Monday, December 30, 2013

Mindless Monday, Pinterest Stuff (Hot Chocolate Snowman Gifts, Christmas Eve Family Movie Gift), Quotable Quotes

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS - I must confess, Christmas got me this year. I didn't officially get into the "Christmas spirit" until the Candle and Carol Service our church has every Christmas Eve.

It was a beautiful, still, sweet 40 minutes, and from 4:40 p.m. Christmas Eve until my head hit the pillow Christmas night, I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas.

It wasn't just me.

I talked to several women who said some of the same things and felt the same thing.

I believe it all comes down to one thing... Simplify Christmas. Celebrate Christ.

And, yes. I found that on Pinterest.

So at 52 years of age, how much more can I simplify Christmas? I've worked on making Christmas special, but not TOO busy for my family over the last 26 years.

Guess what?

It's time to take it to the next level.

I have to ask myself, "What do I truly enjoy doing during the days and weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas?"

And I have to honestly answer myself, too.

1. I love making and sending and receiving Christmas cards. It isn't a chore to me. It is fun.

And, guess what? I understand and accept just because it is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, for others it is overwhelming and it feels chore-like.

That's okay!

2. I have a Cherished Teddy Nativity set, a Cherished Teddy Santa's Workshop set and a Cherished Teddy Santa's Railroad set. Every piece is individually bubble-wrapped and boxed in the original box. There are about 100 pieces.

I love them, but it is overwhelming and it feels chore-like to set up the sets each and every Christmas.

And, guess what? I understand and accept that some people absolutely LOVE setting up their Christmas villages. They even say it is relaxing to them. I am not one of those people.

3. I have always thought there had to be some sort of Christmas decoration in each and every room of the house.

That is too much for me, and it is overwhelming and it feels chore-like to decorate each and every room during Christmas.

And, guess what? I understand and accept that some people love decorating each and every room of their house all year long. It is their passion. I am not one of those people (unfortunately).

4. I love going on Christmas Home Tours (in real life and on certain blogs). I love pretty things, and although my house doesn't look like the other houses, it doesn't stress me out or make me envious.

It is relaxing and fun and I smile throughout the whole tour.

I smile a lot.

5. I like cooking and baking special dishes for each and every party or event I attend. The more, the better. However, I don't particularly enjoy spending an entire day baking Christmas goodies and delivering them to others.

And, guess what? IT'S OKAY! That's not me, but there are others who love it and are GREAT!

NOTE - I am, on the flip-side of this, a fantastic receiver of goodies. Go figure!

I've mentioned the above, because I'm going to be doing some things differently next season.

I'm going to capitalize on my strengths, and not let my weaknesses get me down.

I'm going to breathe.

I'm going to simplify Christmas...

And celebrate Christ!

Pinterest Stuff

1. Roxie made these for some of her friends for Christmas... straight from Pinterest, and oh, so cute.

In case you cannot tell, the bottom jar is filled with peppermints, the middle jar is filled with hot chocolate mix and the top jar is filled with mini marshmallows.

2. This is for a Christmas Eve Movie Night. If I had started the tradition when the kids were younger, it might have worked around here, but in order to have a more simple Christmas, I decided to tweak the "Christmas Eve" part of the idea to make it work better for our family "next time."

According to Pinterest, on Christmas Eve you set a wrapped box (or in my case, giant bag) in the middle of the floor.

What's inside the box? A pair of Christmas pajama pants for everyone in the family...

A Christmas movie and individual popcorn bowls (with individual microwave popcorn snack packs)...

Monogrammed tumblers in each person's favorite color...

And plenty of two-liter drinks.

Pack it, wrap it and when everyone arrives, get comfortable and enjoy a movie together.

As I mentioned above, I am going to do some major tweaking to make this tradition work for my family.

1. As of tomorrow, I will have a giant solid-colored bag. Not a Christmas bag.

2. As of tomorrow, I will have comfortable and lightweight pajama pants for everyone in the family.

3. As of tomorrow, I will have a family-friendly movie ready to be watched.

4. As of tomorrow, when we all just happen to be here with nothing to do, I'll pull the bag out and we'll do our thing.

5. I'm going to plan on taking the giant bag with us whenever we all go on a trip together AND on our Guntersville Lake Vacation.

It can happen in January or July.

It can happen in March or May.

It can happen once a year or four times a year.

I'm going to go with the flow...

And I am not going to plan another special "evening" during the Christmas holidays.

There are special evenings aplenty during the holidays without any more help from me!

Quotable Quotes

"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I am helpless. I pray because the need falls out of me all the time - walking and sleeping. It does not change God - it changes me." C. S. Lewis

I'll be back Friday with three easy, do-ahead gift ideas for NEXT year AND the fun and easy Christmas party I spoke of yesterday!

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. We opened our Christmas Eve Movie Bag late Christmas night. We enjoyed it, but we were all a bit tired!

Mikie, me, Melia, Austin, Taylor, Roxie and Josh.

In his younger days, Mikie was so much better at getting into the picture before the timer went off. Nowadays... not so much.

Ahhh! Success.


  1. I need to see the paint-by-number Christmas projects...did they get finished? So happy to read the wise words about what things are done in the true Christmas joy of it all and what things qualify as chores! I used to send out dozens of cards; now I'm down to a dozen or less to people who need a Christmas greeting. Sadly, I got FEW cards myself this year. Will not stop to mentally count them; that would cause me mental angst. Years ago my husband bought multiple Christmas village houses which are neatly packed away in a closet and he wonders why I don't get all excited about setting them up yearly. I will show him your post.

    1. The paint-by-number paintings aren't finished yet, but everyone (except Josh) is still working on them. I bought winter themes instead of Christmas themes, so we'll be working on them through January. I'll post a pic tomorrow of the projects so far.

      And the more people I talk to, the more I am convinced I am not in the minority as far as Christmas simplicity is concerned. At least for the year 2013!


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