A Good and Sad Christmas

Monday, December 28, 2015

I hope your Christmas was a good one. We did have a good Christmas but we also had something sad to happen as well.  I'll get to the sad part a little later.  I know it has been a week since my last post, but I spent the last week with my kids (in some cases taking care of sick tummies), getting ready for Christmas and watching the days fly by.  Before I knew it, Christmas was here and gone, and I didn't even get all my Christmas cards mailed!  It was just one of those years.

As for our Christmas we started off with the kids being sick a couple of days before. I was afraid that it might spill over into the holidays but we were lucky, they did get well before the Christmas festivities started. We started our celebration with a trip to Grandma's house where the tradition is to make homemade cashew chicken. I was helping with cooking the chicken when I accidentally broke a coffee mug  (I was drinking coffee while cooking) and I sliced my finger on one of the broken shards. 

I cut it pretty deep and it wouldn't stop bleeding. I had been putting pressure on it and holding it above my heart, but it didn't help. I knew I needed a stitch or two but that meant driving 30 miles and missing the first of three family Christmas celebrations. Luckily Steve came to my rescue and looked up on Pinterest ways to stop bleeding. The one we chose to try was sugar. We found out that sugar is an antiseptic and also helps the blood with clotting. To our relief, it actually works! I held my finger in some sugar that Steve had in his palm and while it didn't completely stop the bleeding it did slow it down enough to bandage it. And though I was in pain,  I did get out of doing the dishes.

I thought I would share some of our Christmas traditions with you. We always open our presents with our kids on Christmas morning but about four years ago I started taking one gift for the kids to Grandma's house for them to open. That gift is new footie pajamas. The kids have come to expect it and in fact they ask to make sure that I have bought them new pajamas and they can open them Christmas eve. I think even if we didn't go to Grandma's house I would still have pj's for them to open and of course they love to put them on immediately.

We have also cut down on the gifts we get for our kids. I try to follow the rule of one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read.  What I have noticed is that with less presents, we can spend a little more and get quality and the kids can focus more on what they received, since they aren't as overwhelmed.

After Opening Christmas Presents
The aftermath of unwrapping presents.
For both of our extended families we have ceased buying gifts for each other, instead we made a rule several years back that we would make gifts. These have been some of my favorite gifts to receive. 
This year I received homemade vanilla from my oldest sister, homemade bath products from my middle sister, a beautiful hand embroidered team towel from my oldest niece, and a hand painted picture from my youngest niece courtesy of her 18 month old.  We also received a hand painted picture from our grandsons, and once I get it framed both paintings will be hung in our house. I love artwork from the kids. 

Handmade Christmas Gifts
Handmade gifts we received.
My sister-in-law who usually makes me something from scrapbook items (she has made me a photo book and other things in the past) broke with tradition and bought me a set of silver measuring spoons with the initial H in the middle. I didn't mind, as they are beautiful! 

Initial silver measuring spoons
Initial silver measuring spoons
I really do love the homemade gifts and if you haven't tried it with your family, I would suggest you do.  We made candles our of vegetable shortening this year.  We used crayons to color them and essential oils to make them smell good.  They honestly didn't work out as I had planned, so I am working on improving them so I can share with you what works and what doesn't in case you want to try making them.

making candles for Christmas
Making candles for Christmas
Now for the sad part. We lost a member of our family.  My cat Tippy passed away the day after Christmas.  I knew this time was soon to come.  Her health was not the greatest and she was 18 1/2 years old.  That made her 90 in cat years.  I got her as a stray when she was a little kitten in August of 1997 and she has been with me ever since.  The kids were sad of course and Carly used one of her Christmas gifts, a book writing kit, to write a book about Tippy.  I thought it was very sweet.  My heart was sad at losing Tippy, but I know she does not suffer and we will always have great memories of her.

Tippy the cat
She loved to lay in boxes, bowls, or anything she could squeeze herself into.
I hope that you all had a fabulous Christmas.  I hope you kept the old traditions and made new ones. I hope that you hugged your family tight and enjoyed the greatest gift of all, Jesus.  

Let me know in the comments some of your family traditions.

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