8 Things I’m Looking Forward to this Season

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

The Nyquil fog has been heavy with us this week.

I don’t know if it was the 6 day weekend I had last week or the cold I’ve had since last Tuesday, but I feel like I cannot get myself together this week. The entire week has passed by in a blur, and I’m feeling a little blue as the things I set out to accomplish in November did. not. happen.

But I’m learning to be gracious with myself in realizing I can’t do it all, especially when I’m already stretched thin everywhere (except for my pants. Girlfriend needs some new pants.) I was looking forward to publishing the last installment of the Creating Space series on Wednesday, but since my last interview was with Mr. M himself, and we were both feeling under the weather, I just let it slide. So this week is just going to be a throw away week. We’ll start afresh on Monday.

Being December 1st, I’m v excited about the prospects of Christmas. And yet I was telling Mr. M it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. Last year I don’t feel like I got to truly celebrate Christmas, as we were in wedding mode until December 10th, and honeymoon mode until December 18th. So I only truly got 6 days of Christmas cheer in there. I’m told this is what adulthood is. The Christmas magic is gone until we’ve got little babes of our own.

And speaking of babies, we’re not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon. Although I’ve made it my seasonal joke of the year that the holidays make me want kids, but I want to give them back on January.

I am looking forward to December, though. And I have a few fun things planned for the blog this month, too.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

Things I’m Looking Forward to in the Blog World

Next week you can look forward to all marriage posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because it is anniversary week!

The following week I am collaborating with Tiffany from Endless Bliss, and I’m looking forward to that because she is doing #Blogmas this year. You go, Glenn Coco.

And really, we can all expect *mostly* Christmas related posts for the rest of the month. I also decided today on a whim that I was going to join Kate from A Thought & a Half’s Instagram challenge, because I love a good Insta challenge.

 

My very favorite blog I love to read this time of year is Brennan’s 25 Days of Ugly Christmas Apparel. I featured him on Hugs & Lattes several years ago, and I am psyched that he’s back for year 7.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

What I’m Looking Forward to in Real Life

I mentioned this in the previous section, but y’all – our first anniversary is upon us! I cannot believe Mr. M and I have been married for a year already. This has been the most joyful year of my life, and I can’t wait for many more. You guys know that we love to get away, but with the holidays and our work schedules, we are going to wait unitl January or February for our little anniversary getaway. Instead Mr. M has planned for us to spend some intentional time next weekend here at home. I’m excited to see what he has planned!

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

And like the extrovert I am, I planned a Christmas party for, of course, our anniversary weekend. Woops. We have approximately 1 billion tacky Christmas mugs leftover from the big day, so we are pulling together a few friends to give them away to while we stuff our faces with delicious holiday food.

Every year when the Advent rolls around, I love to center myself on what Christmas is truly about. Besides the joy of the festivities with family and friends – and the presents of course – Christmas is a time to celebrate and reflect on my faith and the coming of Jesus Christ. I love following along with She Reads Truth’s Advent series. I believe their plan starts on December 3rd on the app or online.

This year we are spending Christmas in both North Carolina and Tennessee, so I’m excited to hole ourselves in a cabin for a night, and then see my family for a night. We’re still figuring out what it looks like to spend Christmas with both of our very large extended families; and I know it will be a matter of compromise and grace as we navigate making our own traditions and still incorporating family into the holidays. Maybe in a couple years when we have it all together (haha) I’ll be more inclined to write about it.

Last month I wrote down something I was thankful for each day, as a way to intentionally celebrate Thanksgiving. I decided to continue the tradition with December. It’s a great reflective practice to look back at the end of each day and find a moment of joy and gratitude.

What are you looking forward to this month? 

 

How to DIY Your Christmas

10 Steps to DIY Your Christmas

Guys, I have to make a confession. I’m not the most crafty person in the world, butI’m trying. Last year I arm knitted scarves for lots of ladies in my life. This year, I decided to entirely DIY my Christmas – from my Christmas tree to my presents, and here’s the great thing: it was zero stress, not that time consuming and so much fun! You can DIY your Christmas too, and here’s how:

1 – Shop around for a tree. Buy the tree yourself.

2 – Buy the ornaments and ribbons and garland and tinsel. Put it on by yourself.

3 – Ask your mom if she has leftover Christmas decorations. Pick it up when you’re home for Thanksgiving.

4 – Hang said garland all alone in a frenzy before your Christmas party.

5 – Sit at home. Pour a glass of milk. Eat some cookies. Scroll through Amazon. Hit “Buy with 1 Click.” Congratulations! You bought presents all by yourself.

6 – Go to Target. Get a latte. Shop around Target. Buy more presents. By. Your. Dang. Self.

7 – Ask your boyfriend to go to Salvation Army to buy an ugly sweater. Okay, you didn’t do that one by yourself. Shout out to the boo thang.

8 – Enlist the help of your boo thang with writing Christmas cards. He gets a hand cramp. Write them yourself.

9 – Look at Pinterest for inspiration for homemade stockings. Go Target (again) instead.

10 – Look at the job well done, pat yourself on the back.

See? You don’t have to be crafty to DIY your entire Christmas, all you have to do is DO. IT. Yourself!

*Giveaway* The Ones That Didn’t Make It

Caption Contest!

A few weeks ago Pai and I took Christmas photos to send out as Christmas cards. Last year I sent an awkward family Christmas photo to 4 people. It was awkward because there wasn’t really a family in the picture – just my cat Smokey and myself. This year I didn’t have a cat with me, but I do have a boyfriend so I thought I would put him to good use. I mean that in the least objectifying way possible. Anyway, we had a date night in where we played monopoly and ate shoyu chicken and then my sister came over with her camera and tripod and took awkward Christmas photos of us. But here’s the thing: we tried to look awkward and all, but we just couldn’t. We’re just too cute. (Kidding. Kinda.)

We did pick out the perfect awkward one to send out to friends and family, but there were a few that didn’t quite make the cut. I thought it would be fun to have a caption photo contest with these pictures! The best caption wins a Starbucks drink from yours truly. Leave the captions in the comment. The caption contest will last from Monday December 14th to Friday December 18th! Write the number of the photo you’re captioning and then add the caption! Do 1, 2, or all 3!

May the odds be ever in your favor. 🙂

The Ones that Didn't Make it

The Ones that Didn't Make It

The Ones that Didn't Make It

 

 

 

A Christmas Bucket List

christmas bucket list

Yesterday I just got too stressed with all the Cyber Monday deals and emails and texts and coupons that I had to ignore consumerism and work on my Christmas bucket list instead. I. Love. Christmas. Almost as much as Buddy the Elf, but not quite as obnoxiously. Granted, I can be found singing almost anywhere.

This is the first Christmas where I have been without my family for the season, so I’m having to create my own traditions. I don’t even have an Advent calendar and Advent starts today! #halp

In leui of an Advent calendar (until I can find one), I’ve created a Christmas Bucket list full of all the fun things I want to do this year.

1. Take awkward family Christmas photos with Pai. Send said awkward family Christmas photos to all our friends. On a slightly related note: Does anyone have a cat I can borrow?

2. Go see the lights. There’s a place around here that gets all lit up for Christmas. I went a couple of years ago right after Thanksgiving, but I haven’t been back yet so I want to go!

3. Host approximately 500 Christmas parties. Just kidding. When you have a small apartment, you have to separate out your parties so that everyone will fit. So I’m already having 2 small ones, and hope to have a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie night.

4. Finish decorating the apartment. AKA hang some mistletoe. AKA trap Pai under the mistletoe so then he has to kiss me. muahahaha

5. Celebrate Advent. This should really be number 1. I love the hullabaloo of Christmas, but I also love celebrating #thereasonfortheseason. I try to do an Advent study each year to prepare my heart for Jesus. 🙂

6. Make a gingerbread house.

7. Make buckeyes! My mom always makes buckeyes and hands them out to friends and my dad’s co-workers. So friends and co-workers, get ready 🙂

8. Give back. In light of this consumerist culture, I want to make sure that I set time aside this year to give back to the community, and show someone lots of love. 🙂

9. Watch ALL the Christmas movies!

10. Find an ugly Christmas sweater. Figure out a way to wear said ugly-Christmas sweater to work and make it look “business casual.”

11. Buy Christmas presents before the weekend before Christmas

12. DIY some cute Christmas presents for friends

13. Make the perfect Christmas playlist

14. Bake bake bake!!!

15. Go to a Christmas concert. This one will be easy since our school does one every year and we hold candles at the end and I love it it makes my heart sing!

16. Make paper snowflakes.

17. Go Christmas caroling (because singing loud for all to hear is the best way to spread Christmas cheer.

I tried really hard to get to 25 but I FAILED. Can you guys think of 8 more to add to my list? If so, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it on here!!!

Updated:

18. Drink a fancy Christmassy drink!!! (Submitted by Donna from Grace and Galoshes)

19. Photograph all the Red Cups (#Done)

20. DIY Christmas ornaments!! (Submitted by Rubi from When Life Gives you Rubi)

21. DIY an Advent calendar.

What is your favorite thing to do at Christmastime?

My Grown Up Christmas List

Last night, Charis, (who is twelve) said, “It doesn’t feel at all like Christmas. I’m not as excited for it anymore.” Abigail told her, “I first felt that way when I was twelve, too.” I personally don’t remember when I first felt that way.

I try to keep a childlike wonder about Christmas. I want to stay really excited for Christmas – enjoy the spirit, the atmosphere of busyness, all the goodies to eat, and the never ending joy that should abound.

But when December 24 rolls around, I feel more let down. I find myself equating with Scrooge more and more. I don’t want to be a pessimist who hates Christmas. I want to enjoy being with my family; I want to enjoy giving presents; I want to enjoy singing Christmas songs and laughing.

But it’s hard to enjoy all that when sickness falls, or when you’re not used to being around children 24/7 anymore (somehow three years can undo all that you were used to for 18), or when your bank account doesn’t allow you to buy the presents for the people you want to give gifts to, or the kind of presents you want. It’s hard to sing and be excited for Christmas and what it all means when the only thing that plays on in the news is tragedy, economic downfall, and the divide of people within the nations.

I resonate with Amy Grant’s “Grown Up Christmas List” every year even more.

All the ugliness in the world is out of my control. All I can do is pray and put on a smile.

It would be nice to be six again. 

Amy Grant is my favorite Christmas music artist. Listening to her reminds me of driving up Smokey Mountain with my parents when I was five or six to go to a doctor’s house for a Christmas cookie party. My mom loves Amy Grant, so of course listening to her reminds me of my mom. So for the last installment of Christmas Carols, I’ve got “Grown Up Christmas List,” “Sleigh Ride,” (because it’s my fav) and “Tennessee Christmas” because, duh, I live in Tennessee.

Merry Christmas, friends. I hope you enjoy time with your family or friends, or family AND friends. May Christ’s blessing be upon you on this Holy Eve.

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