The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
Hop on over to Art Bead Scene today where I have a post up about what to do with Christmas Leftovers... of the beading kind!
I need a bit of a blog break to take care of making the holidays merry and bright around here.
We have my husband's family on Christmas Eve, complete with a "red & green" theme this year (I was lobbying for dressing as the "12 Pains of Christmas" but I didn't win - next year I am pushing harder for that - "rigging up these lights!" Ahhahahaha!), Aunt Mary's chicken noodle soup that is all noodles and no soup and the famous White Elephant gift exchange. I think I will use the Left-Right-Center game to kick that off and get the presents moving.
I have just started wrapping gifts last night (special thanks to my husband who stayed up hours past his bedtime to wrap only the ones that with square corners!). A few have gone MIA and I hope to find them in time to give. Or they will be tucked away for a birthday or a random Tuesday. I also decided on Tuesday night that I needed to create something for the book lovers in the family so I came up with a clever design for a book mark and everyone is getting one personalized with one of those cute little intials pendants you see above. Maybe they will make the debut in the New Year on Etsy.
I will be hosting my family on Christmas Day after church. I am the 'Christmas Angel.' Every year with all the masses that are celebrated at our parish that are well attended (like the 6pm children's mass and the main 9pm one on Christmas Eve), there is not a cantor available who can take Christmas day. But since my husband's revelries last into the night, that is the only time we can go. So I end up being the Christmas Angel each year. I have a new pair of earrings I bought from Brandi Hussey before she closed down her shop that I am wearing on Christmas Day. I always love this celebration with the trees and the poinsettias and the creche. I even love the "Chreasters"... those that only come to church on Christmas or Easter (where I am the 'Easter Angel' as well). The carols are ones we will be familiar with but my favorite song I will sing is "Wood of the Cradle" (this is not me singing it, but a sweet girl named Emily with the voice of an angel.)
This afternoon and tomorrow (in between having all the carpets and tile cleaned in the house) I need to start baking and cooking. I made some of these Santa hat brownies a few weeks back and they were gobbled up. And I plan to jazz up my banana bread with this. Other goodies will be box mixed or those really cute and tasty corn flake wreaths, but I will make them shine by "dukesing" them up as my Bousha always said. We ordered a fancy deli meat and cheese tray from Ski's Meat Market and fresh baked bread from the Main Grain bakery. I will make my refreshing white wine sangria. My dad is bringing is famous Wild Rice Soup. It is laden with butter and cream with meaty hunks of ham bobbing up and down. It is a feast. And it is only brought out once a year (and believe me, that once a year is plenty!). There will be much oohing and ahhing all night long as we take the time to open one gift at a time. Slays the kids but exaggerates the fun for the rest of us!
It never really feels like Christmas to me until we attend the Christmas concert. My daughter's concert on Tuesday was so lovely. She had a solo in the performance and I am just blown away by her singing. (If I have time later i will see if I can post the song.) She wore the prettiest red dress, had her hair all curled up and sparkly and I made her a pair of dangly earrings to match. She is growing up so beautiful. Someday she will likely eclipse me as the Christmas Angel at mass. ;-)
I want to make someone's New Year bright. I would like to give away one of the bracelets above that I write about in the Art Bead Scene Post today. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and be sure to have a way for me to contact you (either turn your email on in your preferences or leave your email in the comments). You can comment about anything... but if you need some prompting...
What is the one gift that you are giving this Christmas that is the most special?
Winner will receive either the JOY or LOVE bracelet shown above. Winner will be chosen by random from all comments received through December 26th. I will announce the winner on December 27th.
P.S. My husband just sent this to me: 11 Christmas Songs We Hope to Never Hear Again. I could have written this. EXACTLY what I have been harping on for YEARS! # 7 really gets my goat. And my kids think that my reaction to the line "Tonight, thank God it's them, instead of yooooouuuuu!" is hilarious. But seriously, people. It is horrendous.
But I think they missed out on adding in "The Christmas Shoes" song. Blech. Make it merry and bright!