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We are in the middle of the Advent and Christmas season and having so much fun. The grandkids came over a few days earlier than I expected and we got half the Christmas tree decorated. It's now looking lovely with cute homemade Christmas tree ornaments intermixed with unique Christmas tree ornaments I've purchased or received – all full of wonderful family memories.
When my youngest grandson on this coast asked if my lights were colored or white, he was rather sad when I repled, "White." His are white too, but he loves colored. Talk about sweet family memories! My husband always loved white lights the best while I preferred colored. Each year we would alternate – white inside, colored outside and vice versa. Now, due to family health issues, I have an artificial tree already set up with white lights. It was quite pretty, fairly inexpensive, and very easy – my favorite thing for my busy Sandwich Generation life, busy with caring for elderly parents and helping with grandkids.
Seeing his endearing, woe-begone face, my mind flew back to those fun times with my husband, decorating the tree and laughingly figuring out which lights went where each year. Needless to say, one cheap light string later, my Christmas tree now has colored AND white lights and looks PERFECT – to my senior mom, my grandkids and me.
When they come over tonight, we'll turn on the lights and enjoy some Christmas books, like:
- The Berenstain Bears Christmas books including The Joy Of Giving. Since this series is always a favorite of ours, I had to get this book about the blessing of giving at Christmas, and all year long. My grandkids definitely love this whole series and enjoy hearing them read over and over. And with positive messages, I'm glad to read the books to them.
- Advent Storybook – I spotted this at the local bookstore and really like it. It's about a LIttle Bear and his mommy bear who tells him a short story for each day of the 24 days til Christmas. Each story has a little Biblical "moral" that actually blessed me as much, or more, than my grandkids. It is probably more geared for preschool through first grade. My grandsons like it, but it's a bit young for them so I'm sending it on to my younger grandkids soon. I know they will really love it as much as me. (Quite handy having such a wide variety of ages. 🙂 )
- Little Star – by Anthony DeStefano and Mark Elliott, this is a "hot off the press" book that I received for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group so I could review it for you. It's actually written for a bit younger child than these grandkids, so it too will eventually be winging its way to my younger grandkids on the opposite coast. It's a cute little book about a tiny, somewhat unwanted, star who gets to watch the birth of Jesus. The other stars couldn't understand why Jesus was being born in a stable and even started thinking they were wrong about Him being the king. Only the tiny star understood the message God was sending to the world. He realized that now Jesus would really understand the small and the weak and he wanted to give his all to the new king, to keep Him warm, even if it meant "burning himself out." It's definitely a great conversation starter for surrendering ourselves to God fully, that a child can understand. And the pictures are just gorgeous! I'm looking forward to reading it with them during our Advent activities for grandparents and grandchildren.
After we finish our reading, I'm looking forward to lighting the Advent candles and sharing my new Christmas Nativity and Advent wreath and candles with the grandkids, and singing some Christmas praise and worship songs together. Then I'll be cherishing all these new and delightful family memories alongside the old ones of my sweet husband and kids in days past. A Merry Christmas in planning and in action. 🙂
P.S. Don't forget, only 2 more days to leave comments for the Caregiving Holiday Progressive Blog Party giveaway here and at Caregiving.com. 🙂