Christmas and what really matters.

I love the Christmas Season more than anything. Sure, I could live without the subzero temperatures and mass quantities of snow, but overall this really is "the most wonderful time of year" in my opinion :-) As much as I love the holiday's, there is no question that between Thanksgiving, (through Christmas) and New Years, things start to get a little CRAZY!

People become preoccupied with shopping, parties, and just the general chaos that comes up, and we often lose sight of what this season is about.

IMG_4315[1]In an effort to reel people back in to the true meaning behind Christmas and the Advent Season, St. Paul's UMC (my church) is sending out daily devotionals to the congregation. Jon asked me to participate, by writing a short devotional about what brings me joy and peace throughout this crazy complicated and often chaotic time of year.

I wanted to share mine with you:

Family. Gratitude. Traditions. For me, that is what the holiday season is about.

So many of us tend to get caught up in societies idea of what the Holidays are about (gifts, parties, etc.) that we disregard the true meaning of the season.

In the midst of the chaos, I like to take myself back and reflect on the abundant blessings throughout my life. I think about my family and loved ones, and the countless memories we have together over the years. Feeling so thankful to have my whole family close to me, that we are all able to celebrate the season together. As I am writing this, I am reflecting on so many simple traditions I have- that never fail to put the biggest smile on my face.

  • Making "Christmas Countdown Chains" with my sister to hang by our beds, to remind us of how many days left until Christmas
  • Attending the Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade every year
  • Making dozens and dozens of cookies with my Grandmother and cousins, covering her entire kitchen with flour in the process
  • My sister and I asking my Dad to go help us sprinkle "reindeer dust" around the yard and on the roof so the team could see where our house was (yes, we made him go on the roof)
  • My Grandpa and Grandma M. making the most amazing Christmas dinner every year
  • The unexplainable feeling of joy and serenity I get at the Christmas Eve service, when the congregation sings "Silent Night" in the candlelight

I could go on forever.

Those moments are irreplaceable and are, in my opinion, what make the season so magical. Thinking about life's simple pleasures outside of the madness and taking the time to acknowledge the non-material things- those are reminders of what is truly important… That is where I find serenity amongst the chaos this time of year.

I dedicate this post to all of you who have been a part of my wonderful memories throughout my past 24 Christmas seasons... I am blessed to be able to share those with you. As I move forward into the holidays, I am always looking forward to the new beautiful memories and traditions to come.

Speaking of new traditions....IMG_4284[1]IMG_4322[1]

 Proud of our first Christmas Tree <3

Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas Season!