Tag Archives: Holiday

There’s always something to be thankful for

25 Nov

Today much of the country participated in Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to sharing and acknowledging the many ways we have been blessed. Many families woke up this morning and started their festivities with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by a dinner of turkey and all the fixings. The number of people sharing in the festivities isn’t important, but rather it is who is there that is important. 

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember, probably because I am blessed to be part of a family that is extremely close, not just in distance from each other, but in our relationships. It is not uncommon for my family to get-together as a large group multiple times a year. We just love being together – there’s laughter, joy, stories and fun. WIth open arms we accept and adopt friends, neighbors and anyone who needs to be loved, which if you think a about it – that’s everyone. And that extends to our Thanksgiving table as well. Over the years there have been any number of new faces who have joined our celebration and we embraced them as only my family can!

This year, I will admit I struggled with Thanksgiving. It’s the first major holiday we’ve celebrated since Scott and I moved into our apartment (for the purpose of this blog, Forth of July and Halloween aren’t major holidays). Last night, there was no smell of pumpkin pies, pumpkin logs or mincemeat pie baking in the oven. I woke up this morning and there was no parade to be watched (we only have Netflix) and there was no arguing with my sisters over who would get to use the bathroom first to get ready. It felt like any other day of the week to me. Scott and I got ready and drove out to meet my family. I hoped that once we were all together, I would find whatever was missing this year. 

Once at the church (there are just too many at our Thanksgiving dinner to fit in a house, we counted 42 this year!), even the setup was different. For my entire life, we have all sat at one table and passed the dished around. This year, it was buffet style. Honestly, my first reaction was that the tradition was ruined. But in the end, it ended up allowing everyone to sample a little bit of everything (in years’ past, there were dishes that never quite made it all the way to the other end of the table) and everyone was eating much sooner. 

    

One tradition that remained is the olive finger photo – my sisters, cousin and now her son, and my aunt, always put black olives on our fingers and take silly photos during dinner. This has happened ever since I was a small child.


The other tradition that remained firmly in place was that of going around the table and one-by-one sharing the things we are most thankful for. Listening to everyone always fills my heart with joy as I hear their touching words – some spoke about challenges with health, car accidents, the loss of loved ones, but what they all ended with was the strength of this family that has continued to pull them through. 

While I started the day feeling as if today were nothing special, I end the night reminded of what is most important – faith, family, friends and memories. It was not easy letting go of tradition, but today is truly about creating a new tradition and memory every year. 

This was the first Thanksgiving Scott has gotten to spend with me and my family. He has been such a blessing to me as we made the transition to living together away from our families, and continues to be my rock as I have gone back to school to get my master’s degree. He has embraced my family and they him. I could not be surrounded by a better group of people – just check out the photos!

This Thanksgiving was also special because we got to spend part of it with my cousin, Erin, who will be enlisting in the Air Force in just a few days! We are so very proud of her and will miss having her around, but know she will be where she needs to be, following in the footsteps of others in our family who were absent from the table this year, but who are always with us in heart and mind.  

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Christmas decorations, work and happy faces

2 Dec

For as far back as I can remember, I have always loved Christmas decoration! The last few years I have enjoyed decorating my office space at the hospital with window clings, garlands and lights. But now I have a new job, no window and a cubical in the middle of the public space. I began missing my old office and its beautiful decorations. How was I going to make my new space festive and joyful for the 40 hours I am here every week?!

The answer came a week before Thanksgiving when our front receptionist (who is my work BFF and is also new to our office) began clearing out a cluttered closet. A short while later an email went out stating everything sitting in the hallway was up for grabs and if it was still there Friday it would find a new home at Goodwill. Curiosity got the better of me, after all the hallway in question is a mere two feet from my cubical. And much to my surprise, I found these little gems waiting for me among all the junk!

For about a week and a half they sat all alone on top of my cabinets. Every time I looked up they made me smile, but I was still lacking that warm fuzzy feeling of decorated offices past. And so I tempted Mother Nature’s hand and hung some snowflake ornaments that I also rescued from the hallway! My space was instantly made-over into a glittery Winter Wonderland!

And yet, something was still missing. Lights, I needed twinkle lights! So on an evening run to Walmart for a space heater for my desk (did I mention my office FEELS like a Winter Wonderland because it’s FREEZING?!), I bought some multicolor indoor-outdoor Christmas lights for my desk! I held off putting them up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had grand plans of waiting until December 1st, but I was excited to see how it would look!

Finally, it feels like Christmas when I sit at my desk, space heater keeping my toes cozy while I sip on steaming hot chocolate.

The Christmas spirt is catching, the receptionist decorated the front office beautifully after she saw my creation! Everyone who walks into our office now comments on how inviting we’ve made the space look!

And to top it off, our Secret Santa gift exchange began this week – we’re doing it a little differently than I’m use to, doing one gift a week until the week of December 17th when we have our office party and big reveal. I’m use to dedicating one week to giving gifts with the reveal on that Friday. Oh well – this keeps the excitement going all month long I guess, and my first gift was waiting on my chair when I came back from a brisk walk during lunch on Monday!


I’ve kept my own Secret Santa in suspense for a couple days wondering when it will appear. Now I have to find a sneaky time to get it into their mailbox when no one is watching! I think it turned out cute and rustic! I hope they’ll like it! I put together a matching one for mom’s Secret Santa gift at her work, too!

How’s the Christmas Spirit where you work? Are you overly excited to decorate like me, or are you more of a Scrooge?

 

Wordless Wednesday – 12/11/13

11 Dec

It’s beginning to feel and look like a long distance Christmas… 😦
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My Virtual Thanksgiving Table

28 Nov

 

 

Santa’s Secret is Out!

15 Dec

Tonight my sisters and I attended the annual Christmas party at our church. There was tons of catching up to do with friends who moved out-of-state to go to school and older folks who kept asking what I was doing with my life now that I’m a college grad (OKAY….so they didn’t state it EXACTLY that way), delicious food and a cute holiday program.

Come on, you can’t help but smile when you hear 3 year-olds singing “Away in a Manger”. Or when your baby sister (I know you are 16 now, but you will ALWAYS be my baby sister, deal with it kiddo!) is up there on stage playing her trumpet beautifully!

And then it was time….the moment we were all waiting for….the jolly man from way up north…..SANTA CLAUS!! [Insert cheers from young and old!]

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And things were going great… until MY SISTER DE-BEARDED Santa!!! 

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And that’s when we learned the truth. Papa is SANTA!!

I guess that explains why I never saw him and Santa together in the same room. Or how I ALWAYS got what I wanted for Christmas, it’s because….drum roll please….

I’m Santa’s granddaughter!

HOW COOL IS THAT?!

BEST  CHRISTMAS  SURPRISE  EVER! Love you Papa, I mean Santa! ❤

Countdown to Christmas

25 Nov

Can you believe it?! TODAY is November 25…. one MONTH to Christmas! Where has the year gone? Wasn’t last week March? I feel like I missed the last couple of months they went by so quickly!

So here we go, the Countdown to Christmas 2012 has begun! Tonight we decorated the tree!! I love our Christmas tree! It’s filled with so many stories! Each year, my mother finds my sisters and I a new ornament to represent something we did that year. My ornaments tell  about when I got my license, traveled to Spain my senior year in high school, worked at Disney, just to name a few. Last year, my special ornament was a Guardian Angel to remind me that she will always be there to support my dreams and give me encouragement, no matter where life takes me. And before you ask how I remember what each ornament represents, my mom writes something special on the box, along with the year.

Now, according to mom, some years are easier to find ornaments than others. I don’t know how she does it, but I love that she does! It’s my favorite Christmas tradition…well, other than Santa’s magic snow footprint, but I’ll tell you more about those when it gets closer to Christmas!

In the mean time, check out all the decorating that’s been happening at this house! Two trees, window clings and Christmas chains! And much, much more still to do!

And what tree would be complete without the Christmas Pickle ornament?! This is the one I surprised my family with in 2010 when I was working at Disney. Our original Pickle Ornament got lost a few years ago and for some reason we never replaced it. This one came from the German Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. If you don’t know the legend behind the Pickle Ornament, check it out here! 😀

The Christmas Pickle

Our Christmas Pickle ornament!