I finally wrote my Christmas letter today. I really wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. It won’t be to the usual scale, I’ll email a few and post to those from whom we received. I commented on a great post about Christmas Cards by Helen Hayward on Christmas Eve that I felt sad I hadn’t written yet as it is a special tradition I treasure but moreso I felt that trying to squeeze it in (instead of reading blogs :p) was not my priority.
Christmas has been a bit funny for me this year. I managed to get through the stress of shopping (condensing most of it into one day with hubby) and be quite satisfied with our choices. I really enjoyed our celebrations with church, friends and family (although I was kinda rude at yesterdays in-law gathering – when I get tired I’m hopeless at hiding it and trying to be social, tips anyone?). The kids seemed enthralled in both the magic and meaning of the day which makes it all worthwhile but mostly I’ve just been waiting for bedtime.
My family had a good year but I’ve seen so many posts on FB of people who can’t wait to be rid of 2016. It’s made me sad that my good year (following a truly crappy one) has been one so full of pain for others. Last year I lost a dear friend and it annoys me how people have despaired of the celebrity losses in 2016 when any loss of life is tragic. Although I did read another great post which helped change my perspective a bit (When your childhood dies). I’ve had friends and family unexpectedly lose mothers, husbands (brothers, uncles) and babies. It really does make you wonder what Gods plan is. Indeed I find myself questioning this on almost a daily basis, but I also know without a doubt that without His grace, we would be truly lost. I continue to pray that all my friends and family also come to know the peace and steadfastness found in faith, in Christ Jesus. As shared in A Lutheran Ministry Hour devotion …
‘If the shepherds were anything like most people, they felt no danger sitting out in the fields that Christmas night. Then in an instant the angel appeared, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. In that horrifying moment they saw the darkness of their sinful lives in the holy light of God, and they were gripped with the terror of His wrath.Each of us will experience that moment someday — either at our death or at Christ’s return.
Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my place and suffering for my sins. Guide me to show others why they need Your salvation too. Amen.’
I feel a calling to help people see a need for forgiveness, to see the evil in the world and condemn it. I also feel a calling to give as I know I am one of the lucky ones in a privileged position. Some resolutions for next year?
To firstly though finish off 2016 – My Family’s Highlight Reel:
- My husband won a footy grand final and worked too hard.
- I worked a full year without time off for mental illness (!) – and also studied, wrote a blog, book club-ed, got involved at school and even kept relatively on top of the dishes and washing.
- My daughter thrived in reception, was involved in chapels, assemblies, school and ballet concerts. She also lost lots of teeth!
- My son enjoyed many bike, ute, truck, tractor, telehandler and header rides! He also attended child care making good friends to join at kindy next year.
- We were joined by a pup and a boarder. We holidayed and renovated.
Life has been pretty good to me the last few weeks. I’ve been experiencing that wonderful feeling when you come out from a depression and everything just feels so amazingly better. I’ve got more energy, motivation and feel happy and content. I’ve also again realised just how crappy depression is for making you feel so awful.
I feel very fortunate to have made it out of the hole in time for Christmas – I’ve been able to get organised even writing my annual Christmas letters.
Big achievements for my family this year were
- my daughter completed her year of kindy – where she truly thrived and matured. She is a clever, friendly, even helpful (!) young lady and has made us so proud. Throughout the year she participated in Preschool Games (mini Olympics), Grandparents day and visits with police, fire and ambulance personnel to name just a few highlights. She also caught the bus, and is so very ready for school
- my son at 2 started family day care once a week . He loves babies especially his new cousins – when he gets to see them. He has a big love of all things farm and machinery, loving going with Grandpa to check sheep or rides in trucks/tractors/headers. He attended two concerts this year Wiggles and Fairies, he sat so still and engrossed at both it was hard to know if he enjoyed , but constant requests to go back for more got the message across.
- my husband played in two grand finals for cricket and football, sadly coming second in both. He still came home with several more trophies. He also continued his gardening passion. The kids particularly love picking peas with him and we have flowers too. Harvest went well.
- A few achievements for myself were organising a movie night to raise money for White Ribbon (domestic violence) and successfully applying for a grant to get funding for a play area at our local sporting ground
My Pa passed away earlier this month, he was my last remaining grandparent. While I will miss him I am so very happy that he is now in heaven, his long awaited destination after a life dedicated to Jesus. His funeral was a special occasion with 11/13 of his grandchildren present and all 15 great-grandchildren, we went to a park together to catch up.
Last week I returned to work, I m doing an extra day, two days a week and so far it’s gone well. Amazing how much easier life is when you have confidence in your self. I hope you too are feeling well and have some lovely plans for over the next few days
What kind of Christmas shopper are you?
- Get in all on lay-by in the June/July toy sales?
- Buying all year long?
- Organised in October or November?
- Or last minute?
I’m a start thinking in October it would be great to get organised early this year. 2. Stress in November that I’m not organised. 3. Have a day in December where I get majority of it done (this year with hubby in tow) and then bemoan myself for all my stressing. Although I’m sure the last step is start stressing again about the little things I still need to get done!!
Had to write this post before I went to bed tonight to remind myself it’s ok to leave the shopping until December. It always gets done. Today was a productive shopping day, my kids are pretty well done and I have a good idea about those still to be completed. Such a relief!
Next question – who do you buy for?
My husband and I are a bit scroogy. We buy for the kids obviously, sometimes for each other. Still doing all the nieces and nephews (we have 8), then Kris Kringle for two of the adults on my side of the family and this year we are trialling a random present (game style) on hubby’s side – bit excited about that actually as Kris Kringle has pretty well become ask what the person wants somewhat covertly and buy it, not a lot of creativity. Don’t do many presents for friends depends on my mood!
Wishing you successful shopping!!