Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Merry Christmas to each of you! May the true meaning of this season bring you comfort, joy, hope, and peace that lasts the year through!

Christmas2014

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Make A Difference graphicTalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

I’ll get us started …

It’s always tough just picking one because this time of year is rich with traditions and memories attached to those traditions. Plus there’s the fact that there are traditions from growing up with each of our families as well as my husband’s and my own traditions. I think I’ll choose a tradition Steve and I have created together.

Since we are the ones traveling each year to see our families, we never get to be at our home for Christmas. Because we’re usually in the air or on the road, we decided not to tote our Christmas gifts for each other along for the ride. Instead, we started doing our own Christmas night before we take off each year. We make dinner, sip on cups of hot cider and cocoa, get our Christmas jammies on, and open up gifts side by side. It’s a sweet little night that we look forward to each year. Hopefully at some point we’ll get to enjoy Christmas in our own home, but for now, we enjoy this pre-Christmas night together.

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISEDIf you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Make A Difference graphicTalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What is the most challenging part of being with you and your spouse’s (or significant other’s) families for the holidays? How do you handle those challenges?

I’ll get us started …

Fortunately Steve and I both love each other’s families. We definitely hit the jackpot in the family department, but nonetheless, you put a bunch of people under one roof that haven’t been in a while for more than a few days, and things can get a little interesting. Especially once you get married and the dynamics change, it seems like a puzzle you have to piece together – how does everyone’s new roles fit together?

For Steve and I, I think we’ve both just had to learn how to create space for just the two of us amidst family time. We’re used to it being just the two of us, and it’s hard to adjust to no quality time for a week (or more) at a time. Both of us have quality time at the top of our love language list, so I think we tend to get a little irritated (with ourselves, each other, and our family) when we don’t have that time together. So, we’ve started carving out small chunks of time for us to get in that qt. Sometimes that means dinner with some friends, a walk just the two of us around the block, or running a few errands together to get out of the house. We know family time is limited so we want to maximize that, but we still know that those quick pockets of us time help us stay in good spirits, which in turn helps us make the most of our family time.

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISEDIf you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Make A Difference graphicTalkingTuesday

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

When do you and your spouse/family typically decorate for Christmas?

I’ll get us started …

Steve and I love Christmas, and we’re not shy about admitting it! For us, the sooner we can decorate, the better. So, typically, we get out all of our indoor decorations and outdoor lights, and put those up the weekend after Halloween. We get a live tree; so unfortunately, we have to

be more patient with getting that up and decorated. Most places don’t start selling them until after Thanksgiving, so we head out as soon as we get home from our Thanksgiving travels to get one. We have a fun tradition of picking out our tree, ordering pizza, and decorating with Christmas music blaring. Of course we cap it off with hot cider (for Steve) and hot cocoa (for me).

Some people think that decorating and getting Christmas festivities underway so quickly undermines Thanksgiving, but we don’t feel that way at all. If anything, it gets us in the perfect, thankful spirit for Thanksgiving. We thoroughly enjoy Thanksgiving and make the most of it, but we have the added bonus of also enjoying Christmas as long as possible too 🙂

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISED

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

Tell us about one of your Christmas traditions…

I’ll get us started …

We have a lot of Christmas traditions, but I’ll just share with you one that’s really special to me personally. Steve and I alternate going to his parents and mine each Christmas, and this year we will be in Pennsylvania with mine. One of my favorite traditions with my family is a Christmas Eve candlelight service at my childhood church in our little hometown. We sing traditional hymns while the sanctuary is illuminated by a bunch of tiny flames that each of us holds in our hands, and there’s something so intimate and special about those precious moments. It’s kind of indescribable, but it feels like the very heart of Christmas fills the room.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

 

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What is your favorite part of Christmas?

I’ll get us started …

My favorite part of Christmas is the very heart of its existence. The fact that we have joy, peace, comfort, and hope through the Savior we so desperately need. No other religion has a god like Thee God. Our God is the only one that doesn’t say we have to earn His love, forgiveness, grace, or eternal life. In fact, He says that we can’t! It’s a gift He gives us, and it came in the humble form of a baby in Bethlehem long ago who ended up paying the ultimate price for all of our sins that death would lose its sting, and we would have hope in a dark and broken world.

That is what Christmas is about – true hope and joy that penetrates and permeates the very soul. The ultimate gift that can’t help but make us want to burst out in song, praise, and laughter. That makes us want to spread cheer and extend that same love and generosity that was extended to us when we least deserved it.

While I love the lights, carols, trees, movies, hot cocoa, baking, and presents, they are shadows in the light of the greatest, most amazing, timeless gift of all – Jesus, our Immanuel, God with us.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

 

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

 

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

How do you and your spouse incorporate both of your families into the holiday season?

I’ll get us started …

When Steve and I started dating we discussed how we would handle the holiday season with our families. My parents are still in Pennsylvania, and his family is up the in the Bay Area, so we wouldn’t have the convenience of just hopping from one house to the next for Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, we agreed to rotate those two holidays each year. For example, this year we did Thanksgiving with his parents, and Christmas will be back East with my parents. Next year will be the opposite.

It’s never easy for either of us to be away from our family of origin on these special days, but we wanted to be fair to one another and our families. Plus, we’ve both learned to enjoy the traditions of the other’s family despite them being pretty different from what we’re accustomed too. Marriage is about compromise, adjustments, and a good attitude, so that’s what we’ve tried to have in accommodating both of our families this time of year.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

Congratulations to our November Talking Tuesday Giveaway winner … Jamie B.! We love hearing from all of you, so make sure you keep joining our weekly conversations for your chance to win December’s Giveaway!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

 

Festive Fun

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Ashley McIlwain

For anyone that knows my husband, Steve, and me, they know that we are somewhat obsessive over Christmas. We love everything about Christmas, and we just can’t celebrate the season enough! Twinkling lights, soft scarves and mittens, time with family, familiar Christmas melodies, gingerbread cookies, the birth of our Savior (not in that order) … what’s not to love?!

While controversial to some, we get a jump on celebrating Christmas by decorating as soon as Halloween is over. That’s right, this year, our home (minus our Christmas tree because we get a live one) got its festive facelift on the first weekend of November. Before you roll your eyes, throw your hands up in protest, or point a finger, hear me out.

We don’t ignore or overlook Thanksgiving. In fact, we feel like Thanksgiving is the perfect prelude to Christmas, and we love taking time to gather round the overstuffed table giving thanks for God’s goodness in our lives. But here’s the thing, how can you say it’s wrong to want to relish the one time a year that everyone seems just a bit friendlier … that joy is a frequent visitor of … that celebrates purpose, hope, and the ultimate gift in Jesus Christ … that brings people together?

For us, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and we just can’t contain our excitement and love for it … so we don’t. And we don’t apologize for it. This year, we decided to tackle a few festive and fun activities together. First, we finally made a gingerbread house together. This has been an item on Steve’s Christmas to do list since I met him, so this year we made it a priority and a reality. We gathered up a bunch of candy and went to town on our beautiful, brown cottage of sugar and spice. It was fun to work as a team, and yet, we both left our distinctive marks.

The second activity we took on was hand-painting a nativity set that my sister bought us a couple years ago. We (mainly me) underestimated how involved and time-consuming this project was, but we really had a blast. My husband was such a good sport about it, and I loved seeing his finished products. At the end of it all, we were left with what we like lovingly refer to as “Our Family Heirloom” since we spent so much time on it. This is one of those things that will be forced on generations to come.

We laughed, concentrated, and sipped on hot cider while making precious memories together that will truly last a lifetime.

Have any of you done any festive and fun activities so far? Do you have any planned? Do tell 🙂

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

When do you and your spouse decorate for Christmas? If you’re single, when do you decorate for Christmas?

I’ll get us started …

This may be controversial, but my husband I typically put out all of our Christmas decorations (minus the tree because we get a live one) the first weekend of November. It’s not that we are overlooking Thanksgiving because that’s a holiday that we both love as well. It’s just that we both absolutely love Christmas … every little thing about it! Plus, we do a lot of traveling to see our spread-out families over the months of November and December, so we want to make sure we maximize enjoying our decorations.

Honestly, Christmas makes me so joyful. The whole message and reason for Christmas makes me well up with all sorts of emotions. There’s something about Christmas that just doesn’t happen any other time of year, so in our house, we eek out every little ounce of the season we can.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.