A handpicked list of things worth getting excited about– especially at Christmas.
This spot in my kitchen is one of my favorite spots in the house right now.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
We made our traditional countdown calendar and hung it on the wall last week, but my kids still ask me how many more weeks it is until Christmas constantly. I wonder when they will switch to how many days? For now, “two weeks” is a sufficient answer for them– at least for a few hours until they forget and need to ask again.
The fact that it is only now two weeks away makes me both excited and sad– I love this season and honestly get just as giddy about giving gifts as my kids do about receiving them, but I am also finding it hard to believe that this season of anticipation is already almost over.
I am not stressing my to-do list, because I have (mostly) come to the place where I realize that what doesn’t get done just it not a big deal. I am working on learning this by heart in areas of my life other than holiday lists as well. What can I say? It’s a process.
There are plenty of things that are, in fact, going undone this year. There simply is not enough time in the day. At least not when over half of your days is spent feeding, changing, cleaning children. You know, the basics. I do wonder what this season will be like when there are no diapers, no naps, and (hopefully) fewer spilled milks (every meal, I tell you!). Will we be able to read all the books, do all the crafts, and savor all the moments better than we can now? Maybe, but I have a feeling I will also be trading some of the magic for a little easiness in my day. So I am reminding myself to be content to let a lot go undone and remember that the uniqueness of this time is something that can never be replicated quite the same.
frosted tea cakes generously sprinkled by my kids
Before Christmas is here and gone this year, I wanted to share with you a few things I am currently excited about. It’s a little time sensitive, so even though I shared another What I’m Loving post recently, I am skipping ahead and writing a special Christmas edition.
As always, I would love to hear what has been extra special, exciting, or memorable for you recently too!. Share it in the comments at the end of this post.
What I’m Loving- Christmas Edition
Facebook Live tutorials
I took a blogging course with Crystal Paine (Money Saving Mom and blogging extraordinaire) and she pushed me to try Facebook Live. Long story short, I’m hooked. I am no where near a pro at live recordings, but am really enjoying the personal feel and the chance to share more encouragement and help in a different medium. Not to mention recording a video is typically a lot less work than a blog post!
Today I did a FB live video on 5 tips for making your holiday travel easier. While I do think the tips are on point (you can find travel tips in post form here), I think I need to watch a video on 5 tips for not being so long-winded and keeping FB live videos concise. Ha! All that to say, I knoooowww. I’m aiming for about ten minute videos. Maybe I should get myself a stopwatch?
If you are not following This Pilgrim Life on Facebook, you should hop right over and remedy that. I can wait.
A few of the videos I am most excited about with Christmas in mind are the DIY videos. Step-by-step in video form and perfect for crossing off a few more gifts off your list (or figuring out what to do with the growing stack of Christmas cards you’re receiving).
Here are three, easy to do, DIY videos to check out for gift ideas:
- DIY Infinity Scarf in just 10 minutes (this was my first video, which will be obvious if you watch it)
- DIY toddler purse (or the written tutorial)
- DIY zippered pouch (I’ve already made 8 this week!)
Good Christmas books
I checked out a couple dozen books from the library, and combined with the Christmas books we already own, we have PLENTY of holiday books to select from everyday. I wrapped up about half of the books, but since we will be out of town for an entire week before Christmas, I did not worry about wrapping enough for each day.
Sarah Mackenzie’s winter booklist and my friend Leigh Ann from Intentional By Grace’s list of favorite holiday books were both very helpful in choosing books worth reading. It’s not too late to find a new favorite or add to your collection!
A few books in particular have stood out to me and have been more than cute ways to share the Christmas story with my kids–they have also helped to remind me of truth and beauty, and encouraged my heart, which is what every good book should do.
The Three Trees — This book has been a wonderful reminder that though we have great plans for our lives, we can trust our dreams to God, who will do much more than we could plan for ourselves. This book is a great conversation starter in so many ways.
Silent Night: The Story & Its Song –This year I am trying to focus on helping my kids learn more of the Christmas hymns to sing along. Silent Night is one of our favorites and we learned so much through this book. It is very interesting and inspiring to know the backstory to hymns.
The Joy of Giving — I love (most of) the Berenstein Bears books! There are so many BB books for just about any occasion. This cute story is a simple, child-friendly reminder that Christmas is much more than getting gifts off your list.
Hilarious Party Game
This week was our church’s annual women’s Christmas dinner. The party was held at my friend’s amazing house (I think her kitchen island is the size of my kitchen). We had a great turnout of ladies and young women, and an even better turnout of party food. I came empty handed, but there was more than enough food for my dish to be missed.
We played an awesome game at the party that I knew I wanted to share with you. Everyone brought an ornament to exchange, but you could easily do this game with any number of things. We all sat in a circle and passed the gift bags to the right or left according to the instructions in a story, which our hostess read aloud. The game was fast-paced and fun and, best of all(?), required no preparation.
You can download the game here. (It could be adapted to be played at other times of the year too).
After hearing so many people raving about this series on Netflix, I finally gave in and started watching. If you are not familiar with The Crown, it is an historical show about Queen Elizabeth’s life, and the goings ons of the royal family and prime minister in England. The show is really well done and the historical elements are really interesting. Episode 6 was so sad, especially at the end when the true numbers were shared. (Interested yet?)
It’s definitely a binge-worthy show while you are staying up late packing or working on Christmas presents like me.