Tuesday, December 23, 2014

coming close

Could it really be that it's two days from Christmas, and I'm still finishing up some handmade gifts for the kids? I'm almost done with the afghan pictured above which is for Ian. I made Lily a granny hexagon afghan for Christmas last year, so I wanted to make sure I made one for Ian this year. I tried to stick with a plain, boy-ish design that he wouldn't outgrow. This is probably sappy, but I've been envisioning this afghan being one that he will take with him to college someday and then to his own home when he has a family of his own. 

Will I get done in time? Hmmm. That's yet to be decided, but I'm willing to miss some sleep to get it done. Which is pretty much what I have to do anyway. Late at night and very early in the morning are the only times that the kids aren't around. And that means that those are the only times I can work on their handmade gifts. I've been up working at 5:00 a.m. many mornings as of late.

Lily requested homemade slouchy boot slippers. I started them several months ago, but I haven't finished them yet so that's on my list of things to accomplish before Christmas morning. I'm using this pattern and making them in an off-white wool blend yarn. If I can't get them finished before Thursday morning, I'll set them back for her birthday in February.

I finally sat down and made out some Christmas cards Sunday after church. I have yet to mail them. However, I'm doing much better than last year considering I didn't even send a single Christmas card out. I really do enjoy sending out cards, but I like to personalize them. It almost pains me to just sign my name and write a lame "Merry Christmas" and be done with it. So this year I wrote a small note of thankfulness to each of the recipients of the cards. I found the card-sending to be much more fulfilling this year. 

Yesterday I mixed up gingerbread cookie dough, cut them out, and baked them. They're reading to be slathered in icing today. I made them gluten free and dairy free again this year so that I could enjoy them along with everyone else. This will be a real test of my willpower, which I already know is weak.

Brad is off on vacation for the entire week. He takes the week of Christmas off every year which is absolutely wonderful. We love having him home during this time of the year. It's nice to have daddy home to participate in some of the fun activities that he usually misses because he's at work.

We had our candlelight service Sunday night at church. Lily played the melody harp while her two cousins sang along to Away in a Manger. It was cute. Lily was so nervous, and I really thought she was going to back out. She cried for forty-five minutes before dinner because she was so nervous and didn't want to do it. I really encouraged her to stick with it, and she did. It will be the first of many nervous moments for her, I'm sure. 

Well, I'm sure I'm not the only one frantically trying to finish up last minute preparations for Christmas. But when it's all said and done, the perfect Christmas doesn't exist so why even kill ourselves striving for it? I know that when I focus my mind and heart on the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ I experience peace and joy. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  And that's why we take the time to prepare our hearts for focusing on His birth. In the midst of the busyness, baking, shopping, and wrapping that goes on, it's so refreshing to take moments to mentally reflect on the birth of my King and Savior.

Have a most blessed Christmas!


Wendi said...

May you make sweet memories, enjoy the small things and relish in the hope that the new born baby brought us. Merry Christmas!

Pam said...

Lovely pictures Amber. I love all the things you have created; you are always an inspiration. You have a beautiful family. May you be blessed with a Joyful New Year.