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.