Hey friends! It’s Chantelle here. I know I have not been on here in a very, very long time. Life has been so busy. I have found myself wanting to get back to writing and blogging and so with the start of the year and a new decade, here I am! I do want to touch on my goals for 2020 and inspire you to make some for the new year and decade, but first I’m going to take this time to reflect on Christmas 2019 and what I enjoyed this year, what I am enjoying about this season of my life and hopefully to write something that I can treasure always. I think it’s important for us to either journal or write because it helps us to keep the memories alive! Years later it will be amazing to go back and read about the memories made!
Christmas 2019 … Starting Early!
I caught the Christmas bug early this year, I took out the decorations and I had bought 50-75% off last year and was ready to decorate. We got our tree as early as we could and from the start of the season, we were going out and seeing Christmas lights, playing Christmas music, watching Home Alone, Grinch and all of our favorite Holiday movies. To me Christmas is really the most wonderful time of the year! This year I was into a Winter Wonderland vibe, lots of white, silver, neutrals like gold, rose gold and even a little bit of blue to pop, what were you into?
The Real Reason For The Season
It’s important though as a Christian to remember the real reason for the season and that simply is Jesus. Did you know that we actually don’t know the exact birth of Jesus? It is still okay to say Happy Birthday Jesus on Christmas as it is the recognized time to celebrate our Savior’s birth. I just thought that was interesting, I never thought about actually researching that idea until I heard from my Pastor say that it wasn’t probably the time of his actual birth. Wikipedia does a great job of stating the facts of why December 25th was chosen and you can read more about that here.
1 John 4:9, NIV: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”
As I reflect on Christmas and this reality of God showing us how much he loves us. He took form of man, to be born like his creation, to live with his creation. He has felt of all the emotion and pain that we do as humans. He understands human emotion. That is a God that loves us so much, that he wanted to come down to walk among us, to understand us, to create a way in which we would be able to have the Spirit of Christ in us always. If you are not a Christian, I welcome you to seek truth for yourself. God loves you and he has sent Jesus his only son (and God in the form of man) to save you. I encourage you to visit a local Christian church to find out more about our Savior Jesus.
Favorite Things About Christmas
I’ve realized I have a thing for cozy socks! I don’t own very many of them myself but man, do I love to give them as gifts! I also love gift giving! During the year and with birthdays I am the worse … I am the gift card person, the last minute shopper and I’ve realized I need to be more thoughtful when it comes to Birthdays. For Christmas, it’s different! I absolutely LOVE shopping for my loved ones. I love to find things for my children and all my nieces and nephews that reflect their personality whether it be a toy, book, pajamas or clothing! It’s just fun for me and definitely a love language that comes out for me during the holidays!!! We have a big family so in order to keep our wishlists in order, manage our Secret Santa (for the grown ups) and to not duplicate gifts being bought for the kiddos, this year I got my entire family to use a wonderful website and app called Giftster. I highly recommend you look them up if you have a big family and what to ensure you are giving gifts that your family will love! This wonderful website and app gives you the ability to do the following:
- Create Wishlist for yourself and your kids
- Manage a Secret Santa for your group
- Shop directly from people’s wishlist with links or store recommendations
It simply was the best thing we have found! In past years, we suffered through text threads regarding children’s wishlists … where we would have to dig to find who wanted what and who already bought what. I wasn’t going to suffer through that headache again!!! Get on Giftster or any other gifting app and I promise you will thank me!!
What are your secrets to gift giving and shopping? I would love to here what works for you!
And I had to include a photo of some cozy winter socks!!!
Vegas For The Holidays!
Our family all traveled to Vegas to spend Christmas with my family. This was huge and I was nervous about it. I knew going in that my parents recently agreed by lead of my brother to downsize from their current home. This means we would be saying goodbye to a home that we have built memories in for 15 years. This would most likely be the last moments I spend in the house unless I travel back to help my parents pack up which is not certain.
I also come from a big family and this was going to be all my siblings and their families (spouses and children), my parents and some local relatives spending Christmas together. That always means some kind of crazy …
Was it crazy? Yes. Did it drive me crazy? Yes, by Day 3 I was ready to go home!!! It’s inevitable, there are a few fights with my sisters really over nothing major and you know certain personalities that you clash with. At the end of the day, they are my family and I am sure every family is like this … we love them, we pray for each other and we love each other unconditionally even though we drive each other a little nuts!
Christmas Day was absolutely wonderful though, no fights, everyone was happy and joyful. We had a lovely Christmas meal. In the morning before we got dressed and ate, we opened presents and that is so fun with our family because we go all out and go crazy with presents! You hear excitement, the wrestling of paper, the thank you’s, the hugs, the laughter. It truly is a moment that I wish we could press pause and live in for a little longer. The kids and their excited expressions and “whooooaaah!” with every box they open. It’s just magical!
My favorite part about Christmas morning prior to presents with the whole family, was seeing my boys 9 and 7 wake up in Grandmas house, run down to the tree to see what Santa brought them. I’m following behind them taking a video to capture their every reaction on film. My 9 year old knows that Santa isn’t real but he plays along for his brother who still believes. How sweet is that? My youngest gets a toy he hoped for and is so excited and my oldest gets a panda sleeper he wanted and I am so blessed to enjoy and soak these moments in as a mama. After gifts from Santa and me taking pictures of them, I ask my youngest to check if Santa ate the cookies and milk. He runs over to the fireplace and I tape him as he explains to me how Santa becomes tiny to get through the chimney, past all of Nani’s picture frames on her fireplace to then get in and enjoy the cookies and milk. It truly is a moment I won’t ever forget. This my friend, is enjoying your season of life. My boys are growing fast and I wish I had a pause button. Where ever you are in life, enjoy the season you are in. God has purpose in every season and I’m not missing a single moment!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 New International Version (NIV) “There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens”
All in all, it was a pretty good Christmas and one for the books. We spent Christmas enjoying my parents home for the last time, all my siblings were in town and together and memories were made. We are beginning the process of packing things up for my parents and since I’m not local, I am seeing photos and hearing stories about my brother going through the boxes with my parents. He said to me today … “Though we cry and are sad, I am so happy to be doing this with Mom and Dad.” He has been sending photos and we are laughing at what they are finding. I encouraged him to let them cry but to also enjoy the walk down memory lane! Letting go can be hard, but if we learn to enjoy those seasons of life in the moment … when it is time to let go, we will always have those sweet memories forever in our hearts and minds, also a photo or keepsake helps too. If you are in the process of needing to let something go, I encourage you friend to trust God for whatever chapter you need to close because once you let go, there will be a new chapter he’s ready to open for you. With that, I will leave you to say Happy New Year 2020 and happy new decade!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
To read about my Christmas a few years ago, click here.