Around The Mulberry Bush

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Jingle Bells!!

I said it.

(Oh Look! I made a Christmas Tree!)
--Sorry. Easily Sidetracked.--

"What's to love?!!" you ask. "This time of year is CRAZY!"
"Everyone is rushing. Cooking. Planning.
Stressing. Fretting about money."
"Seriously! What's to love?!? Christmas is for kids!"
The fact is...
I love that we start the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving.
Being thankful for what we have and anticipating what we will give.

A couple of years ago, as we sat around the dinner table,
we each took a moment to say what we were thankful for.
And God bless little Sadie!

It was her turn. And in her innocent, then 2 year old voice she said...
"I'm thankful for air"
I promise to never forget that even our smallest blessings are big ones!

I love holiday music, and Christmas movies, and giving gifts,
and driving around looking at lights, and baking cookies with kids,
and I secretly think it's fun to sit in Santa's lap for a picture.
And I love getting Christmas Cards in the mail.
(I just wish I were better at mailing them) {sigh}.
(Hey, I've been known to send out Christmas cards in June.
It's actually brilliant! Then you don't know if I'm early or late. {grin})
And decorating. Oh how I love decorating!
It's all just so magical!
I love that we spend time thinking of others.
And what we can do to make them smile.
I love Santa Claus! and Nutcrackers! and Toy Soldiers! and Twinkling Lights!
and Handmade Gifts from the Heart! and Desserts! Lots of Holiday Desserts!

And you know, now that I look back I realize
that it's all my parents fault.
I grew up in a family filled with lots and lots of love but not much money.
And yet, Mom & Dad somehow found a way to make every Christmas special!
I remember sitting around the coffee table
pinning sequins onto styrofoam balls to make ornaments
that were so heavy that the branches of the tree couldn't hold them.
And the year I got an old Underwood typewriter and stand
because my parents knew how much I enjoyed my typing class.
Oh! And the year I got a BRAND NEW coat!
I screamed so loud I think the neighbors heard me!

And I'll never forget the couple of years that my mother
somehow found the means to take 3 young children
(my little brothers and I) to see "The Nutcracker" ballet where we lived in Austin.
Who knew there was such a glorious world of magic and fairy tale--right there before our eyes!?!
I loved that, even if just for an afternoon, dreams could seem so real.

So, I started thinking...
What is it that really makes Christmas so special?
And why can't we get back to that?

You know what I keep coming back to?
The Holidays really are about
Giving Something of Yourself.

We all talk about it.
So let's do something about it!
Let's give something of ourselves.

Let's give at least one gift either from
Our Heart
Our Hands

By that I mean that our gift could be a simple as
giving our time to someone else by
raking, cleaning, repairing, cooking,
doing laundry, or even babysitting for someone special.

And if you enjoy making things as much as I do
then I can't wait to see what you'll be making for gifts this year.

So please join me in our Handmade Holiday Challenge!!
To post pics where they can be shared with everyone
I've opened a Flickr Group so we can
share our photos there.
(Just praying I did it right! Please let me know!!)

And of course you can always comment here
to tell us your plans too.

Oooh!!! I Can't wait to see
all the ways we'll be giving of ourselves!

Hugs and Happy Christmas!!!!!

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