Hard to believe this Christmas has come and gone. It is such a joyous fun time of year and it happens so fast. The older I get the faster time seems to go by and the days I have been dreaming of for months are gone in a blink of an eye. There are moments I wish I could keep forever and this year, thanks to my friend, Stephanie from citrusandsun, I was reminded of ways to be more intentional over the Christmas season.
I took more time this year to be intentional with family time and conversations, by allowing myself to listen more intently and be more present. It is so easy to get wrapped up in social media or not be present throughout the days. Now I’m not gonna lie, I was on my phone some, but I realized that I was losing precious time I would never get back. How many times do we miss out on things in our real lives, because we are consumed by our social media lives??!!! I know this is something I need to work on.
Some of my favorite moments were mornings with the parents, coffee time with the sister, lunch at my favorite restaurant, walking in downtown Geneva, a movie with the family for my birthday, some shopping time with the hubby, sister, and sister in law, and some play time with my niece. My heart is so incredibly full!
BTW- if you’re ever in St.Charles, IL, you have to visit Townhouse book Cafe. It is the cutest little cafe with the best food, quaintest book store, and loveliest atmosphere. My personal favorites are the chai tea latte, almond chicken salad sandwich on rye, and the garden salad with their spicy ranch dressing!
I took more time to look around and see the joy of the season in others and their families. This was one of my favorite things and made me smile so much. Kids are so joyous at this time of the year, with all the magic of Christmas around them, it’s hard for it to not rub off on us all! It was fun to see Christmas through my niece’s eyes. She is still very young, so she doesn’t completely understand the whole presents thing, but it sure was fun to watch her try and open gifts.
I took more time to just be and relax! Some years there are so many things that I want to do while home, or feel obligated to do, that I stress myself out. This year I didn’t make a lot of mental plans, instead I allowed the days to take us wherever, whenever. While I am most definitely a planner, and going with the flow sometimes can be a challenge, it was nice to be able to relax and not have a plan to stick too.
Mornings with coffee, talking to mom and dad, chasing Charlie ( my niece) watching Dave and her build a tower with her colorful LEGO’s, and eating our goodies in the living room in front of the fireplace, are some of the memories I will treasure and keep close in my mind.
I took time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the greatest gift of all time, Jesus. I am always amazed at the Love God has for us that he would give us His son to one day save us all from our sins. (If you do not know the God I am taking about, I challenge you to find out this coming year, do some research… if you seek Him, you will find Him. ) A good starting place would be to read the book of Matthew in the Bible.
(Pictures taken after the candle light service at Church – missing Erik, Katelyn and baby Charlie)
By far one of my favorite things from this Christmas, was holding and rocking my niece, Charlie. Living further away, I don’t get to see her much and she is just a joy to be around. Her little smile and big personality, light up the room. Tears streaming down my face, as dave and I were saying our goodbyes, I held that little girl tight, kissed her and tried to take in the last moments with her.
My Christmas was one of the bests yet! I believe that the older I get, the sweeter the memories become and the sweeter the time spent with family and friends becomes. Christmas presents are fun to receive and while I love all of my amazing gifts, my family and Jesus are the best gifts I have ever received.
For those who have had a hard Christmas, I pray that God would bring you peace and comfort during this time, and that you would find joy as the new year comes.
Maybe you have neglected to be present during some of this time, or you are just not feeling joyful, I challenge you to let the remaining days of the Holidays be filled with present moments, reflections, and observations. Remember those that may not have as much, or those far from family and invited them over or do something kind for them. Let us be the light of the world. –Erin Ruscel
You should read Stephanie’s blog post Here