Category Archives: Christmas

Giving of Yourself…

Snow Covered Pine ConeOne of the things that I think is often overlooked this time of the year is the simple gift of yourself.

We are bombarded with commercials, social media and T.V. specials about giving gifts and the deals that we can get to buy all of those gifts. In all of the hubbub we can begin to think that “simple” gifts aren’t enough.

Gift giving is so much more than the physical gifts sitting under the tree. It’s the giving of yourself. Your time, energy, thought, and sometimes money.

James 1:17 tells us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Yes, God does provide us with our physical needs and blesses us beyond measure in that area. But I also think that He gives us gifts that aren’t physical. Viewing the sunrise or sunset. A kind smile on a busy day. Friends that will listen to your plight and offer godly advice. The prayers of family and friends just because they happened to be thinking about you…

You see, we are urged to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Christ gives us more than the physical things in this life. We shouldn’t be made to feel as though our gifts are any less just because they can’t be held in our hands.

Sometimes the greatest gifts are held in the heart. A kind note of encouragement from a friend. A helping hand on a hectic day. Doors being held open by a stranger. And so much more.

This holiday season lets look for ways to give more of ourselves to those around us. Family, Friends, and friends we just haven’t met yet. Remember that gift giving isn’t just the physical things that we can hold in our hand, it’s also the things that we keep in our hearts and memories for a lifetime.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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My 6 Favorite Christmas Songs

Cd player_With TextAs some of you may know I LOVE Christmas music. We start listening November 1st and don’t stop until December 26th (at least). So, I thought I’d take a minute or two and share with you my 6 favorite Christmas songs. I know that it’s a little odd to list just six, but that’s me… (Note: These are in no particular order).

1) Bing Crosby “White Christmas”

I grew up listening to Bing Crosby. We even have a Bing Crosby singing/dancing doll (he was so well loved that he now has a permanent case of laryngitis).  Out of all the different versions of “White Christmas” his is my absolute favorite. 🙂

2) Andy Williams “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Another classic. Every time I hear this song it makes me smile. A few years ago one of the non-cable channels that we have was playing a bunch of his Christmas variety shows and we loved them. Sadly, we haven’t been able to find it again. 🙁 As a bonus this song is also the title of one of our family’s favorite Christmas movies.

3) Steven Curtis Chapman “Christmas in Kentucky”

This song always reminds me of Sherrodsville and spending the holidays with my Great-Grandparents. Listening to it takes me back to my childhood and riding along all the curvy roads.

 

4) The Carpenter’s “Christmas Portrait”

Okay, technically speaking it’s an entire album of songs. But, I love it. It’s one of my absolute FAVORITE Christmas albums. It’s so relaxing and soothing. One of my favorite things to do (at least once during the Christmas season) is to put the CD in on repeat and lay down in front of the fire with a warm blanket and take a nap. If you listen carefully to track 16 you’ll hear the first verse of “White Christmas”. We’ve never been able to find it recorded anywhere else. But listen close–it’s there.

5) David Bowie and Bing Crosby “The Little Drummer Boy”

I have no idea how we even heard about this song, but it’s really neat. The lyrics have a nice meaningful message and I’m still amazed that they can be singing two different things and don’t get lost!

6) Matthew West “A Christmas to Believe in”

This song just sounds so pretty. I can envision every scene as he sings it. I love the reminder that Christmas isn’t just about the large things. It’s in all the small things that we often overlook. Let’s remember this year to take the time to look for and be thankful for all the little things that this Christmas brings.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on about why I love several other songs, but I think that this list sums it up quite nicely. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite Christmas songs are in the comments. Share them below!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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When you find Christmas Changing…

Children laughing at ChristmasI don’t know about you but when I was younger I just couldn’t wait for Christmas. I was anxious to see what Santa had left under the tree. Once December got here I was so overly excited I didn’t know what to do with myself.

As I got older and figured some things out for myself. Christmas seemed to loose a bit of it’s magic. I was no longer bouncing off the walls and I also learned the lesson that when you bake cookies the kitchen won’t clean itself ;).

For years I thought that the excitement of seeing what Santa left under the tree was what Christmas felt like. I ended up feeling a little down and depressed because although Christmas was almost here it just didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have the excitement that I once had and often wondered what happened.

As I’ve been thinking on this I realized that I just got older. I began to understand that Christmas is more than getting nice things under the tree. It’s about helping others and celebrating the wonderful blessings that we have been given by a loving God. Things like spending time with family, giving things to others, and helping those in need.

The magic of Christmas hasn’t left; it’s just taken a different form. Instead of bouncing off the walls and driving my Mom nuts I am now able to help her. I can wrap presents for another member of the family (as long as it doesn’t ruin the surprise of what I’m getting–as in no one is allowed to wrap their own presents). Instead of baking cookies for three hours and then having to clean up the kitchen for another four (I’m a fairly messy cook)– we can clean the kitchen more as we go. I now understand that every job in the kitchen is important and necessary instead of thinking that I always have to be the one to roll out all the cookies.

The older I’ve gotten the more I understand that not everyone is as blessed as I am. Some people don’t get to go home for Christmas, some don’t have families to go home to, and others won’t get to have a visit from Santa even though they’ve been good…I am now excited to help make Christmas brighter and cheerier for those in need.

Something that has really helped me get in the Christmas Spirit this year is taking it one day at a time…Trying to do one Christmas-y thing each day. Whether that be playing Christmas music all day long, journaling using Christmas stickers, baking a batch or two of cookies, navigating the crazy stores, attending a Christmas party dressed like an  Elf, or coloring a Christmas picture… Just doing something small each day that celebrates Christmas.

Maybe this year you’re finding your Christmas changing. Let me encourage you to approach this Christmas season looking to God. Look around for the little Christmas-y things in your life. Don’t try to do it all–just do a little bit each day. Take each day as it comes and find the joy there. Thank God for what He has given and ask Him for guidance to use what you have to bless others.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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12 Movies & Snacks of Christmas! (: <3

I don’t know about you but one of my favorite things to do this time of the year is to curl up in front of the fireplace in my Christmas jammies with popcorn and hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies.

So, here’s a little twist on 12 Holiday “classics”. Each of the movies listed is one that our family has watched and loved. The twist is contained in a creative food that corresponds with the movie. Some of these we have done others we’re hoping to do. But, if you’ve seen the movies you should be able to pick up the food reference. 😉

So, without further ado here are 12 movies & snacks of Christmas!!

Christmas movies_with text1) “White Christmas”

I have grown up watching this movie at least once every Christmas season. My Dad knows almost all the words to the entire movie and we’ve watched it so many times that we can now pick out quite a few of the “mistakes”. This movie is by far one of my favorites…I look forward to watching it every year.

While watching this movie you can eat sandwiches and drink a glass of buttermilk. (or if you’re like me and the thought of drinking straight buttermilk grosses you out you can just drink regular milk).

2) “The Christmas Card”

🙂  <3 I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to ruin it for you.

While watching you can eat a chicken salad club on rye,  extra crispy curly fries with ketchup, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows.  (;

3) “ELF”

we watch this movie every year while we put up the Christmas tree. Every time we watch it we end up craving two things: 1) Spaghetti 2) A chocolate poptart with peanut butter. Although for obvious reasons we have decided to NOT mix the two.

4) “The Polar Express”

The music in this movie is SO good. We watch this movie every Christmas Eve right before bed. Mom says it’s like watching your bed time story instead of having it read to you. So, while enjoying the story why not sip on some hot cocoa with a peppermint stick? Just make sure you have some left by the time the song rolls around! 🙂

5) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)”

We watch this movie right after Thanksgiving every year and sometimes a little later in the season because we usually all fall asleep during part of the movie. The best thing about this movie is that you have the opportunity to eat two different meals. For breakfast have some corned beef hash and for dinner make a roast in the Crockpot…

6) “Christmas in Connecticut”

We found this movie on T.V. one year over and over again. We would just watch from where we found it till the end. It’s an older one that’s in black and white (which I love). While you’re watching munch on some fried chicken. (:

7) “The Year Without a Santa Clause”

This is one of Mom’s must watch Christmas movies. I love trying to see the nail in Snow Miser’s foot while he’s singing. This movie goes great with a nice hot bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup.

8) “The Santa Clause”

We love watching all three of the Santa Clause movies back to back. When we were younger we’d do a Santa Clause marathon and watch all three in one day. While watching the original one do so while eating just like Santa. An ice-cram sundae, cookies, carrots, and soy milk. Remember Santa’s lactose intolerant. (;

9) “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

While watching this one you may want a nice tall stack of pancakes. Just don’t forget the peanut butter–or is that just me?

10) “The Nativity Story”

As you watch this movie about the birth of the Savior home-made flatbread goes well. If you want to get really creative buy some flavored oil or make some yourself to dip it in. Trust me, that’s really good…

11) “A Song for the Season”

This movie came on a disc of three that we had bought and the songs are really really pretty. I really wish they released the songs to buy, but I could’t find them anywhere. 🙁 Monkey bread is a good sweet thing to munch on while watching the sweet surprise unfold.

And last but not least…

12) “It’s a Wonderful Life”

This movie is a really good reminder of just how important each and every one of us are in life. We all make a difference to someone and without us the world wouldn’t be what it is today. While watching this true holiday classic [in black and white] have your dinner of roasted chicken, dinner rolls, and spinach.

I hope that this has given you some new ways to enjoy some of your favorite Christmas movies. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite Christmas movies (and snacks) are in the comments below. Also, if you choose to do any of these (or create your own) with your family this year I’d love to see them. So, please share them on Facebook with the hashtag #12Christmasmoviesandsnacks.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

 

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Living a Life of Joy

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Romans 15:13

Joy Candle HolderJoy. It’s a small word with a big impact. Dictonary.com defines Joy as “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.”

It seems that as Christmas draws closer this little word is used a whole lot more. It’s used in advertising, on cards, and portrayed in various movies. This got me thinking; why is it only at Christmas that we are full of joy? Why can’t we have the “Christmas Spirit, if you will, all year long?

“Then the angel said to them. “Do not be afraid, for I bring you tidings of great joy which will be for all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.””

Luke 2:10-11

The joy that we have is simply because of Jesus. He came to the earth in the form of a needy baby. Grew up to teach us how to live. And then died a death that He didn’t deserve to save His beloved children from Satan’s clutch. Then three days later He rose from the grave just as He said He would, and He promised to give us His Spirit to guide us through this life (See Luke 1:31, Luke 2:52, John 13:15, Luke 23:41, 1 Corinthians 15:4, John 14;16).

This is the reason for our joy. This is why we can reamin joyful through even the toughest circumstances. I believe that being Joyful shouldn’t come to a screeching halt December 26th. It should be something that we carry with us all through the year. We should continue to spread this joy to as many as possible.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

 

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A Rustic Christmas

Ohmygoodness! It’s been a little crazy around here lately! We’ve been unpacking, arranging, rearranging, and decorating this past week! The house is really starting to come together. The  Christmas decorations are done and almost all of the family pictures are hung.  One of the things that I love about this house is that it has a very cozy, rustic feel to it! It fits our decor perfectly!

Because our family is having a simple Christmas this year I thought that it would be fun to share a bit of our Christmas decor with you!

Christmas Stocking hanging in the windowDue to the way that our fireplace is designed we were not sure wether or not we would be able to hang the stockings above the fire. So Mom came up with this brillant idea with a little help from Grandma

 

Shelf decorated for ChristmasThis shelf is another favorite of mine… it’s vintage with a touch of modern…

Rustic Christmas Dining RoomThe dining room is one of my favorite rooms in the house! I absoulutely love this brick wall. And as a bonus it looks like a greeting card when you look in  from the outside! (:

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing some of our simple, rustic Christmas. Although this year is different for us in many ways, it has been nice to simplify and realize what is really important.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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A Simple Christmas

“…Martha, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken from her.”

~Luke 10:41b-42

Shelf with figurines, books and candle on sledThis year we as a family have decided to slow down and really enjoy the season. We have decided to put less decorations out, bake less cookies, and really savor this time together. To have a simple Christmas.

How often this time of the year are we “worried and troubled about many things”?

I love what Jesus says immediately following, “But one thing is needed…” We find ourselves so distracted and prepccupied with the preperations that we forget the meaning and significance of the season. We forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. That because He came to this earth as a man and was tempted in every way that we are yet He remained victorious (see Hebrews 4:15) we now have the hope of eternal life and the joy of knowing a God that loves us unconditionally.

I encourage you this year to slow down and realize what is really important. Time spent with family and friends making memories that last a life time. 10 years from now you won’t remember the decorations that lined the walls or the presents that you recieved. You will remember who sat around your table, the stories that were told and the laughs that were shared.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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