Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Surprise

*This is a Christmas secret. Only proceed reading if you can keep a secret. . . . . . .

Christmas is coming . . .my favorite time of year. Yet also a time of. year that brings out the worst in me. It becomes so full of stress. Last year I found myself just days before the holiday, and I had yet to feel the "spirit".

As an artist - this time of year requires alot of time and energy away from home doing shows and supplying people with gifts. Sometimes it takes some of the joy out of it. And the joy is replaced with stress. Now don't get me wrong - the idea that someone picks one of my creations to give as a hearfelt gift is very humbling. It is an honor to make my creations and know that they are being shared.

We have a wonderful tradition at Christmas of gathering with all of the extended family on Christmas Eve. We have dinner, a special program/talent show, the reading of the Christmas story, presents, and Grandma's famous eggnog. It is a wonderful evening filled with laughter, family and all that is Christmas. But the commercialism has become more and more taxing.

So we devised a plan - as the adults drew the names of those they were to buy a gift for, it was decided that we would exchange gifts that were hand created. The gifts could be very simple - some home made jam, hand copied family recipes, a photo album, etc. Or in the case of my sis-in-law . . .a home recorded Christmas CD for the grandparents.

My husband has a variety of equipment and we worked this last week on recording several pieces for our family CD - 2 daughters, my sister in law and myself did an accapella version of Silent Night and Still, Still, Still. Later we added versions of other classics. But here was the dilemma - where can we get good acoustics for vocals at home? Answer . . .the bathroom.

Chrissy prepping to sing (notice to music taped to the bathroom wall)

Cierra and Auntie Michele -

Auntie Michele listening to our creation.

Chrissy and Jon working on the mix and playback.

So here is my question? As the season approaches, what is your family doing to keep the spirit alive and to limit the chaos?

Here's to a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!


nanadover said...

My main focus, this year, is going to be on helping others rather then get lost in all the "fluff". In past years, I didn't even get a chance to enjoy the lights and sounds of the season! This year will be a little less scurry and a lot more love spread to those who really need it!

I enjoy your blog! If you get a minute, check out mine!
Love you!

Mike and Kristy said...

What a wonderful story! I am so happy to be in touch again, you were always able to lift my spirits and you still continue to do that every time I read your blog. It is a very special gift!! This year, we are trying to unite families and traditions and the kaos seems to be alittle overwhelming. Service is definately a focus. There are so many in need, but before we can help others we have to be strong ourselves. We started a couple of weeks ago, but each week we are picking a family member name and giving service to that member for the week. At the end of the week we write what we did for them, what others did for us and how we felt. Not only will it provide opportunities to unite and increase love for one another, but to recognize and appreciate the things others do for us each day that we may not normally focus on. Like mom cooking dinners, dad going to work etc. We are also doing one family service project every week whether it is just fixing dinner for the missionaries, taking treats to neighbors, contributing to a church service project, or whatever. It will all be completed at christmas time, but I hope that it will be such a good experience that we will continue it throughout the year without the extra motivation.

Laurie Miller said...

I can so relate, Cathy. I agree that service is the way to go! Thanks for following the blog - I have checked yours out as well. It was very inspirational - keep it up. I hope all is well with you.

Laurie Miller said...

Kristy - thank you for your comments. I agree, it is wonderful to be in touch with you again. I am so happy that you feel uplifted by the things I have written. Service seems to be a real theme. I love the idea of picking a family member a week - it is true that we need to recognize the little things that we do for each other each day. Way to go - I am glad to hear that you are happy. You deserve it!