Monday, December 13, 2010

Creating Christmas

While enjoying a new experience for Christmas last year in Hunedoara, Romania, I learned a valuable lesson.  I thought I already knew this lesson, but apparently I did not.  You see, in Romania, few people decorate for Christmas or even have a tree.  Shelby and I truly experienced the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  There was no pressure to decorate, bake, purchase gifts, etc.  We spent time with new friends, people who had nothing, not even a home, and we caroled all night long (me on Christmas Eve, and Shelby for the rest of the week).

This year I wanted to not lose our new perspective.  God has blessed this wish.  In year's past there was stress about getting the house decorated quickly, to create and send out Christmas cards, to get presents purchased and under the tree, to bake and have the house clean so that I could "enjoy" the holiday.

I decided to lose the pressure.  I did decorate.  But I only worked on it when I wanted to and did not make it a family chore.  The wonderful result was that my family got involved because I was having fun with it and they wanted to join in.  I made Christmas a fun craft.  There was no pressure or expectation.  They are finished and waiting for a trip to the post office.  I have made homemade gifts for some of my friends.  What I am trying to say is that this has been the least pressure-filled Christmas I have ever experienced.  I now know that you can relax and soak in the presence of our Lord and still have pretty lights to look at.

Creating all about attitude.

Creating the Christmas cards

I found these cute tags for 50% off and added a impromptu family photo to the back taken at Cracker Barrel with a holiday greeting and myself Photoshopped in.

My "Santa Fe Tree" in the kitchen

Shelby got into the fun by displaying her Breyer Holiday Horses

My favorite...the Nativity

Mike even helped to light his extensive collection of Firehouse villages

Our main tree in the art studio/sunroom.  You'll see a lot of red because over 25 years of marriage we've collected a lot of Fire department ornaments!

We've gotten the girls an ornament each year so that when they are on their own, they have a collection for their own tree.  Shelby wanted to display her own ornaments, as they tend to get lost amongst all the fire department ornaments on the main tree.

Shelby at work on her own creative endeavors