Sunday, December 23, 2012

On Traditions and Evil Panic Monsters

 Merry Christmas from the Clem Castle to yours...
The first decorations that go up every year.  Some pieces I bought and some were inherited from Dan's mom.
 Sharing with you some of my Christmas decorating and a wish for a very Merry Christmas.  I have a ton of things to do on this eve of Christmas Eve...but when the inspiration hits you have to go with it!

This is probably my favorite spot.  It's always too hot to burn a fire here in AZ, but I wouldn't give up my fireplace for anything!
Building on last year, I am trying my best to have a blissful, non-panic filled, zen Christmas.  I have evil panic monsters in my brain.  When they come out it's no fun for anyone...I try my best to keep them at bay.  It helped that I was off from work this whole week in order to prepare. And I decided to do no baking this year.  Something had to give and that was it.  No one in our house needs the extra sugar so it was the easy thing to cut.  It's hard for me to give up these things I consider tradition, but quite honestly, I don't think anyone has missed it.  If they have they are being nice and not saying anything about it. 

My two smaller trees and my mom's hutch.  I love everything about this!


 Santa and Snowmen tree on the left, Teddy Bear tree on the right.  This grew out of my love for teddy bears and wanting to have a tree dedicated to just that.  Then, over the years it just sort of morphed into this.

There are some traditions that are not negotiable.  Such as decorating.  I have thought many times that I would just put up the big tree and the nativity and do nothing else.  That's pretty much how my mom decorated.  But, even though I do go a little over board, it makes me happy to turn on the lights and enjoy all the beautiful things I have collected or inherited over the years. My favorite tradition is our annual Christmas Eve dinner and a movie followed by Christmas Eve Mass.  This is a tradition we started with our kids about 12 years ago and I am happy to say that even now that they are all adults, they still want to do it every year.  We all pick out a movie, go to the theater in the early evening and after the movie we walk across the street to Chili's and have dinner.  After dinner we go home, change clothes and head off to Christmas Eve Mass.  It's been a wonderful tradition for us.  A kind of way to wind down after all the hubbub of preparing for the holiday and a time to get rested up for Christmas Day...when we host close to 30 people every year for dinner.  I love traditions, and these are my favorites.

The big tree and my hutch in the foyer.  The stockings hanging on the hutch are Dan's and my first stockings.  The are two of my favorite things.

I have been making sure that I remember my blessings this year also.  I am so very blessed by everything I have in my life.  My faith, a wonderful family, a job, a roof over my head, food to's a long list.  I really believe this has helped me to put the focus where it needs to be this year.  Whenever the evil panic monsters start invading my brain, I just start thanking God for all the blessings He has rained down on me.  My heart feels instantly lighter and the fact that I have not wrapped a single present yet, doesn't seem so important.

My wish for you this Christmas is a day filled with faith, family, friends, traditions and no panic monsters.  I hope you all have a very Blessed Christmas, and remember.....

Jesus is the reason for the season! 

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