Christmas is one of my favorite seasons. I love the parties, the celebrations, the decorations, the desserts, the time spent with loved ones, the lights, etc. The list could go on and on. As cliche as it sometimes feels to admit to loving this time of year, there is a lot to celebrate. I have often felt that the holidays provide a good time for me to reflect on how much I have to be grateful for.
I feel very blessed this year to be spending this time of celebration and reflection in Elgin. A year ago I never could have imagined that I would be here for this Christmas season, but I am extremely thankful that I am. It has been a busy time for our house. We've attended a variety of holiday celebrations with church and work friends, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at these parties, upon reflection I realized that some of the most memorable times these past few weeks have come from some of the seemingly mundane things that have happened.
It's a good reminder that sometimes it's the little things that mean the most. I'd like to share some of these moments that have stood out to me and helped me remember all that I am grateful for:
A few weeks ago, Kristen, Ben and I decorated our house for Christmas. Our house has collected an odd assortment of decorations and lights over the years, and we joyfully put them all up. My personal favorite are the LED lights, pictured around the frame of the doorway leading into the living room in the photo below. I appreciate how they brighten up the room and add color to the sometimes dreary and dark winter days. During decorating it was also fun to discover the various ornaments that have been collected over time. I am grateful to those who have left decorations behind that we have been able to use to make our tree much less bare!
Saturday night Ben and I made cheesecake and cookies. Baking is one of my favorite holiday hobbies and I usually make dessert for my family's Christmas celebrations. It was fun to be able to bake in Elgin and to learn new recipes! We also ate too much chocolate and both fell into a food coma.
Spending time together:
Our work schedules often send us out on the road, but, for the most part we have been lucky enough to all be around for the holiday season. It's been great having all of us at the house for an extended period of time, and it has allowed us the chance to better get to know each other and build deeper friendships. The other week Krsiten and Theresa taught us how to play the game Euchre. We have also had times of story- sharing, listening to music, and reading in the living room together. We've been blessed to share so much laughter and memories these past few weeks.
Laura and I depart tomorrow to go home for the holidays, Kristen and Theresa leave on Friday and Ben will be gone at the beginning of next week. As we head our separate ways, we are excited for time spent with family and for new stories that we will be able to share with each other when we return.