Merry Christmas!!

It’s Christmas!! I hope you all are having a merry one.

If you’ve been a long-time reader here, you know that for me, Christmas has always been more of a hard holiday for me rather than a merry one. It all stems way back to being a kid when I was in about 3rd grade. I had an older sister whose family didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. It put a big strain on the family and more less stole any magical part of Christmas away from me. I’ve written about it all on the blog before.

After my sister’s family quit celebrating Christmas, my parents pretty much caboshed Christmas for all of us, and the only thing we did was go to Christmas Eve candlelight church with my Dad. No presents to speak of…no tree…no Christmas that many experience.

It wasn’t horrible and I don’t ever want anyone to think I didn’t have good parents. I did. They were doing what they felt was right and to this day, I still respect that.

For years Christmas to me has been more about going to church for candlelight services on Christmas Eve. That became our family tradition and I love that. I love that a lot. To me, that’s always been Christmas…not lights, not trees, not presents.

It’s been very different for me now that I have a job away from home. I know it sounds silly but I can see people being excited about gift-giving. I can see people being excited about wrapping presents and making candy goodies that they have brought to work and shared. In the past, all those things seemed like drudgery. But now I see people doing them and they are acting like it’s fun…Hmm. That is entirely a new concept to me.

I’ve never really seen people be truly excited about those parts of Christmas before. I know it sounds crazy but it’s the truth…and it’s really been eye-opening. I think the 58-year-old me is learning something completely different from what I’ve always known and honestly, I kind of like it! Maybe it’s not too late to teach this old dog a new trick! I can say I’m definitely seeing much more joy in Christmas than I ever have before.

For me, Christmas #58 is turning out to be one of the best ones and I like that!!

I hope you’re having a good Christmas…and that you, like me, are finding some unexpected JOY! Merry Christmas to you all!

26 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!!”

  1. Jo Merry Christmas to you, your family and your furry friends. Your Christmas to us is the positive thoughts you post in your blog and your love for everything in your life. May your health be with you and happy stitching.

  2. What a delightful experience, Jo! I hope you enjoy discovering the magic of Christmas for many, many years to come! Peace to you, sally

  3. Jo, thank you for your thoughts…seeing Christmas through your eyes, experiencing a new facet of Christmas joy…I think most us get caught up in all the hoopla…This year my two adult sons for the 1st time spent this past Saturday with me, baking 4 pies and 3 fruit cakes, getting the house ready for today and the eldest of the two decided he needed to quilt the top that I had put on the frame last week! Always before it was my chore to do everything in preparation…the torch is being past. I really had a great time with my sons and I am looking forward to next Christmas to see if this will become a tradition! I hope so. Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I love to give gifts to family and friends. It is one time of the year I can do it and not feel awkward. It is a memory maker to tide over when things are dull and dreary.

  5. I grew up with a Christ-centered Christmas. There was always a tree and a few small gifts (often needs), a Christmas stocking with fruit/nuts/candy to be opened on Eve after our church program. I’m grateful for my upbringing.

    Merry Christmas to you Jo. 58 and fabulous!

  6. Oh, Jo, that’s so very sad that one person in your family could rule what the whole family does. Were they Jewish (understandable not to celebrate Christmas) or some other belief? I hope you were able to have other good Christmases after you had your own family. Glad you’re having a good one this year. Christmas is about giving. I love making gifts and candy to share with friends and family. I also give baby quilts, crocheted scarves, etc to to local nonprofits. I really don’t care if I receive any gifts. My gift is being able to share. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  7. What a wonderful gift you’ve received this year, to experience new joys of Christmas! We’re seeing good changes in our son this year, which is nice. He is recently divorced and living far away, we weren’t sure how he was handling it. The positive changes we’re seeing help us know he is going to be fine. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. Merry Christmas Jo, to you and your family! I love celebrating Christmas with my children and grandchildren. It is so much fun to see their excitement for the holidays. It’s great that you are rediscovering the joys, along with celebrating in church!

  9. Merry Christmas! I so agree with some of your feelings about Christmas. My favorite parts of Christmas are the Christmas Eve service and making goodies and then getting together with family. I do not like having to figure out gifts for people who don’t need anything – they buy for themselves everything they want.

  10. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours, Jo! Enjoy the day and let the joy in! Christ is born today. What better day to celebrate and show love to others!

  11. I’m sad to think your Christmases have held so little joy for you, Jo. I’m happy to hear that you’re starting to see things in a new way because your point of view has changed. That’s another benefit of your job! And your very positive outlook on life in general. You find a lot of joy in many things. Regardless of how your Christmases go from now on, it sounds as if they will bring another element of joy to your already-full life. It’s not Thursday, but your list of thankful things keeps growing. Blessings!!

  12. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Merry Christmas to you! I am grateful for family being together and I am also always missing those who have passed. We ate very non-traditional food and played some new games today! I like to decorate, but do less of it each year, it seems. The ornaments on the tree are little keepsakes we’ve bought while traveling, so putting them up really brings forth lots of great memories.

  13. My parents grew up very poor but worked hard & made a good life for themselves & me. Their memories from home was a special & delicious meal without gifts. I got (necessary) gifts & our meal was the best, shared with extended family.
    We’ve never gone overboard with our children or grandchildren & to continue tradition, have a wonderful meal followed by cards or games. Our daughter follows our lead but our daughter-in-law is trying for “Favorite Grandma of the Year Award”. So extravagant and it bothers me. I never put up my tree until mid December & it stays up until Jan 6, to celebrate 12 days of Christmas because we believe “Christmas begins at Christmas” not the day after Halloween. Our church program was Dec 27 every year and I sadly see very few outside decorations with religious meaning but a low key & meaningful Christmas is important to me.

  14. Merry Christmas Jo-
    I can relate as my family situation was sad too. My dad was a chef and never able to be home for Christmas as he had to work jobs out of town. Then when my younger sister( 7 yrs) was born my mom said she needed things more. I grew up used to not receiving but I did love to make and give. My husband says he buys me stuff all year long so he does not buy me – nor do I him. I might make him a gift. But I’ve had fun this year making little things to give people and pets joy. And Christmas is far more special to me than anything – even diamonds that could be bought. I like to go outside at midnight, close my eyes and listen for the angels singing that Our Lord is Born…I’ve done that since I was seven and I still believe I can hear their song.
    Many Blessings

  15. Merry Christmas Jo, my prayers are for a healthy year ahead for you. Christmas for me is ever changing as our kids are truly adults and we enjoy spending the time together cooking and playing games. The family traditional food favorites are always served with one or 2 new dishes to try. We do exchange small gifts with each other, but we keep it simple. I try to find a new stain glass ornament for each of them, as a keepsake for when I’m gone.

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