Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Is . . .

European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) leaves and fruit
Pine smells
Pine trees
Fireplace (how did you know I would include that?)

Stockings on a fireplace mantel.

Stockings hung

A traditional Christmas tree

Live trees
Old ornaments
My best angels
Plain packages tied up with string
Homemade cookies
My beautiful manger scene, handmade
red and green and white lights

and . . .

a warm feeling
love for others
family and friends
receiving because someone gave in love
giving because I'm giving in love
simple, meaningful gifts
the Christmas story
Christmas songs
Bells ringing
children's faces filled with wonder

The world's first Christmas card, made by John Callcott Horsley

The world's first Christmas card, made by John Callcott Horsley

beautiful Christmas cards sent from someone who I know loves me
hearing hubby read

Want to keep gift giving simple? Try this for extended family gift giving:
  • Draw names, the earlier the better to give everyone time to think about their name and a gift.
  • Define rules
1. Prices. Set a dollar amount, say $12 to $15 per gift. Don't have too wide a range or someone will be getting something for $5 and another for $20.
2. For fun, keep identities secret and plan to guess the giver after the gift is opened.
3. Some people give stockings filled with a primary gift, then candy, cookies, fruit, and other smaller items are used to fill it.
4. What about exchanging gifts that are homemade or even pre-owned?
5. Some groups pre-decide on what the gifts will be, such as picture frames, calendars, etc. Everyone then must find one that their receiver will enjoy.
6. White elephant gift exhanges can be a lot of fun, but tricky, too. Everyone must realize ahead of time that the gifts will be silly, crazy, or even bad gifts that no one would want, or the affair will get out of hand.

Most of all, have fun and keep it simple!

Christmas quote:
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you ...
to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old ...
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world ... stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death...
Then you can keep Christmas! But you can never keep it alone.
--Henry van Dyke ("Keeping Christmas" in The Spirit of Christmas)

The wonder of Christmas blessings on you!

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