Holiday Bliss - The First 12 Days

As I have been in silence since Thanksgiving, I thought we would get back into routine here by participating in another daily meme - "Holiday Bliss". I hope each of you has had a peaceful and blissful holiday season thus far. Ours has been eventful.

The First 12 Days of Christmas:

1) Christmas Music 24/7 - from Z88.3 Orlando! Beautiful when you are stuck in bed.

2) PBS, NRB, TBN, HALLMARK, ABC Family and others - who are filling my DVR with holiday specials. Here is a way to enjoy movies, holiday stories, and special events with your family, even if you are ill or homebound. It is up to each person to be creative and make each day special despite your financial or health situation. It really is possible to be blissful despite hard times. So number three...

3) Learning that attitude makes or breaks each day of the holiday season. My holiday season happiness is not determined by people, government, finances, disease, circumstances, and other outside forces. The beauty of the season is found in the reason of the season, and therefore, I can have a beautiful blissful day each day.

4) The beautiful decorations - The lights, the bulbs, greenery and more - they bring such warm feelings and evoke so many memories. We had such a blessed time unpacking our boxes this year. The children are getting older and found themselves getting nostalgic as they unwrapped memory after memory.

5) Rehearsals and a busy schedule - Yes, I can be joyful even about a full calendar, and my family rushing here and there. It is all for a good reason as they have been busy preparing for a Christmas Cantata. As many of my readers know, mu husband is a Music Minister , so this is his second busiest time of year. (The first is Easter)
We plan for this busy season, and do our best to fit in little moments of laughter and joy to help keep us all focused. Why do we give up so much during this time? We do so to share the Good News, the hope that this blog is all about, with our talents and time. It is our gift to the Saviour whose Birthday we celebrate, and to our community. If just even one heart is blessed, the sacrifices will be worth it.

6) Christmas/Advent Homeschool Lessons - We have had a beautiful time focusing our learning around Advent and the Holiday Season. We are using some free units I found online. One is a CM Method, liturgical study built around books written by one of our favorite authors, Tomie Depaola. My children and I had the chance to meet him many years ago. It was a moment and conversation they will never forget, the books they got will be treasured for generations. This unit was a blessing too as it was free and I found all the books through my county library system. Unit Study Link

7)Poetry, plays, carols and more - all daily enjoyed by me as I listen to my precious children share their joy and excitement. The other day we all curled up on my bed and did a read-aloud of a very cute and funny holiday play written by DePaola.
you would have joined in on our laughter, the voices we were throwing around trying to really bring the characters to life, was historical in itself! Such an impromptu simple moment and yet a moment we are all still talking about. It was a moment when age, talent, the lack of preparation, etc... did not matter. For a moment we just curled up, read aloud and enjoyed the journey. It was magical.

8)Holiday Crafts - Ok, so I do not consider myself crafty at all but we have attempted a few things so far. Our son made beautiful bead ornaments at a church event. Those are sure to become special over the years. We painted ceramic ornaments one day. My husband had picked up a neat little kit for us. We actually had fun and found we liked this type of painting. We tried to make manger cookies but failed at that attempt. My kids told me to just laugh about it. How did they get so easy going?
We have all been marveling at Anthony's cool modern art. He began painting and drawing some cool holiday scenes. I cut them out and mounted them on thick green construction paper, which made them pop. We then used some old frames, and shazam we had some cool Holiday art to hang.

9)Christmas Cards - I am old-fashioned, I adore getting Christmas cards and letters via snail mail. It is one of my favorite things about the season. Yes, I am very thankful for now the daily contact I can have with friends and family around the world but these special letters are anticipated every year. We have a white door that goes to the garage from the kitchen. We are hanging our cards and letters there this year. The white background makes them pop, but I think I may have my daughter do some other decorating to it. We will see what we come up with and share it with you.

10) The Manger Scenes - This is our son's favorite tradition. He loves setting up the scenes around the house. We started some new traditions with this a few years back. Baby Jesus is placed in the manger after we return from Christmas Eve Services, as near midnight as possible. The wise Men are brought out whenever we set up the scenes but they are placed randomly around the house. They are moved daily and wander the house until Epiphany when finally our scene is complete. This usually stays out until Lent. It yearly keeps us focused on the life of Jesus by following much of the liturgical year. Our children join us daily in devotions and study but these extra activities, together as a family, have only added to our spiritual growth in a very special way. It is so worth the time and planning.

11)Living in the Tropical South - This weekend a large winter storm has been blasting the country. The pictures make me hurt and cold just looking at them on TV. It reminds me how blessed I am to live in the tropical south and be in a heated home.
Although, the heater is not blowing much today. While others are dealing with shoveling, roof collapses, and more, I sit here with highs near 71. If it is any consolation to you, the wind has picked up and clouds have rolled in while I have been posting. Rain is to come along with colder temps. They say the local farmers will have to be concerned for the crops. While the ice protects the strawberries and other crops, we know the danger and marvel at the beauty of the site.

12) Sweet and beautiful Music, lights, colors, and drama are all part of today. Christmas Cantata Day 2010 has arrived! After weeks of my illness causing us a new worry, and a new difficult normal - we thank God for his faithfulness to get us here.
so many of our choir members had health crisis of their own this past month, and yet Today they are giving of their talents and time with loving joy! My husband just called in to check with me. Three church services are done and now two performances this afternoon lie ahead. He said emotions are joyful and exciting. We have a lot of Seniors, and bless them, they are like excited children on Christmas morning on Cantata day. It is so beautiful! I am praying that tomorrow my bliss report can be that I was able to attend and enjoy along with the masses we will have attend. I have decided to press on, and attend the last performance. I am so thankful for all the equipment, care, and meds my Doctor's have provided so that I may. Our son is in the drama which our daughter directed. Our daughter is in the choir, and we are so blessed to have her again this year. My husband, of course, will be taking flight, haha. He is quite an enthusiastic director. Happy birthday Jesus - this gift is for you!


SisterTipster said…
Thanks for sharing and Enjoy the season!
I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well. I know how difficult that can be.. but what a beautiful list of Bliss you have put together. I love all of those things as well, (although I am not married to a music minister only a rock and roll bass player) I'm so glad the Cantata came together. I'll pray for your health and comfort.