I hope it brought you JOY, knowing that our Creator God humbled Himself to become a human in order to be the sacrifice needed to save us from sin
I hope it brought you LOVE as you gathered with your family to exchange tokens of your appreciation for each other
I hope it brought you PEACE as you chose wisely which goodies to indulge in and which healthy foods to fill yourself with.
I was blessed with all these things……and more….some things very pleasant, some not so much. ........
Here are a couple of the most wonderful blessings in my life......
But, to get the food/eating/weight thing out of the way first.... weigh in is tomorrow but so far, I am DOWN just under a pound since Christmas Eve.
I am happy with this since (like most of y'all) I allowed myself treats.
However, in keeping with our healthier eating habits, I did something a little different this year – I discouraged people from bringing goodies and I offered substantially fewer treats myself. Therefore, there was less for anyone to overindulge with.
My personal indulgences included, a nanimo bar or two (each day), a few small pieces of Christmas cake (each day), and several pieces of our ethnic treat – Lefse. (Lefse is made of potatoes and rolled into something that looks like a crepe. You spread butter on it then sprinkle it with sugar and roll it up. Heavenly. I controlled the damage of the lefse by using low fat margarine instead of butter. (At least, that's what I told myself)
I noticed that I was not as inclined this year to ‘graze’ on the goodies that were sitting around and that my portions at mealtimes were smaller than previous years. Also, I noticed that I made the healthier choices without hardly thinking about them.
I really expected to gain a couple pounds, at least, and will be OK with it, if that is what the scale says tomorrow morning…..I chose my treats carefully and deliberately (most of the time).
I can honestly say that the holiday brought me PEACE about my food choices.
The Holiday also brought me LOVE....
My home was filled with people and love for 3 days.
The living room was filled with brightly wrapped gifts and my noisy, wonderful family the morning of the 25th until late that night.
I love gift – giving.
I love watching gift-giving.
It is such a joy to me to see how each of my kids goes out of their way to find/make a thoughtful gift for each of their family members.
I love thinking of and finding just the ‘right’ gift for the ones I love.
Some of the highlights this year:
- Robert and Lana made a special 1 hour trip to the city to go to the one store that guarantees its products are all “Fair Trade” in order to buy a gift for Vinj and Kath that would support this social issue that they feel strongly about
- After much hunting, I found a Crokinole Board for Emma – and she was VERY excited!
- I found a site on the internet where we could purchase Seasons 1 – 7 of Star Trek 'The Next Generation' for our one-time-Trekkie son…..at about ¼ of the usual price! (Which is the only way we could ever get it for him.)
- My niece went and had her photo taken in an “old-time” dress and parasol and gave a framed copy to each of us….
- My niece also bought novelty knitted hats for each of the little girls from the tourist trap (I mean Souvenier Shop) where she works in Banff
- Daniel sacrificed a large amount of money on a gold chain for his dad….because (in his words) “Dad always gets the crappy gifts from me because I never know what to get him”
- Rob and Lana gave us a photo album full of PRINTED photos of their family
- Vinj and Kath found the ‘perfect’ Tshirt for Danny….
- I surprised Jim with an 85 year old map of Alberta that we had found in an old building on our property (15 years ago) . I took it to a framer and had it preserved and framed. We now have the coolest looking 6 ft tall map hanging by our kitchen door! (It is always a plus when I actually surprise my man.
- My SIL cried (and cried) when she and her hubby opened the photo book I made for them with photos from their 25th Anniversary celebration this past summer.
- I cried when I opened a gift certificate from my SIL for ONE YEAR of free ‘fills’ on my nails. (she is the nail tech). Her comment when I remarked on the generosity...."I enjoy our visits while I'm working on your nails".
- Andrew (almost) cried when he opened a gift from Emma - a frame with 3 photos of he and Emma enjoying a Ferris Wheel ride at the fair this past spring.
These are just a few of the thoughtful, loving gifts that were exchanged to fill our home with love.
Unfortunately, the season also brought us some not so nice ‘gifts’……..
A) Sickness…..Robert was very sick Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Lana was very sick Boxing Day (they stayed home that day) and Elizabeth was sick yesterday. As well, my SIL got the same cold/flu Rob had…then both Jim and I also got sick. Kaden seems to have picked up the bug, as well.
B) Accident, Injury and Wreckage……Christmas Day, Daniel and his cousin Scott went out (after dark) for a ride on the snowmachine. Since they could only get one sled to start (too cold?) Scott rode behind Dan. Unfortunately, on his way back to the house, Daniel misjudged the placement of the volleyball net (2” steel posts) and caught the right ski on the post, causing the machine and the boys to part company. The boys flew across the volleyball ‘court’….Dan hit the other post with his leg, which caused it to fling back and kick Scott in the back. Scott got tangled up a bit in the net. (This is what we surmise happened, based on marks in the snow and the injuries received) Dan thought he had killed his cousin when he looked over and saw him laying so still in the snow. Scott thought his ribs and wrist were broken. Scott and his mom missed supper to go into town to emergency….turns out he sprained his wrist and had a bruised kidney (blood in the urine – temporarily). Both boys are well on their way to recovery……Dan’s wallet is not doing so well, though – he has to pay for the repairs to the sled. He was sure kicking himself the next day when the temperature warmed up considerably and he realized if he hadn’t been so impatient to go riding, they could have been out all day in the sunshine instead of having one quick, cold ride in the dark. Tsk, Tsk. The lessons of the young.
C) The Christmas season has nothing to do with this next ‘not so nice gift’…. Kathryn is in the hospital as I write. She was taken in last night – dehydrated and feeling terrible. She had been throwing up all evening – every 15 – 20 minutes and could not stop. This, after having diarrhea for 5 days. She is about 11 weeks pregnant and if the last pregnancy is any indication, has another 6 or so months of being sick to look forward to. I’m not sure if this bout is because of the ‘morning sickness’ (which lasts 24 hours) or if it is a flu bug, but either way, she lost too much fluid (coupled with the fact that she is still breastfeeding Seth) and needs to be on IV for a couple days. Jim and I (in spite of being sick with ‘Robert’s Cold’) went in and picked Seth up – he will stay with us at least until tomorrow so Vinjelu can stay with Kathryn. (Having our grandson with us for a couple days is a NICE thing, BTW)
Of course, the best thing the holiday brought us was Titus…..our newest Grandson.
Other blessings this year…..My mom joined us for Christmas – this is the first Christmas in 12 years we have had with her - and THAT'S a story I will probably never go into......but we were thankful to finally share our family celebration with her again.
Jim’s parents came out on the 26th…..both of them are in better health than they have been in about 4 years. We are very thankful to have these precious people in our lives.
All in all, …..3 "not so nice" things compared to all the wonderful things the season brought to us means that it was/is a BLESSED Christmas season!
Hope you can say the same!