Christmas 2006: Getting into the Spirit

I’m trying REALLY hard to get myself into the Christmas spirit. This year, it’s harder than I expected it to be. Working so many hours, hasn’t allowed me to do the things I normally do that make it “feel” like Christmas. In years past, some of the things I’ve done to get into the Christmas spirit include:

  • Choosing a boy from an “angel tree” who is the same age as Dylan. It’s a fun way to do something positive in his memory, and in turn keeping me in touch with things little boys his age do.
  • Singing away and to my hearts content with the church choir and joyfully join in the congregational singing of Christmas music and of course this naturally includes singing in the car, in line at the store, and at work! I’m admitting it, but I haven’t yet joined a choir in Texas. There… it’s out there. All of my Utah college friends are probably in shock, and my Ohio friends probably are too. (I’m a big time lover of singing!) Mom and Dad don’t be TOO shocked when you come out next week. I know, I LOVE to sing. But, honestly we haven’t made it to church in a few weeks (you already know that though). Both Steve and I’s work schedules have been REALLY crazy. I’ve been working 7 days straight for almost a month (wait… that’s almost 28 days straight… this girl needs a BREAK!) – Sunday’s included. A few of my favorite Christmas church songs are: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, A Single Star (Choir Arrangement), The First Noel, Silent Night (Stille Nacht auf Deutsche), and Sleep Holy Child (performance arrangement).
  • Baking up a festive storm and delivering treat plates to friends and family. I love to bake (my mother instilled this in me at a very young age). Of course, it’s always great to share the calories with others (and thus eliminating some of the temptation to us!) Some of my favorite holiday yummies include Christmas Cherry Bread (It’s a Beste thing), Russian Teacakes, German Spice Cookies (with almonds!), Ohio Buckeyes, Butter Spritz Cookies and Corn Flake wreaths! Unfortunately, there hasn't been any time to bake yet! Boo!
  • Decking the Halls (aka our house) with all kinds of festive jolly. I LOVE putting up my Christmas tree. It’s taken me a while to find the perfect decorations for it (and of course, every year I find a few more to add to it). I love how it ends up... totally packed with ornaments all in red, gold, clear, cream, or “natural” (like grapevine stars, german straw stars, pinecones, etc). The only decorating I've done this year (so far) is to hang a few "spare" stockings on the fireplace mantel for our guests, and wreaths on the front door (front and back). Depressing, eh? Hopefully this weekend we'll get to decking our halls!
  • Jamming to Holiday tunes. This year, I added a few new discs to my collection. I LOVE bluegrass music (Allison Krauss and Nickel Creek are a few favorites- it’s too bad that neither have Christmas discs!) and have really been hoping to find a few discs in that genre. Bah – haven’t found any yet. I do have plenty of Country Christmas music though. Two other cd’s that I added to our collection this year are Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan (awesome, incredible and beautiful album!) and Sounds of the Season by John Legend (Dad, you’ll love this one, it’s very jazzy and bluesy!). Of course, I can’t help but pop in my old time music (ha ha ha) like the nSync Christmas CD, Jessica Simpson’s CD, or one of Mariah Carey’s holiday CD’s. And of course, it just isn’t Christmas without Neil Diamond singing to me (curses to my mother – I HATED it growing up, but now it’s just not the same).
  • Shopping on Black Friday. Although in years past this has been a lot of fun (in Ohio with my girl friends), I haven’t done it in at least 3 years. As fun as it was, I can’t say that I’m terribly heartbroken that I haven’t participated. I’m more heartbroken that I still have plenty of shopping still to do!
  • Secret Santa Exchanges. I’m participating in 3 different exchanges. Yes, 3!! I’m playing with my co-Pink Ladies over at, and with the other designers on the Maya Road Design Team. I’m also playing at work – yikes… no wonder I don’t have all of my shopping done, I’m too busy being a Secret Santa!
  • Making my Christmas Cards. THis year, I actually have a plan - and it's in motion. Those of you who know me well, know that I am HORRIBLE at starting projects and not getting them finished. I'm just that way! But, the cards are going to go out this year - even if I don't get a minutes sleep! Many of my friends and family expect something handmade, especially since I do so much design work. Honestly, the pressure of creating something that will do (and sometimes it'll just HAVE to do) is overwhelming and nothing gets done.
Hopefully, as the rest of the week rolls on, I'll get a few more things accomplished. Hopefully I'll be a bit more in the holiday, festive mood. Hopefully, I'll not be at work so much this weekend and can actually get a few things accomplished!


Anonymous said...

Nice blog.


Anonymous said...

I've never posted on your blog before but as soon as I saw you make the "buckeyes" I had to find out what your recipe is. I have made 2 different recipe's and they don't taste as good as ones I had years and years ago. So, since all of the stuff you make sounds so yummy, I just had to ask if you could send me your recipe for them.

Anonymous said...

I had to chuckle when I read your blog today. Neil Diamond, huh? Good for you. My favorite Christmas CD now is Kathy Mathea's (ms)Good News album. If we get into Albuquerque in time, I'll stop by the commissary and see if they have any of the German Spice Cookies left. If they do, I'll pick up a couple of pkgs. Along the line of cooking - I really would like to make up a double batch of hot fudge sauce to take over to the Hamiltons on the 23rd as a surprise. What do you think? We can make some for Steve to drool over too. Is there anything you want me to bake and bring? Buckeye's? Can you find your recipe. If not, I have one ... oh, yes, I think it's in the cookbook I gave you last year - the one that has "my" recipes in it. Don't stress over getting handmade cards out this year. People will just be happy to hear from you - trust me on this one. Less than a week now! Can't wait!