and I'll Open Mine". The contest instructions were to nominate someone who you felt were the perfect person or family to receive a custom photo session and collection. Well, I nominated whom I thought was the perfect family, and Melissa thought so too! I was ever so humbled and excited to recieve a phone call Christmas eve, informing me that the family I nominated had won!!! This experience was a gentle reminder that 'giving is recieving'!
My Nieces and Nephews - This year we celebrated Christmas with my entire family being 9 adults and 11 children. We overtook my parents garage for an entertaining Christmas eve. We enjoyed a non-traditional meal of Chinese takeout followed by some mighty fine entertainment provided by none other than ourselves! We enjoyed a Christmas carole competion which I'm damn sure my team won, a Disney version of Charades, and of course a visit from Santa. I love Christmas through childrens eyes and the magic of their sense of wonderment and surprise. I often wish that we could spend more time together and have truly learned to value the moments that we share.
|Meier Christmas 2010 - Papa and Oma with their team of grandchildren ~ all acting a little 'silly' as you can tell!|
Days Off - I've such a wonderful boss that I was able to stay at home most of the time the kids were off school. I worked three of the 16 days off, which in itself was a real treat for me. No major excursion for us, instead some relaxing, enjoyable time at home. We enjoyed friends over, sleepovers, late nights, sleep ins, a few trips to the pool, tobaggan hill, scrapbooking, movies and my overall favorite . . . quality time. I even found some time to get a few things cleaned up and organized around the house. I'll look forward to returning to work in the New Year knowing that I've actually had somethings accomplished at home.
I truly believe we all have different reasons for celebrating at this time of year and am well aware that there is a lot of conflict due to differing values or beliefs. This year through my simplistic approach, I stepped away from the hustle and bustle of what everyone else was doing and truly spent my moments doing what works for me! I feel truly blessed to have enjoyed such a wonderful Christmas and look forward to 2011 with my New Year's Intention of living and breathing MORE Peace, MORE Love, and MORE Joy into each and every day.
I Believe . . . Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. -Helen Steiner Rice