Monday, December 10, 2012

Deck the Halls!

Christmas is now in full effect here in the Granger home even if I am currently in a t-shirt & flip flops.  The tree is decorated, the manger scene is up, the Christmas cards are stamped, & the gifts are BOUGHT.  I only have a few tiny extras for Eddie, but he still has almost all of his shopping for me to do.  Other than each other we are DONE DONE DONE.  So relieved to have everything bought before my grandparents arrive.  Now I can visit with them more when they are here.

Next step will be wrapping, crafting, & in some cases shipping.  I have opted to do a few homemade gifts this year thanks to pinterest:

 I will be making "Candy Cane Vodka" in which you put candy canes in a mason jar and fill with vodka.  Let sit (it turns the clear liquid red) then decorate with a lovely bow. You may want to attach a drink recipe or two that use the peppermint drink.

I am also making a homemade scent jar.  Put cinnamon sticks, an orange, cloves, and dried cranberries in a mason jar and decorate.  You then attach the directions card. "Cut up the orange and then put it and all other ingredients in a pan with water and heat on low."  Makes a yummy smelling potpourri you can use over and over all winter long.

I love wrapping gifts it really gets me into the holiday spirit.  Next will come cookie baking followed with family time.  I hope people remember the reason for the season.  Sometimes too much focus is placed on the gifts and not the spirit of Christmas.  I have tried to follow the "Acts of Kindness" pledge.  I bought the coffee for the girl behind me at the Starbucks drive through (she looked like it was a rough morning).  I also donated money to a charity at work and mailed Christmas cards to the troops.  Next stop is Angel tree or something similar in nature.

It is a wonderful time of year and I hope everyone enjoys.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When did I turn 24?!?!

Tomorrow marks the 24th year I have been in this world.  I am so thankful for my life.  I continue to pray and appreciate and remember to experience everything I can.  Its fun to look back and think about birthdays past.  Remember friends you had and where they are now.  Patterns develop as we grow.  The events and the people become similar with each year.

This year we started a day early with pizza and tons of story telling at my Dad's with my brother.  It was nice  to be able to spend time with both my brother and father since we all work completely opposite schedules.   Eddie had me open my gift early.  The gift was great , but my favorite part was the card.  He normally addresses them "Birthday girl", but this year it read "Birthday Wifey".

Tomorrow after works we are taking the puppy and going over to my moms.  I am so excited to go see "A Christmas Carol" Friday with my mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, Eddie, mom, and Pulley.  It will be so much fun.  This year to celebrate with friends we are going out on Saturday and I am very excited.

The cards are finally done.  I bought 3 different kinds and tried to match the card to the family.  You never want to send a "Merry Christmas" card if they don't celebrate Christmas.  Investing in some general "Happy Holidays" to send out to associates, friends, or those that do not celebrate Christmas is always a good idea.  They also allow for you to have more options and then everyone doesn't get the same card.  Each year we try to personalize them a little.  It's nice to be able to send cards to your loved ones and use them to touch base with some people you may not get to keep in contact with often.  We also send out smaller batches of other holiday cards through out the year.  I suggest creating spreadsheets then you just have to print labels each season.

My friend Sam has taken the "100 Random Acts of Kindness" Challenge.  Her first 4 have been very inspiring and yet relatively easy acts.  This has inspired me to try to do at least one a day between now and the new year.  Tis the season of giving.  "Remember the Reason for the Season:  CHRISTmas" is one of my favorites this time of year.  I worry too many people concentrate on gifts and materials.  This is a nice way to keep things in perspective.  We sent extra cards out to the Red Cross to be sent to our troops.  We all complain about working some on Christmas Eve or day or New Years Eve or day; when these men and women are risking their lives all day, every day being deployed.  The least we can do is send some cards.  I think my first "Act" will be taken from yet another friend's.  I plan on a starbucks run in the morning and I think I will pay for the coffee behind me :)

This is the first Christmas as husband and wife and I couldn't ask for a better partner in it all.  I am truly blessed to be married to such an amazing man.