It’s an inside day today! The kids are home from school—some kind of teacher development day, the snow has been falling all night and it continues still. The snow plows have not been up our mountain road yet and it looks quiet and beautifully untouched. My daughter exclaimed, “Mom, I think it’s an inside day today.” I’m good with that.
I thought this might be my chance to get a bit caught up and take some time to reflect on just a few of my favorite things during the holidays.
The Polar Express
Church Christmas Breakfast
Every family received a Polar Express ticket as their invitation to this Christmas breakfast. Upon arrival the Train Conductor (Bishop) met them at the door, welcomed them and once everyone was settled cried, "All ABOARD! The train stopped at several depots; the Humanitarian Depot, Reindeer Games Depot, etc. Once all the activities had been attended and their tickets were punched a meal was provided along with a family photo and Polar Express bell ornament for their tree at home.
Santa's WorkshopKids played pin-the-nose on Rudolph, wrote thank you letters to Santa, made Snowman cupcakes, played games, read Christmas stories, created a Christmas craft then...Santa arrived. While children were playing parents enjoyed a night at home with their feet up or a kid-free shopping trip.
Our teachers LOVED this gift: We bought a blanket for under $5 (they are everywhere), and then added a tag and some candy cane sticks or a gingerbread boy cookie. Takes 10 min. at the most to create!
Neighbors warmed up to this gift: Hobby Lobby jar with a nob screwed in the top, fill with a favorite goody or hot chocolate mix. Then add a tag, a little baker's twine and all for under $5.
Here's just a few more examples:
Filled with Peppermint Oreo Truffles
Filled the bag with all kinds of goodies including Kiss and M&M pretzels.
Filled with Chex Munchie Mix
My 11 year old daughter gave this gift to her friends:
A homemade felt flower hair clip attached to a festive Christmas tag. Slip it into a cellophane bag with a little Christmas treat and Kate had a beautiful, handcrafted Christmas gift for all of her cute friends...all for less than 50 cents a gift.
One of my most favorite gifts to give at Christmas is the gift of Family History. I've been recording stories and personal histories of my mom and dad and was not quite ready to document the history in a book yet. I decided to take a few of the favorite stories, print them out and then found these tubes at Rod Works, slipped the stories into the tubes, wrapped in cello with Kneaders candy canes and wrote a little note to family members that this was their first installment of the family history stories. More to come next year!
In all the giving and all the getting our families most priceless memories of Christmas are the times we spend serving others. This year we started a new tradition of a Cousin Service Project. We scheduled an afternoon with the local Food and Care Coalition and spent several hours serving the homeless and hungry. The people we served were gracious and loving. The gifts we received while serving were priceless and will be remembered for years to come.
January brings a little reprieve from the holiday bustle but also seems to bring about new resolve to do better and to be better. We look forward to new and wonderful things for 2013, both for our family and yours.
Happy New Year!