As always, Christmas is just that time of the year where life pushes you forward by the buttocks in a whirlwind of food, family, friends, parties, shopping, wrapping paper scraps and tape ---- all the while having to do your day to day routine.
This year's Christmas season wasn't any different. I will say that last year I decided that I was not going to get involved in any of the church Christmas programs due to the fact that I wanted to enjoy the program as a spectator than as a participant. I will say that my stress level was down tremendously because of my decision.
I was able to enjoy the adult and children programs as church. Which by the way both were marvelous!
I was involved in the Gift of Christmas with my church choir. I absolutely L.O.V.E.D. every moment of it. It did require practices which were the four days prior to the shows. So technically I had 1 week where I was busy with preps and practices. So it wasn't bad, other than the late nights, but it was all good in the end.
Being that the beginning of December I had my trip to NYC, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts until I returned from my trip. So my plan was to go the following weekend to finish up my shopping. Not such a good idea....b/c Jack Frost decided to dump a whole load of snow on us which seriously cramped my plans. And if you know me, I do not like having my scheduled plans interrrupted. Not b/c I'm that anal, but b/c I hate trying to fit everything in and feeling rushed. Also due to this winter wonderland, I could not get up/down my driveway. Snow fell on Friday. I was able to get back home that afternoon but when I left saturday morning, I did not return until Tuesday. Even then I prayed for a safe 100 yard travel from the road to my drive. haha It was ice and uphill. Not a good situation even with 4x4.
Ok, back to Christmas.
Long story short, I had to venture out on Christmas Eve to do ALL my shopping. Normally this is no big deal for me as for years, Nancy and I have got up Christmas Eve and gone shopping. But its usually for the last minute things. Not this year. I had to put on my game face and get in there with the rest of the
men people in WNC and go to Asheville shopping.
It was no where near as stressful as what I thought it was going to be. However, it was a LONG day. I started out at 7:30AM and met up with with my SIL, Natasha, and niece, McKenzie. I did not return back to Franklin until 5:15pm and then still had to do some stuff around Franklin. I finally made it to the Anual Christmas Gathering @ Mamaw and Papaw's house around 7:15pm. I visited with them and the rest of the family and then Nancy and I sang Christmas songs with Mamaw on guitar.
I finally made it up to the cabin at 9:30ish. I unloaded my car and then sat on the couch staring at all the bags of goodies that I had to now wrap. *sigh* A little after midnight, I was done and ready for bed.
Christmas Morning, Matt met me at the cabin. We then spent the morning at Natasha's house and enjoying an impromptu breakfast with them. Going to Mom and Dads were Matt and I were able to see and visit with Mom, Dad, Alisha, Parker, Lucas, Evelynn, Nancy & Brandon. We then went to Matt's parents to visit with Sam, Michelle, Luke, Michael, Kristy and Alannah. We capped off the Christmas evenign by visiting our friends, Travis & Clarissa and Tabitha.
It was a great day of celebration and excitement. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing my nieces and nephews open gifts and squeal with delight. But at the same time, having my heart melt when they turn around and hand me a gift that they have picked out specifically for me and seeing their little eyes light up when I open it. Lucas, McKenzie, Alannah & Evelynn are so very special to me in so many ways, I love you dearly.