Thursday, December 18, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of December: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie,

This particular time of year tends to get very busy.  It is a season that can be somewhat overwhelming if you let it.  So instead of trying to be Super Woman and powering your way through Christmas, remember to pace yourself and plan ahead.
Enjoy the Christmas holiday with all your heart El… it is a beautiful time of year.

Final Thought:  Take time during the Christmas season to enjoy with your heart, give with your heart and love with your heart.  This “special feeling” is called Christmas Spirit, which is not a material gift so it cannot be bought, or given to you by another.  If you have Faith, Hope, Love and Jesus within your heart, then you will have Christmas Spirit.

Alright El, here are a few things we have done together so far in Christmas Spirit:

1.) A Christmas cookie baking and decorating day held at Aunt Sammy’s house.   Talk about a fun and memory-making kind of day… this was it!   Between Aunt Sammy, your Mommy and myself, we had preplanned the types of cookies we would bake and then divvied up the ingredients between us to purchase.  El, I was in charge of the Christmas sugar cookies, which I knew would be a big hit with you.  And that is because the steps it takes to make those cookies involves a rolling pin and lots of flour!  
Ellie, you “rolled” the dough out like a true pro and had an even better time choosing which Christmas cookie cutter to use (I also saw you sneaking a nibble from the dough now and then, which just made me giggle as I remember your Mommy and Uncle Ryan doing the same exact thing when they were your age).  Once the sugar cookies came out of the oven, you and Poppy whipped up some colored icing to spread on them (your choice was red, blue and green only) along with a variety of sprinkles!   The final product may not have been “professional baker’s material” but by your standards El, they definitely passed!  How do I know this???  Because after each decorated cookie, you licked your fingers like they were popsicles!   
Aunt Sammy was in charge of the spritz cookies, which she pressed out with ease.  
Not only were they pretty, but quite yummy too! And your Mommy was in charge of the peanut butter-kisses.  Let’s just say we learned what ‘not-to-do’ after the first batch came out of the oven!  
All in all this was a wonderful December tradition that enhanced the Christmas Spirit within us Ellie.

2.) Working together to complete a good deed.  Ellie, this one really warmed my heart.  You see, your Mommy and Daddy teach you all year long the importance of being kind to others and helping those who need help. Well, this Christmas Poppy talked to your Mommy about having you help us on our Secret Santa mission.  But he was concerned that the reasoning behind it would leave you with many questions about Santa Claus.  So your Mommy sat you down and explained how there are children in the world that may not get much, if anything, for Christmas because of their family’s circumstances.   The wonderful part of this story Ellie is that at 4 ½ years of age, you understood.  After your Mom finished explaining, you left and went into your playroom.  It wasn’t long before you returned with one of your games (an old favorite) wanting to donate it to someone in need (making your Mom proud that you wanted the children with very little to have something).  So with that being said, Poppy thought it would be a good idea to take you to Target where you could pick out a new toy for a little boy or girl.  You chose Connect Four because that is a game everyone likes.  Once you made your selection, Poppy then took you to Sweet Frog where they had a Toys For Tots bin on premise.  You placed the toy inside the bin and smiled knowing that you did something good for someone else.  Poppy was so proud of you El, as was everyone.  For someone so little, you have great empathy.

3.) A Christmas “girls” dinner.  Ellie… right now you are just a tad bit too young to join in this very special tradition that your Mom, Aunt Samantha and I do every year.  But I do look forward to the day that you will become part of our little group.   This outing is another way we three strengthen our Christmas spirit and also take time to be with each other with no distractions.  We share our day, our ideas, our concerns and our excitement.  
We listen to each other, we laugh, we show that we care, and sometimes we just get silly.   When you are old enough Ellie, you will understand how refreshing and how important this time together is!

4.) An afternoon outing to see the Nutcracker Ballet.  Again El, this is another one of those traditions that will never get old.  Aunt Sammy was out of town so she had to pass on this outing but your friend Isabella and her Mom were able to join us and we sure had fun!  We started off the afternoon with a lunch at Baby’s Diner (the perfect restaurant for children) as they have ‘wimpy baskets’ and deliciously famous milkshakes!  After we were finished, we took a leisurely walk up to the theater.  

Most of the little ones who attended the ballet wore their Christmas dresses, but you and Isabella wore your princess costumes… always thinking outside the box El!  I found the best part of the ballet to be “watching” you!  
The look of awe and wonder on your face when the life-like mice came onto the stage and also the Sugarplum Fairy was priceless.  You were enthralled from beginning to end, as were we! 

Oh Ellie… Christmas Day is right around the corner now.  And it truly is a beautiful day to experience, as its purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Not only is this day special, but all the days leading up to it.  Christmas Spirit will be in its full glory.  There is a quote from the Grinch movie which sums up the moment quite simply.  It is:  “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store—Maybe Christmas—perhaps—means a little bit more.” Then the Whoville community started to sing.  They sang: “ Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer.  Cheer to all Whos far and near.  Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.  Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we.  Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand to hand.”   

I love you my little Christmas spirit!

PS- Ellie, your Poppy is also enjoying the tradition of taking you to the movies.  You see, on Saturday mornings during the month of December, the local old-fashioned theatre runs the Looney-Tunes (the cartoons from our time).  You love them as much as your Poppy (and you were so happy they finally showed the Road Runner which is your favorite… last week’s was all Bugs Bunny).  We have so much fun with you El!!! 

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