Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Ways to Create Christmas Magic

In a very time-honored tradition in our family, we celebrated our family Christmas early to facilitate traveling home for the holidays.  Getting to do that this year is a gift that we were not expecting at all when we went home this summer.  We are so grateful for the wedding of these two making it possible.  The biggest gift is that they even want us to be there that much!

I am a bit nervous about being in charge of their wedding photography!  But conversely, I love photographing interactions between people I love, and I think having someone you know and trust behind the camera makes people more comfortable being themselves, which results in better pictures.  All the technical prowess in the world means nothing if you have stiff and uncomfortable expressions!

But back to our early Christmas yesterday...

We have been rocking our fireplace out for the past three weeks at least.  It makes everything feel so cozy pleasant.

Why so excited James?  It's obviously because my mom gave me some extra thumbtacks for the bulletin board in my room.  It is always, always the little things.

Also a big hit was KJ's idea to give the kids a little cash in an envelope.  Nothing makes you feel so happy as having a little pocket money.  Ask me how I know?  KJ gave me some, too. 

This charity shop find made Ella so happy, and she spent the day tapping away.  It's such a pleasant background noise.  

I began writing this morning out of a desire to record our lives more frequently in this space as I used to do, but I've ended up thinking of a few things that made our faux Christmas morning full of that Christmas magic we all desire, and maybe they'll be helpful to you, too.

  1. Cultivating gratitude.  I really think being intentional about being thankful for gifts big and small throughout the month of November made our Christmas morning so pleasant.  I was really thankful yesterday for God's grace at work in our kids' hearts in how thankful and content they were through the day.
  2. Paying attention.  Sometimes it's hard to know what to buy for someone, but I found it so easy this year especially to pick up those little things that my kids have been talking about and requesting for the past several months.  Because even though we all love a really nice, expensive gift from time to time, our lives are mostly made more joyful and easier by little things.  For us this year it looked like thumbtacks, a lunchbox that looks like a book satchel, and a pen with a cool inscription:  Mightier than Sword.
  3. Don't pass up the thrift store or in England, the charity shop.  Because that typewriter was the most thrilling gift of the day.

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