season of gratitute

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

Every year when December arrives, I get nostalgic thinking about all Christmases passed.  We didn't have much growing up and decoration for the tree is just mainly lights and fluffed up cotton balls that my brother and I put all over the tree so it looks like snow.  Under those twinkling lights, my brother and I would dance from one end of the room to the other while my mom and grandma smiles at us, encouraging us to dance some more.  There aren't many gifts, just one each to be exact, from my mom, and a couple dollars from my grandma.  I don't remember what gifts we received over the years, but what I remember though, we were happy.  We were happy just to be in each other's presence.  I looked back fondly at all the tree and house decorating times with mom and brother, and memories of my lovely grandma, grinning from ear to ear over a soap box or a chantilly gift set she gets each year. She's always so thankful.  It was wonderful.

It was never about the gift, we didn't have much, but we were filled over with love and laughter and warmth.  It's the time we spent together that stuck with me.  It's those moments that lives on.

In recent years, with the additional of kids, we've received many cards and gifts from families and friends come Christmas time.  We feel blessed for them.   Every year I would watch the kid/kids ripped furiously through boxes and boxes of presents on Christmas morning.  The joy it seems, as though to be in the unwrapping of presents, of ripping up paper.  They do like and play with the toys too, but after like a week, they moved on to something else.  No toy ever was a "favorite" for long.  Witnessing all these, I desire to make Christmas not about just stuff for our kids.  The reason of the season is to celebrate Christ's birth, thankful for His gift of love.  These few days of holiday for us before the year end give us time to be together, to spend with family and friends !  I love sharing meals with them and discuss the world while the children run around, laughing, giggling, and crying !   Those are special times.  I hope our kids embrace those time and also our family traditions !  I hope happy memories will live on in our kids, like how it was with me,.... trim the tree, bake cookies, count down to Christmas day, fill the shoebox, pray for the snow...

Our kids might be too young to fully appreciate the gesture of the person who bought them their Christmas gifts, but I try my best to explain to them so they understand how special it is to be thought of, and to receive a gift, any gift.  I find kids are a bit self centered naturally :)  Everything is "me" and "mine" !  It's a life long practice, the attitude of gratitude, it doesn't come over night or a month or a year.  At 35 I'm still practicing to be grateful !  it does come easier with practice, that I can assure you.  The more we appreciate what we have, the less the "want", the less we feel the need to keep up, or to prove ourselves or's a very healthy mindset.  A grateful heart is a happy heart !

I made some stockings for us and Bee helped me with the fuzz balls decoration.  Inspired by our Hungry
Caterpillar craft time !  Those fuzz balls are quite fun to work with.

Our homemade count down mailbox !  When the "Open Me" arm is up, it signaled Bee to check
the mailbox.  Some day there's treat in there for her and Lovebug, some day there's an invite
for cookie baking or book reading.  I try to be creative :)