Friday, November 19, 2021

November Newsletter Part 2

 

This is the next picture of "our" squirrel - he ate his way through, turned around, and sat in the pumpkin for a while to rest.  He then began chewing around the edges of the opening.  No surprise that this pumpkin is off our step and I'm imagining him to be running through the neighborhood looking for another pumpkin victim.  😏

It's a cloudy afternoon and still a bit windy with clouds rolling in and out (mostly in).  Once again, I'm at the dining room table, a cup of coffee off to the side, Christmas music playing in the background (instrumental) and because there is a bit of a nip I have a shawl around my shoulders that a friend crocheted for me.  It will soon be evening where one by one a light here and there goes on, the curtains are pulled, the porch light is turned on and we begin to settle in.  It's a winter routine that I cherish especially early in the season like this.  By February, I can feel the need for spring coming on, but for now.........I will relish in the days ahead.

Here we are again.  Thanksgiving is getting closer and lists and plans are being made.  It will be just the four of us again which is nice.  We all like to start mid-morning with hot apple cider and donuts while reading the ads in the newspaper for good Black Friday deals.  Then we eat around 12:30 or 1:00.  Like I said before, our meal is very traditional.  I don't even try anything new really.  We all like the meal so I'm going with that!  However, this is the first year that I'm not baking anything pumpkin - our dessert will be apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream and then I insist on having pecan pie with homemade whipped topping.  I guess the pumpkin comes in as pumpkin pie spice coffee creamer for those who want that.  Not that I don't like pumpkin - I love it - but it seems like I'm the only one and I can't possibly eat a whole pie by myself.  Well.......I could but I shouldn't.  Right?  

The one thing that I do have to remind myself of every holiday, every year, is to lower my expectations.  I'm the kind of person that looks back at favorite times together and want to re-live it and then I'm always disappointed when it doesn't even come close.  Those favorite times were for that particular moment in time - I just need to keep the memory and be glad for it and move ahead and create new favorite moments and enjoy what we have.

With such a crazy couple of years, I keep thanking the Lord for all of His provision.  Here is my list on a daily basis.

*I woke up this morning
*I woke up in a warm and comfortable bed
*I am able to walk and move and talk and see and hear
*I was able to turn the heat up this morning to take the chill off
*I sat in a comfy chair with a cup of hot coffee while reading the Bible
*I'm able to read and understand what I'm reading
*I had a hot shower
*I had clean clothes to put on
*I had breakfast and lunch and will have a supper
*I have house to live in
*I have a car to drive
*I have a family
*I have friends
*I have a church to go to and have the freedom to worship the Lord
*I have music to play
*I have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus
*I am saved by grace
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*you can add to this I'm sure.  

Sometimes I tend to look at all the big things, but I love to look at the small daily things that I can easily take for granted.  It's always fun to go around the table and have everyone say at least one thing that they are thankful for.  I do hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and try very hard to make it a good one.  

One other thing to remember is that everything we do, we do it to God's Glory.  Everything.  Even in our smallest jobs, we do it for the Lord.  When I keep thinking that way, it makes all the difference.  A difference in attitude, a difference in motivation.  It makes me want to do my best.  

Along with Thanksgiving, I am definitely making my Christmas lists and checking them twice (okay, a lot more than that).  It's way too early to know what Christmas Eve/Day will look like, but I am planning for both and have been having fun in getting gifts.  We've received some Christmas catalogs in the mail and I've been ordering a bit from them.  There's almost an old-fashioned feel to that.  Remember getting the Montgomery Ward, Sears, and JC Penney catalogs at Christmas?  Oh my goodness.  It was so fun.  I miss that.

The one thing that I'm doing differently this year is we are going to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.  In reading about how people in the "old days" (I'm talking WAY back) celebrated Christmas, they used the month of December to enjoy the baking and cooking and thinking of simple gifts, and then they celebrated BEGINNING WITH the 12 days of Christmas.  Christmas Day is the first day so that was kind of an obvious day to be with friends and family.  But then after that, they made sure to do all kinds of things for the next 11 days!  THAT is what we want to do this year.  Here a few of my ideas:

*host a game night
*drive and look at the neighborhood lights - take popcorn along to munch on
*go to a pond or skating rink and watch the skaters - bring hot chocolate to sip
*go for a walk in nature - take your camera
*have a fire night - serve hot beverages
*host a brunch, or an appetizer meal, or just a dessert
*have a movie night
*get a progressive dinner going - this is a meal where at least three houses get together and each house serves a different course.  The first house does the appetizer, the second house does the main meal, and the third house does the dessert.  I know we still have the covid thing going on so only you know whether or not this would work and if you'd feel comfortable with it.  With us, we're ready.
*eat supper at a favorite restaurant 
*have a "do absolutely no work" - get a pizza, read, rest, craft, sew, put a puzzle together.....whatever your little heart desires
*go browse in a book store - buy a book, take it home, and enjoy!
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*
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*Again, you can add your own ideas.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Instead of filling the month of December up with a lot of activities along with all the cooking, baking, cleaning, gifts, decorating, keep the activities for later. 

The Christmas decorating.  It's different for me every year.  Some years I feel like going all out and then others I feel a bit subdued.  Again, as a homemaker, you need to take the family temperature as to how everyone else is feeling.  We decorate not just for ourselves but for others too.  This is the year I'm thinking simple with natural decorations such as lots of greens and candles.  And then add those wonderful, meaningful decorations that we've collected as added touches to make it home.  

I've purchased the Christmas cards already and now I need to write the Christmas newsletter to send with them.  This is something I love to do because, like I've said before, I think people still enjoy going to the mailbox and pulling a card out.  

What kinds of things do you absolutely love to do to get ready for the holidays? 

I think that is about it for today.  As I close, it looks as if the clouds are now moving out and there is cold sunshine streaming in.  I do hope you enjoy the weekend ahead and that you can enjoy the preparations ahead for Thanksgiving.  Even if you are invited out, make sure that whatever you bring you bring your best!  May God bless your Thanksgiving Day.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I enjoyed writing it.  And I appreciate all of you!

See you in December (Lord willing).  Bye!

8 comments:

  1. Hello my friend,
    I love the photo of your little “pumpkin eatin” squirrel:) .. it’s lovely that you will be able to have your family with you this Thanksgiving. It’s been a long haul for all of us this past year and a half, so more than ever it is so important to find things for which we are grateful, and you’ve certainly got a lovely list for that.
    Like you, sometimes I feel like going all out and decorating everything and others, much more subdued. This year, we are going for the “quieter.” I just don’t have the energy for three trees and all the other items, but a, putting a tree up where we spend the most of our time. We are also hanging new lights in the front windows, and I’m excited about that. I’m not “bah-humbug,” as we will be entertaining throughout December. After being so limited for such a long time, I’m happy to invite friends and family in again.
    You are also so right about doing everything with Christ in our minds. Even those jobs which we find the most tedious don’t seem so bad if we do it “as to the Lord.”
    Have a lovely weekend, Mary.
    God Bless,
    Christine

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    1. Hi Christine! So nice to hear from you. : ) I can't quite believe that it is holiday time but here it is and it sounds like you are excited about the celebrating with family and friends again too. I hope EVERYTHING goes well for you. Maybe we can get a bit of a glance at your decorations this year? : ) Have a good weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      God bless.
      Mary

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  2. It's so sweet of you to provide Thanksgiving for your neighborhood squirrels! You sound very snuggly. Your list is exactly what we all need to be concentrating on instead of complaining. From negaholic to rejoicer! (Just coined 2 words.)

    I'm hoping your taste buds are back by now. Last year for Xmas I got my mil a reproduction of one of those catalogs (in book form) from the year when she was 6 and it brought back so many good memories for her.

    Re the 12 days, we have always done that, until 2020. That's the week we see old friends, have extended family over, watch Xmas movies, go somewhere special, and I always gave my son 3 small gifts from the wise men on Jan 5. But as he grew I began wanting the Xmas stuff down (except the tree, that stays up until 1/6) on 1/1, and the 3 small gifts are no longer necessary. The crowds began to be too much that week due to school being out, and our annual friends are too C-19 phobic so that stopped. But that's okay - I need the rest! I did buy a 1000 piece Snoopy puzzle but no idea if it will get done. That's fantastic that you get a newsletter out in your cards : ) Bye for now.

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    1. Hi Janine!! Wow. Negaholic and rejoicer! Good job. LOL : ) Definitely trying to concentrate on the latter.

      Yes, the 12 days will be an experiment for us. I'm sure we'll have to tweak it here and there but I want to try it and see if it could become a new tradition for us. REALLY important to keep some of the old traditions but equally important to create new ones too. : )

      Thanks so much for commenting, Janine. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.
      God Bless.
      Mary

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  3. Hi Mary~

    Thank you for your sweet comment...I am feeling a lot better today, hopefully each day will get better and better.

    That little squirrel just cracks me up! I have really enjoyed your cute pictures, so darling! I love your gratitude list, I'm not sure I could add to many items to it...you really covered the most important things - we are so very blessed! I also have the same problem with trying to "re-create" that perfect Christmas of years gone by. It's an expectation that I will never be able to meet, it is like the Ghost of Christmas Past. Each year I have to work very hard at living in the moment...it's hard. The ideas that you have for the 12 days of Christmas sound like a lot of fun! I would love to try something like that, I think it would help with the let-down I seem to get after Christmas.

    I always love it when you post, you give me such a boost and you have such great ideas! I pray that you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving this year. We all need to remember how truly blessed we are and how much we are loved and treasured we are!

    Happy Thanksgiving and many hugs to you, Mary!

    Hugs and Blessings,
    Barb

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    1. Oh, thank you so much Barb. You made my day with your kind words. : ) And I am very glad that you are feeling better. With my experience, it took quite a while to get back fully so I hope you will take it easy, rest, and relax.

      I love that you said "the Ghost of Christmas Past" - that is what it is. I'm always thinking that I am alone in feeling this way, but I think we all struggle a bit with it. And, yes, the Christmas let-down - I think that's why I want to try the 12 days of Christmas. To maybe slowly come down from all the doing and preparing (even though I enjoy all of that).

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!! We ARE truly blessed - God is good!

      Take care,
      Mary

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  4. You are right that it is good to be thankful every day for what we have. It is hard for me to not look back with especial fondness on the days when our children were all small (though these days were also very difficult!). I just miss that time period when things seemed simpler, but this season of life has its blessings too.

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    1. Hello! Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, I DO miss having a child around - we were blessed with only one child but he made the holidays fun with his excitement about it all. I agree with you that this season in our lives has it's blessings too and I need that reminder! : ) God bless.

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