Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry CHRISTmas!!

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:4-5

The day is finally here, and what a lovely day it is.  Weather in the low 70's, overcast and breezy but not rainy, a tad humid but not too bad.  I love living in Florida!

Despite having gone to bed at almost 2 am, I was awake at 6:30.  Granted, I napped on and off from 11:30 till 1 am, but I think my body is on a clock that can't be adjusted.  I didn't mind, though; who can be upset about waking up early Christmas morning?!  I got washed up, then woke my little monkey up.  I laughed at the fact that it was 7 am and he was still asleep.  When I asked him why he was so different from other kids that wake up early, he shot up and said, "That's right, it's Christmas!"  His siblings were already up so we got started opening presents right away.  I definitely wanted to do this before their dad showed up.  Christmas is something I don't want to share with him, at least not right now.  Their father cares too much about the financial aspect of a gift; a present that isn't expensive is not a good present.  I'm very different.  I look for things that I know people will enjoy, regardless of the price.  If I find a nice shirt for my son and it only costs $7.00, I will still get it because it's something I know my son will like or that he needs.  His dad would be appalled at wearing something worth so little.  It takes all the fun and joy out of exchanging gifts if someone is constantly asking, "How much did that cost?" or "What did you pay for that?"  Even stores matter to him.  He won't wear something from Kohl's because his clothes have to come from Macy's or JC Penney.  I don't want my gifts to be looked down on, or my kids thinking their gifts aren't good enough.  So we opened our presents and enjoyed seeing what we all got.  My oldest son R got us all these really cute pillows that look like books.  He gave E a Treasure Island pillow, his sister got Alice In Wonderland, and I got my favorite book since I was a teenager, Sherlock Holmes.  It was such a cool gift!  He also gave me a cookbook, Ree Drummond's A Year Of Holidays, with all kinds of holiday recipes.  She is a favorite of mine, so I could not be happier!  I got 2 DVD's from my daughter, Annie Claus Is Coming To Town which is a super cute (sappy) Christmas movie that I totally love, and a collection of Disney's Herbie movies.  My youngest son gave me another movie I've been wanting for a while, Mom's Night Out on blu-ray.  It is one of the funniest movies I've seen, I highly recommend it!  Of course there was all the makeup I got from Bare Escentuals that I didn't have to pay for, which made for an even brighter Christmas!  My kids also liked their gifts, which was a combination of video games, board games and clothes.  Then I went to the kitchen to start making breakfast while they called their dad to come open presents as well.  As I made buttermilk pancakes and crispy bacon, my kids opened some very nice gifts from their father:  each of the boys got a Wii U console with games, and my daughter got clothes and makeup that she really wanted.  When it came to them giving him his gifts, it was clear what his favorite was.  R bought his dad a high-end pillow, made with Egyptian cotton, hypoallergenic, original price of $80 that he scored on Cyber Monday for $25.  A got him some Nautica perfume which he liked as well.  As for the facial products, he didn't seem impressed.  I don't think he realized what these products cost, but I didn't make a big deal about it.  It's Christmas, and I wanted to enjoy the day, not be upset by people I can't change.

After that I spent a whole lot of time getting the house back in order.  I make sure we have a couple of trash bags to throw away all the discarded wrapping paper, but I always keep the boxes, bags, gift tags and tissue paper.  Reduce-reuse-recycle!  I don't recycle the wrapping paper because it's hard to reuse once it's been cut and taped and the kids rip into it, but I keep everything else.  The tissue paper is the trickiest, making sure it's folded properly and not torn.  I filled up a bag with reusable tissue, then packed everything away in the closet.  There was plenty more to pick up and put away, too.  My son E was overwhelmed with the amount of clothes he got:  there were 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of sweatpants, and 11 new shirts in different styles and colors.  You must understand, my son likes to wear the same 3 or 4 shirts ALL THE TIME.  It drives me nuts!  He has a closet full of shirts that he doesn't wear because either they don't fit him the way he likes, or don't fit him at all, or they have some kind of design he doesn't like.  His dad had bought him lots of Ecko Limited t-shirts but he doesn't like the bold designs on them.  This time all the shirts are plain round or v-neck tees, but it was so many he was sure he'd never get to wear any of them.  His older brother had a talk with him, and told him it was important that he make the effort to wear them, otherwise he would appear ungrateful.  He gave in and put on a dark grey shirt which looked really nice.  I'm hoping that once he gets used to the idea of having lots of nice clothes he won't feel like they're taking over his closet.  I did go in and pulled a bunch of shirts that he doesn't wear to take to Goodwill.  Once I'd done that the closet appeared empty, making it seem like there weren't that many new clothes after all.  I don't know if he's fully convinced; my son is a creature of habit, and new things don't fall into his habitual behavior.  As I told my daughter, he definitely isn't a girl.  Girls would love nothing more than to receive a boatload of clothes for Christmas!

I started lunch just after noon.  The turkey was done from the day before; all that was needed was some mashed potatoes and green beans.  My best friend IV stopped by as I was cooking, and brought a Christmas present for us:  tickets for Winter Jam next month, and tickets to see Chris Tomlin in February.  I know she spent way too much money on these and I told her so, but she loves going to concerts and loves for me to go too.  I've told her I can pay for my own tickets but she goes ahead and buys them before I have a chance to get them myself.  I'm gonna have to figure out a way to stop this; I don't want her to get into a financial bind because she's being too generous with her money.  I got her a simpler but much appreciated gift:  the newest Tim Hawkins DVD.  Tim Hawkins is the funniest comedian I've ever listened to, and because he's a Christian my whole family can listen and not worry about him saying anything crass, inappropriate or vulgar.  It's family friendly laughs, and I don't think anyone can resist a good laugh!  After lunch all I could hear throughout the whole house was my son E playing Wonderful 101 on his new Wii U.  His brother had set both up before going over to visit his best friend since high school.  Today is not only Christmas, it's his best friend's birthday, which makes the visit extra special.  

Another neighbor stopped by and brought us a tin of Belgian chocolate covered wafers and cookies.  Oh my word, these cookies are SOOO delicious!  I'm afraid I'm gonna put on the 5 pounds I've struggled so hard to lose!

I cleaned up the kitchen, then sat down to watch Annie Claus Comes To Town.  I love sweet, romantic movies, and if they revolve around Christmas I love them even more!  Afterwards my kids wanted to play with their board games.  Even though it was just A and E because R had gone out, we still had fun playing The Logo Board Game and Say Anything.  I always get my kids board games for Christmas because we are board game lovers.  Board games, card games, word games, you name it, we play it.  What we won't do is play for money.  We compete fairly (no cheating allowed in my house), and we challenge each other.  Most importantly, we keep it fun.  

I've showered and moisturized, and now I'm going to relax with my new cookbook, researching new recipes that I want to try.  It's been a wonderful day, a day we celebrate because Jesus came to this earth over 2,000 years ago with the purpose of restoring our relationship with God.  Yes, my kids got me some nice gifts, and they are very happy with the presents they received, but ultimately the greatest gift of all is salvation through Jesus Christ.  I can live without anything, but I cannot live without Jesus.  We worship Him and praise Him, and we celebrate this momentous occasion, His birth.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as well.  Good night now.  

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