I must admit, I have not managed to keep my head above water at the beginning of this holiday season.  At least, not on Tuesday.  However, final exams are over now, and Christmas shopping is almost 100% complete.  As I begin my baking and wrapping and Christmas card making, I am reminded of what I have always loved most about this holiday.
Suddenly, my heart is filled with…
The decorations have come down from the attic, the tree has been trimmed.  (The stockings are still buried in a box somewhere, but I’ll get to it eventually.)  Meanwhile, the cat has had a grand time exploring all these new and wonderful hiding spots.  I thought we had escaped cat escapades with the tree.  For two weeks, she’s pretty much left it alone.  And then, today, I wrapped my first gift.  Within minutes of being placed under the tree, the paper had been shredded into fun little cat confetti.  Guess who’s wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve?
Santa’s making a list and checking it twice…  uh-oh.
Our finished tree.  It’s no Southern Living layout, but it holds a lot of precious memories and is helping create even more, and no designer could do it quite the same way.
Both kids brought home essays (OK– so Isaac’s was a couple of sentences) about what Christmas means to them.  
Isaac:  Christmas is getting together with your family.   It’s decorating the tree and giving presents on Christmas morning.
Harper Lee:  What Christmas means to me isn’t presents and goodies.  It’s fun, I’ll admit, but the smile somebody
gives me when I give them a gift is worth 100 presents.  When I go to Wal-Mart, I want to buy
everything on the shelf for me, but I would rather buy all the toys for someone
who doesn’t have a Wal-Mart and for Christmas all they really want is
food.  What Christmas really means to me
is the spirit of giving and you don’t have to be rich to give happiness.  It’s really easy to give, just smile at
somebody, and it will be worth your while.
Journal:  What does Christmas mean to you?  

Here’s to hoping the Christmas spirit is upon you.  

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