24th Dec2013

Christmas Decor 2013 {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

For the past few weeks my family and I have hemmed and hawed over whether or not we were going to decorate for Christmas this year. The girls and I were saddened by the loss of nearly 20 years worth of ornaments and decorations.

You see, each year, while the kids were sleeping, I’d go to different stores and search for ornaments for each of them. Something that represented them: their interests, their personality, something funny that’d happened during the year. Then I’d take a marker and put their name and year on the bottom of the ornament.

My hope, my dream, was that each kid would take their box of ornaments to their new homes and begin new memories with their families. And they’d have stories to tell, laughs to share.

But much of that was lost in our move from Pennsylvania to Missouri. The rest we thought had been lost in transition from our rental home to our new home. Or so we thought….

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Miss 16 loves penguins. Every year, we try to get her something penguin related. And a hat tip to Katie, sometimes changing the perspective makes things look so different.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

When my son was a little boy, he used to like to take things apart and put them back together. I assumed someday he’d be a mechanic. In the Fall, he’ll begin his studies as an Engineering major.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

When Miss 18 was about 6 years old, she drew a big circle on a piece of paper, inside the big circle she drew seven little circles; when I asked her about it, she said: “The big circle is God and the little circles are us inside God.”

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Miss 20 and I share many favorites, the biggest being the color purple. One year, I bought a little purple Christmas tree to put in my living room window. This year the tree will spend its final Christmas with me, next year, it’ll light up my daughter’s dorm room.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

This sweet little nativity set reminds me of the last Christmas pageant I was in when we lived in Colorado Springs…

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

I used to have an extensive collection African American Christmas dolls. They included Santas, carolers, angels, and a beautiful mobile doll in a red santa suit with a white seal. Believe it or not, collecting seasonal African American dolls is incredibly difficult.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

And, most precious of all, a little macaroni Christmas tree. Its creator is long forgotten but the glitter lives on…

Thank you to the hubs for following his hunch and checking the box in the garage. No, we don’t have all of our decorations, but we have enough to begin anew.

I’m linking up with Katie at Creole Wisdom for Christmas Decor 2013. It’s her very first link up, join up if you can!

And Merry Christmas to all…

Daenel T

05th Dec2013

Throwback Thursday: If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Originally posted: 9 December 2010

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning {even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday} has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.
Daenel T

29th Dec2012

December Photo A Day {Instagram}

by Daenel

Day 22: Decoration

Decoration {Living Outside the Stacks}

A Christmas ornament that I received during the ornament exchange for the ladies at might church. Right now it’s hanging on my door knob because we didn’t decorate this year. Lazy.

Day 23: Joy is _______

Day 23 Joy is hanging with my girls {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hanging with my daughters. They make me laugh like crazy. The boy is OK too. {from the vault}

Day 24: Tradition/Something I always do

Day 24 Tradition {Living Outside the Stacks}

I love grinding my own beans for my morning coffee. There’s something therapeutic about that whirring sound.

Day 25: Lunchtime

Day 25 Lunch {Living Outside the Stacks}

The girls and I decided to bake cookies on Christmas afternoon. They were, uh, edible. But we had a ton of fun. Notice the boy isn’t around for this either.

Day 26: Mess

Day 26 Mess

We woke up the day after Christmas to a beautiful mess…

Day 27: How I relax

Day 27 How I Relax {Living Outside the Stacks}

I relax with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. How else?

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

13th Dec2012

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong (Repost}

by Daenel

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

07th Dec2012

Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. Let me state for the record that I believe in that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the only way to Heaven is through Him (John 14:6, Romans 10:9~10). If you’d like to read more about my beliefs, read my Statement of Faith. There was a reason for that, I promise… A school field trip to see a church production of “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” was cancelled because of atheist complaints. The organization said students shouldn’t be exposed to a production with Christian themes during a school trip. Seriously, guys, it’s Charlie Brown. The parent was going to allow their child to attend the production for fear of the child being singled out for ridicule. blank stare How about instead of having everyone  cater to you and your needs, you teach your child to stand up for your beliefs? There are many, many things that my kids encounter on a daily basis that go against my beliefs, I don’t shield my kids from that stuff; I explain to them what we believe and why I disagree with XYZ. You know what that does, it teaches your kids to respect and honor themselves and their beliefs. It also teaches them to think for themselves. If you truly believe what you say you believe, be prepared to defend it.

2. Oh, Penn State, as if your image hasn’t been tarnished enough, now you have sorority sisters making fun of Mexicans. Members of the Chi Omega sorority chapter posted pictures of themselves wearing sombreros and ponchos with signs that read “I  Don’t Cut Grass, I Smoke It”. dead How did you guys not know this was wrong? It’s racist, ladies!

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

02nd Dec2012

Love {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

The focus of this week’s Advent study is LOVE. Love means to have a strong affection for anther arising out of kinship or personal ties. It also means to have an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

Love ~ Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

1 John 4:7 {KJV}

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

OBSERVATION

When I first looked up “Love” in the Webster’s Dictionary, the first entry was for maternal love, the second for romantic love and a bit further down, the love God has for mankind. This struck me as wrong. I know the dictionary isn’t a religious book but the first act of love ever demonstrated was when God sent His son to die for us {John 3:16, John 15:13).

God’s love is sacrificial, benevolent and unwarranted, this is how our love for one another should be.

APPLICATION

This week, we’re challenged to demonstrate our love for one another through random acts of kindness. I love this. For the last week, we’ve had a mitten tree at work for collecting articles of clothing such as gloves, hats and scarves for those in need. So I decided to crochet scarves to go on the tree. To me, nothing says love more than something handmade. And while, I may not ever meet the person who gets one of my scarves, I’ll know that somewhere out there, someone is keeping warm with God’s love through my hands.

PRAYER 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the example that you gave us of perfect love. Thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all, eternal life through your son, Jesus Christ. I ask that on this week, you help me to find ways to demonstrate your love to anyone who crosses my path. Let them see you in me. And, Lord, bless each person who receives something from the mitten tree. Keep them strong and healthy. Reveal your love to them.

Amen

ABOUT THE STUDY

This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

28th Nov2012

Hope {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

The focus of this week’s Advent study is HOPE. Hope means to anticipate or expect with confidence.

Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

Jeremiah 33:15

In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

OBSERVATION

God promises His people that after their captivity has ended a righteous descendant from King David’s line will be born. The fulfillment of this promise is the birth of Jesus Christ, who is just and righteous.

APPLICATION

When I read this passage, I think of a new bud on a tree branch and all the promise that it holds. It represents new beginnings, a fresh start… When we trust in Jesus, we are reborn and our lives begin anew.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gifts of love, mercy and new beginnings given through the birth, death and resurrection of your son. There are no words to express the joy and hope that I have in knowing that I have been made brand new. And I ask that you touch the hearts of my friends, so they may know and accept you into their lives.

Amen.

ABOUT THE STUDY

This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

27th Nov2012

Hope {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

The focus of this week’s Advent study is HOPE. Hope means to anticipate or expect with confidence.

Hope Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

John 1:12 {KJV}

But as many as received him, to them gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

OBSERVATION

There are many who reject Jesus and His claims, but there are also many who believe His claims. And it is those who believe in Him, who will inherit the kingdom of God as His children.

APPLICATION

The gift of life is free to those who simply choose to accept that God in His mercy and grace looked down upon this world in all of its nastiness and offered up His son as the perfect sacrifice.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending your son, even though His own people rejected Him, thank you for giving me the opportunity to accept Him. Thank you for the gift of salvation. I ask that you continue to lead me in your truth and help me to walk faithfully in your word.

Amen.

ABOUT THE STUDY

This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

26th Nov2012

Preparing for Christmas {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

Last week, I briefly talked about how God has been dealing with me about the ways I’ve been using social media for His glory. Specifically, the fact that I haven’t been. I’ve been using my spaces on the web to talk about style, food, photography and all sorts of other things… There’s nothing wrong with that, I believe that God wants us to have fun, but I don’t want that to be all there is to me. I firmly believe that I’m living at this time and place for a reason. God has a purpose for me.

So I know it was nothing but God that lead me to an eBook called Reach: How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God by @laurakrokos and @angipratt. The book challenged me to look at how I’m using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to spread the message of God’s redeeming love. the book also made me examine the reasons why I had stopped focusing on my faith:

  • Fear of losing readers who don’t share my beliefs
  • Feelings of unworthiness

While my fears are very real, ultimately, my fear of disappointing God is greater. No matter what I do, I can’t earn God’s grace, it was a gift freely given because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). Furthermore, the Word tells me that His word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). So even though not everyone will accept Christ, there will be some who will have their hearts pricked. And, last, but not least, we are commanded to go out and share the message of Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection (Mark 16:15).

I don’t want to waste the opportunity that I’ve been given.

And I can think of no better way to share the message of God’s love than to start at the beginning with the birth of my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. So tomorrow I will begin two Advent studies! I’ve never celebrated Advent before and probably wouldn’t have even thought about it had my friend, Ellen from Miss Stewart AKA Mrs. Seaman, not invited me to celebrate with her and her friends on Facebook.

In fact, I’m so new to the concept of Advent that I had to look it up. This research led me to Good Morning Girls and a cute little video that explains that Advent is basically preparing your heart for the arrival of a very special guest, Jesus Christ. You can watch the video by clicking here. I’d also been seeing #goodmorninggirls on Instagram and Twitter for the longest time, so I’m doubly glad to finally know what it stands for

Anyway, I look forward to sharing the message of Jesus Christ with you and I pray that you find comfort, joy and peace in the knowledge that Jesus was born, crucified and resurrected for you and for me.

30th Dec2011

Christmas Ornament {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

by Daenel

The final Christmas ornament of 2011. I hope your year has been as happy and blessed as mine has been and I pray continued blessings upon you and yours into the coming year…
Shoot. Edit. Submit. {Christmas Ornament}
I’m linking up with Misty and Kim at Through A Photographer’s Eyes for Shoot. Edit. Submit. To join in the fun, all you have to do is:

  • Shoot. Edit. Submit.Photo must be taken this week (Saturday ~ Friday)
  • Only one entry per person
  • “Shoot. Edit. Submit.” button or link back to the contest must be on the post to qualify
  • Link only to the post, not the main blog

I also think it’d be cool if you left some comment love for other participants but that’s just my thing, not one of the rules…

09th Dec2011

Book Tour: Merry Christmas Stories by Jeff R. Spalsbury

by Daenel

Merry Christmas Stories by Jeff R. SpalsburyBOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK)

These 25 short stories for the Christmas season will make you laugh, smile and just feel good about this magical time of year. These delightful stories, written in a variety of genre, all reflect Christmas love, hope, and charity.

Detective Nick Tracer just wants to get drunk over the holiday season but an eight~year~old hires him to find Santa, and it changes his life. A magical Christmas bus enriches the lives of a veteran and his young daughter. The last S~2, an indestructable android, is given the toughest assignment of his long existence. A Christmas ghost discovers the real magic of Christmas, and on a beautiful California Christmas morning, two people in their 80s recall their lives while sitting on a park bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A ghost plays matchmaker for his younger brother, and two children do the same thing for their single mother. A best friend turns the tables on his buddy, and a sad poem opens the heart of a lonely poet. A bag lady enjoys the view and receives an unexpected guest. And sometimes being too smart can be a disadvantage, particularly when there is a bronze olive involved.

These are just some of the fun and exciting stories in this compilation. There are stories of adventure along with humor, unexpected surprises, romance and poignant moments. These are feel~good stories, to uplift your spirit and to leave you with a smile or a warm feeling. Just the way Christmas should feel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff R. Spalsbury was born in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and grew up in the small town of Logan, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University, San Jose State University and the University of Denver. He currently lives in Visalia, California. Before deciding to become a full~time novelist and short~story writer, he was a director of a college library and a college professor. When not writing Christmas short stories, he writes western and science fiction novels.

Connect with Jeff R. Spalsbury on his website by clicking here.

MY OPINION

If you’re looking for feel good Christmas stories without a lot of hokiness, this is the book for you. Filled with stories of rekindled hope, renewed faith and revived love, Merry Christmas Stories simply makes you feel good about the Christmas season. The twenty~five short stories cover a variety of genres ranging from the paranormal to adventure to romance and drama. There really is something in it for everyone.

One of my favorite stories in the collection is “Bag Lady Blues” about a homeless woman who recounts her life and the joy that she had with her family before things started to fall apart. The message of the story for me is that you don’t know how someone may have ended up in their circumstances, but the one thing we all have in common is the need for love and companionship.

FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 65:

I don’t understand why I look out at the world with all my young thoughts, yet when I look in the mirror I see an old lady. When did that happen? My soul wants to dance, yet my body can’t even walk straight.

RATING

★★★★

JEFF SPALSBURY’S TLC BOOK TOURS TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 21st:  The Road to Here
Tuesday, November 22nd:  Reviews from the Heart
Friday, November 25th:  A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 28th:  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Q&A/giveaway
Wednesday, November 30th:  Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, December 1st:  Life in Review
Friday, December 2nd:  2 Kids and Tired
Monday, December 5th:  Laura’s Reviews
Tuesday, December 6th:  Book Maven’s Blog
Wednesday, December 7th:  My Bookshelf
Thursday, December 8th:  Deb’s Book Bag
Friday, December 9th:  Living Outside the Stacks
Monday, December 12th:  Along the Way
Tuesday, December 13th:  By the Book
Wednesday, December 14th:  Nailing Jello to a Tree
Thursday, December 15th:  Book Reviews by Molly

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by TLC Book Tours free of charge in exchange for participating in the Merry Christmas Stories blog tour.

05th Dec2011

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

by Daenel

That man threw away my Christmas decorations. Again!

When the kids were little, I started collecting Christmas ornaments that I thought best represented each child ~ penguins, airplanes, pinks and purples… I’d mark the bottom of the ornament with the date and the initials of the appropriate kid, you know all the sentimental stuff that mothers do. Anyway, with 4 kids in the house, you can imagine, I had quite the collection.

That is, I had quite the collection until a few years ago when the hubs accidentally tossed my container of ornaments while cleaning out the garage. In his defense, I didn’t have the box properly marked because, well, I thought before anything big got tossed out, that I’d be consulted. I was wrong.

So I started collecting again…

Then we moved here. And the big green and red box that was marked “CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS” in capital black letters didn’t make it. In his defense, he said I didn’t tell the packers that it should come with us. Um, those guys actually packed a bag of garbage, so why, I ask you, why would I think that I needed to tell them to pack the green and red container marked “CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS”?

I wanted to cry when I made the discovery. This is the second time.

Instead of crying, the kids told me to look at this as an opportunity to try something new. So I went to the local dollar store, picked up a white Christmas tree (the kids’ idea), a couple of boxes of ornaments and told the kids to have at it. I didn’t want any part of decorating, I mean, come on, how many times can I just ignore the fact that my decorations keep disappearing? But my girls never gave up…

They figured there had to be at least a few ornaments floating around that may have been misplaced or something. And, sure enough, they found a plastic bag with three random ornaments…

Christmas Tree Ornaments

So the girls and I will begin a new tradition this year. After Christmas, we’ll scour the sales and pick out ornaments together. We’ll pick random and silly, sweet and sentimental, we’ll pick them together and pack them away safely for next year.

Do you have special Christmas ornaments? What would you do if something happened to them?

02nd Dec2011

Donkeys and Camels and Sheep, Oh My

by Daenel

Last night, the hubs came rushing into the house, yelling at me to grab my camera and get in the car. Looking down at my slippered feet and my pajama clad legs, I thought, hey, why not? It was dark and I trusted the hubs enough to know that I would not be encountering people. I was wrong. The hubs drove over to a local church where they were setting up a live nativity, parked the car and said “Go take some pictures ~ there are camels over there.”

Y’all, the looks I got were so worth the pictures…

Camel

This camel was so incredibly photogenic. Every time he saw the camera, he’d turn his head and stick out his tongue or make a weird face. 

Camel

I think this guy thought he was a family pet, because he liked having his head rubbed. 

Donkey and Sheep

Donkey and Sheep

The sheep and donkey seemed to be a favorite of the little people who were wandering around.

I cannot wait to see the entire nativity when it’s all set up.

Does your neighborhood church do a live nativity? Have you ever been?

25th Dec2010

Merry Christmas

by Daenel

Merry Christmas

From my home to yours ~ Merry Christmas!  And may every blessing of the season be with you.

16th Dec2010

Fantasy Christmas Wish List

by Daenel

We all have them, a list of things we wish we could have or do if money, time or restraining orders weren’t an issue (I have a serious clothes crush on Nicole Richie, which is why she is number 5 on my list)…

5.   I would totally love to go on a shopping spree with Nicole Richie.  I love the way she dresses.  I just think in the fashion department, she can do no wrong.

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie Photo Credit: Confessions of a Drama Queen

4.  Pay off the bills of my family and friends.  I’d like for all of us to go into 2011 with zero debt so that we know what it’s like to breathe from day~to~day without feeling like we’re gasping for air.

3.  I’d like to buy a home for a family in need.  The house would be mortgage free but I’d want to make sure they could afford the taxes, maintenance and other upkeep because once I hand them the keys….

2.  Get a Mercedes Brabus for my husband, Tony.  He asks for one every year and every year I check under the mattress for the money and I come up $2.15 short.

Mercedes Brabus

To see my husband's other toys, click the picture

1.  Go on a trip to Italy with my family and both of my sisters’ families so that we can show our children and husbands where we grew up.  Over the years I’ve told my children different things about Italy but I would love for them to experience it.

So there you have it, my Fantasy Christmas List for 2010.  If I get anything off my list, I’ll be sure to let you know.

What’s on your Fantasy Christmas Wish List?

09th Dec2010

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong

by Daenel

The NativityThe other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

28th Nov2009

Small Talk Six Things On My Christmas Wish List

by Daenel

Today’s Small Talk Six topic is to list 6 things on your wish list this year. You can answer this question with sentences, video, pictures, etc. If you’d like to participate, go here. Check here for the weekly Small Talk Six topics.

1. A full time job (a girl has shopping habits she has to support)
2. A better web cam (I would really like to do more vlogging)
3. Crawfish with potatoes and corn (I used to buy this stuff on the daily when I lived in Ft Polk, LA ~ delicious)
4. Popeyes Spicy Chicken with Red Beans and Rice (yes, I realize there’s two food based wishes, but if you’ve ever had either, you’d understand)
5. A pair of jeans that fit (I have a really hard time finding jeans that fit ~ long legs, belly and flat butt)
6. Sketchers Shape Ups (maybe if I got my butt in shape, I’d be able to find a pair of jeans that fit)
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