Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let Your Heart Be Light

We have been busy with lots of Christmas-y stuff for the past few weeks. I haven't done a very good job of blogging, so today is going to be a little bit of playing catch up and just some things I've been thinking about!

*This is the first year in a reeeaaally long time that Christmas hasn't been super stressful for me. Thank you Lord!! I've been saying for years that I wanted to keep Christmas simple and sweet and focused on what really matters--Jesus' birth! And somehow I feel like I have finally gotten there. (Pretty close, anyway!)

I have gotten most of my shopping done already and I am ready to start wrapping. That NEVER happens this early! Plus I have had more time to enjoy watching Christmas movies and reading some Christmas books this year. I get the whole week before Christmas off, so I am looking forward to making some yummy things and I hope we can all pile up in the car one night and drive around looking at Christmas lights! My kids still love doing that! :)

This year Steve and I scaled back our Christmas budget and overall, we have stuck to it. Overspending is not a good way to keep yourself calm and unfrazzled. And, anyway, we all have everything we could possibly need!

This probably sounds "Scrooge-like", but one of my least favorite parts of Christmas is shopping. Fighting crowds and trying to find parking and wandering through stores trying to find just the right gift can be exhausting. I talked with my brothers and my sisters-in-law about it and we were all in agreement that what we really love about Christmas is just our time spent together. The gifts aren't important. We just want to hang out together and enjoy the season. So we decided we wouldn't exchange gifts anymore since our kids are all grown up now (except for my two little nieces and we will still get them something!) ...and everyone is so happy about it. I love that!

*I just discovered what a Christmas necessity candy melts are. Have you ever used them? You can get them at Michael's or AC Moore but for some reason I have never used them before. But this year, I am all about them! We are making white chocolate pretzel rods and chocolate dipping spoons for parent gifts in my class and they are perfect for that. And I thought these pretzel rods in this bright little can (from Pinterest, of course) were a really cute gift idea.

These Candy Cane Mint Milanos are on my to-do list. You use the red candy meltaways for them and they look super easy!

*Friday I took the day off and Steve and I went to lunch together, then went Christmas shopping. It was so much fun. Then yesterday, we met Laura in Hickory for lunch and a little shopping. We met at Jason's Deli and had fun catching up for a while...

Then we stopped by Starbucks, Laura's favorite, before we headed to the mall. It was packed and Santa was staying very busy!!

We bought some holiday candles and a crossed a few items off of our list before we headed back to Charlotte. It was a fun day.

*This week is "Christmas Party Central" for us! Starting tonight, we have 5 parties in the next 8 days. But they are all so much fun because it is all with people we love to see and spend time with. I am looking forward to every minute.


  1. Love the parent gift idea! I've been trying to think of something for my third graders to make and this is sweet and simple!

  2. Sounds like you are already having a wonderful Christmas season! My family has scaled back on gifts too, except for the kids! We now draw names and buy 1 gift. Seems like we still cheat and get each other a little something, though!

  3. It was great to see you tonight. I wish we had more time to chat. Thanks for all that you do!

  4. Love that you guys a scaling back too. We started this a couple of years ago and are enjoying being with the ones we love, instead of driving ourselves crazy trying to figure out what someone else wants or needs......we need nothing and if we do, we go out and buy it!!!! Simplify has become my new favorite word.

    I'm going to try and start blogging a little more often so hop on over for a visit.

    Merry Christmas!!!!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas season!

  6. I feel like this is the first year that I've been able to just enjoy the season and not worry about all the other stuff. I just want to spend time with Alex and Amelia and the rest of our fams. And of course doing little Christmas things at home with Amelia is the most fun in the world for me. :) Keeping it simple = a stress free Christmas for sure. I hate that it took me this long to figure that out...better late than never though - right? :)

    I LOVE your Christmas have a beautiful family and I just love your heart, sweet Betsy!!

    Merry Christmas!!

  7. I really want to try those candy cane Milanos too! They look so good.

    Great pic of you and Laura - y'all are both so pretty. Your whole family is beautiful and I just loved your card this year!

  8. I'm with you on the shopping - it is just not very pleasant. I do most of mine ahead or on line. More time to enjoy things that way. I have never seen the peppermint Milanos but I believe I will be making some this year! Thanks for sharing.

  9. My family is scaling back Christmas this year too! Our favorite part is spending time together and so we haven't elminated gifts, but we have really trimmed down the lists! :-) Sounds like you have set yourself up for a VERY MERRY Christams and Christmas BREAK! :-) Enjoy every moment! (And thanks for the Christmas Card - adorable as always!... maybe eventually we'll get moved and get some cards out, lol)


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