aaaah a LONG Holiday Weekend....

I can’t believe it’s finally here! A long weekend – full of no work (that I’m going to be doing at my office anyway), lots of laughter, and my parents! Wahoo! I am totally excited! My parents know me better than anyone else (well…. about most things but we won’t go into that…. Tee hee hee) and they always seem to know just what it takes to get me to relax and just ‘be’. I am so excited to be able to take the time and do that this weekend.

Christmas started to happen at my house – finally. Honestly, I didn’t think it would happen, but it did – and I am SO glad. No, the big tree isn’t up this year, but I do have my little German tree, and it’s loaded with all kinds of things that remind me of my German Christmas’s growing up. It’s in our entry way, and it’s there to see me off in the morning, and greet me when I come home each night. The stockings are hung (all 9 of them) and are awaiting the magic that fills them up on Christmas Eve (and boy are there fun things to fill them up with!). There are baskets and plates filled with red, gold, white, and clear glittery, sparkly ornaments popping up here and there. Christmas cards and other holiday greetings have filled our mantle to overflowing – we are so blessed!

The ingredients have been purchased to make our holiday ‘take arounds” for our neighbors and friends (some who are as close as family!). Mom and I will head to Wally World to pick up a few things so that she can make her famous hot fudge recipe (yum!) and we’ll drop that off to one of her dearest friends – hopefully we’ll be able to pop over and visit another one of them too.

My shopping is as done as it’s going to be. I’m sure I’ll find a few things to add to the bounty. I can’t wait to see the faces of some of our guests – I think they’ll really love their gifts, or at least I hope so. A lot of work and thought went into them. Mom and I plan to go and visit IKEA tomorrow, and I never leave without spending a few more dollars than I had planned. We’ll probably stop by Burlington Coat Factory and Kohl’s because, well quite honestly they are some of her favorite shopping places – and they don’t have them in Farmington where they live.

Our Christmas Eve dinner has been planned out, homemade Mexican Style (chicken enchiladas, tamales, rice, homemade refried beans, guacamole, etc – maybe even a little queso dip for good measure). Christmas Breakfast (hash brown casserole, French toast casserole and cranberry scones) and our Christmas Day dinner is ready to be shopped for and finished (both turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, frog eye salad, homemade Beste bread –YUM!!, Christmas cheesecake, and a few vegi’s for good measure). Food will definitely be plentiful, and I’ll probably gain a few pounds, but over the holidays I don’t mind. It’ll jump start me into my body toning plan for next year. It’ll be a big hurrah before I go on my healthy food run.

A quick thought that touched me this season:

"For a few moments, may we set aside the catalogs of Christmas, with their gifts of exotic description. Let's even turn from the flowers for Mother, the special tie for Father, the cute doll, the train that whistles, the long-awaited bicycle—even the books and videos—and direct our thoughts to God-given gifts that endure." ~ Thomas S. Monson

Sadly, so much of Christmas is commercialized. One of the greatest things my parents ever decided to do was only give us 3 gifts at Christmas (of course, this was after we all knew Santa's secret), just as Jesus recieved 3 gifts - one from each wisemen. I think it really helped us remember why we celebrate and remember such an important day. I think Steve and I will likely do the same.
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