Tag Archives: Christmas

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Are you singing the song yet? Sorry about that! It is no secret that Christmas is my favorite time of the year. From the Christmas carols, the beautiful trees, the celebration of the birth of Christ…there is something so wonderful about all of it.

So when my friends at DaySpring contacted me and asked if I was interested in getting a sneak peak at some of their newest Christmas items a few months in advance of decorating time, I jumped at the chance!

One of the things I love most about the DaySpring products is that they center around the real reason for the season. Christ has come! Each of the pieces they sent me captures that message in its own unique way.

The Nativity Hurricane Trio Luminary Set has to be my favorite item from the set. I purchased the original hurricane set years ago and have it up in my home year round, but this set is so beautiful. I don’t know that I will be able to put it away after Christmas is over! One of the things that makes it so unique is that it can be displayed and enjoyed from both the front and the back!

On the front each piece has a different word at the bottom. Savior, Jesus and Messiah. On the back are three different Bible verses! Matthew 1:21, I John 4:14 and Luke 2:10. I will be displaying mine on my fireplace mantle but these would be beautiful on a bookshelf or as a centerpiece on your dining room table.

The Christmas Door Banner is bright and bold and fits around your door so that there is a message on both the front and the inside of the door. It was easy to install and could be used on any door in your home!

These Boxed Christmas cards will be donated to a friend at church who has a ministry of making sure that people are given cheer and encouragement through the written word. When I received the cards I knew she would put them to good use. I love getting Christmas cards, don’t you?! We do send Christmas cards/pictures and a letter each year to our family, friends and business clients. The list keeps growing and at times it seems like a lot to keep up with, but people tell us again and again that they love to receive them so we keep doing it! Do you send cards out at Christmas?

If you have been to my house during Christmas you have seen my multiple Christmas trees. They are becoming so heavy with ornaments that I have threatened to buy another tree. I LOVE ornaments. I have ornaments that my mom collected for me when I was a child and now I do the same thing each year with my kids. This Glory to God Porcelain ornament is beautiful. I will be adding the date on the back of it so that I can remember what year I received it and probably will be ordering a few more from DaySpring’s collection!

And finally, I received this fun Christmas Countdown board. I have one of those chalk pens and wrote in a number inside of the star. This could be hung anywhere in your home and every day your kids could help you countdown the days until Christmas. And just for fun, in case you were wondering, it is 95 days until Christmas today!

Here are a few items that I haven’t seen in person but look like something I’d love to have in my home!

The Joy to the World Round Wall Hanging would be a fun addition to my wall space.

We have the Shepherd on the Search Advent kit from last year and it’s a great alternative to the Elf on the Shelf!!

I love the rough wood look of this A Savior is Born plank!

And these hand-thrown mugs are awesome, they have four styles, Jesus, Peace, Joy and Shine!

As you can see there are a variety of items to choose from in a wide price range. DaySpring offers free shipping on all orders over $50 as well!

I love DaySpring products. You will find them all over my home. It was a joy to receive these pieces for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Affiliate links throughout.

What is your favorite piece from the new collection?!

Another Way to Remember

KK Winter Collection 3

This Christmas will be the first Christmas without my grandpa present. He passed away suddenly and so I am sure that this Holiday season will be tougher than most, especially for my grandma and my mom and her siblings.

While it has been years since we have spent Christmas Eve with my grandpa, I still remember those times in vivid detail.

A beautiful table was set with all of my grandma’s meticulously cooked creations. A cookie plate was loaded with multiple baked goodies and it was difficult to choose just one, or two!

Once we had eaten we had to wait the HOURS it took to clear the table and hand wash the special dishes grandma used. Torture to us young kids who just wanted to open a present already! 😉

Finally we would find our place in the big circle around the living room and before we would start with the gift opening my grandpa would take some time to read us the Christmas Story from Luke.

Luke 2 – In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b]who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

I wish I had a recording of him reading that story….I wish I had thought to record it when we had a chance.

Last week I was contacted by my friend Kashoan about a new Winter Collection that was being introduced in their shop. She shared a few of the newest pieces and I was instantly drawn to the Luke 2:11 necklace.

KK Winter Collection 1

Immediately I thought it was the perfect way to remember my grandpa this Christmas season. His words won’t be in our ears any longer, but they can be close to my heart.

I love gifts like this, tangible ways to remember those we love, those that have gone before us. While he is gone from us here on earth he is always remembered and never forgotten.

Today Krafty Kash is revealing their entire Winter Collection and it is all so fun! And even better is the news that starting at noon on Thursday there is an amazing sale happening…one you won’t want to miss! So sign up today for their newsletter by email here at the bottom of the page. And stay informed about the details!

See the entire Krafty Kash Winter Colllection here. What is your favorite piece?!

{Affiliate link used. Any purchase made won’t cost you anything extra, but I will get a small % of the sale that is then used to help maintain the God-sized Dreams website each year!}

Finding the Wonder and Magic of Christmas

Merry Christmas

I dreamt about their house last night. It has been years since we have been there, but the walls and halls of my grandparent’s old home in Chicago City, MN filled my dreams.

We spent many years at their home for Christmas. It was a long drive, but my parents always made it fun. We would rent tapes from the public library and sing and listen to songs from Sesame Street….”C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me…”

Those were days filled with great excitement.

Grandpa and grandma’s house was huge and in it’s backyard, a massive lake….at least it seemed massive to me at the time. In the summers we would run down the big hill, dig earthworms out of a small wooded area behind the boat house, grab our wooden poles and fish off the dock. We would haul in sunfish by the bucket loads and haul them back up the hill where grandpa would come and filet the fish on an old board over the washer.

In the winter the hill was the perfect hill for sledding. Bundled up, we would head out and get out the tobbogan and go cruising down the hill. Snow angels covered the snow in the places we didn’t sled. They are magical memories.

The house was decorated for Christmas and grandma was always in the kitchen preparing something. In the summers she would stand over the stove and fry the bite size fish filets that grandpa had just prepared and we would feast.  On the holidays there were Christmas goodies and treats galore, cranberries and ham or turkey. Potatoes and fresh rolls….everything smelled so good.

They had a large dining room and we would gather there to eat, often the kids had their own little table, I remember being so excited when I was probably 12 and FINALLY old enough to join the grown-ups at the big table. Once dinner was done the dishes had to be cleared AND washed. Oh the washing drove us nuts!! As kids we just wanted to get to the presents already! 🙂 But as soon as every last piece of good silver was put away we would gather in a circle and hand out gifts.

Some years it was oldest to youngest and others the reverse. Each taking a turn, sharing their gift. It was painful to wait our turn, but we shared and laughed as a family. I think of those times today and long for the wonder of it all.

Family pictures would be taken sitting on the fireplace hearth and then we would head out to the church down the street. Every year there would be a very large tree at the front of the church covered with white decorations. It was beautiful. The choir would sing and we would join them in the more traditional hymns. Candles were passed and we would light each others as the flame was passed down the row.

Silent Night, Holy Night….

Then we would head home for some more Christmas cookies and off to bed to dream of Santa coming. It was magical and each year we would be certain that we had heard the sound of the reindeer stomping on the roof.

I woke this morning longing for that magic back. It feels like it has long since been lost. Packed away, or smothered by the demands of life, parenting….It hardly feels like Christmas most days.

Sure our house is filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas, but for me the wonder of it all seems hidden.

I am a gift giver by nature. I love searching for, finding the bests gifts for my family and friends. I do love that part of Christmas. I hope that when my kids look back on their time with family, that maybe they felt a bit of the magic as well.

But my heart seeks for more.

A slowing, time with family and friends. Enjoying the smiles on the faces of our kids when they see what is inside all of those packages. A reading of the Christmas story from Luke just like my grandpa would do each year.  As a child I don’t think I appreciated it like I would today.  We don’t get to celebrate with my grandparents like we used to, but boy would I love to hear his voice reading that story to my kids….“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered….”

I am so grateful for the memories we have in that house together. And while its walls and halls are now filled by new families, I seek to find that magic and wonder with my own.

Sometimes it is hard to grow up isn’t it?! As a mother myself I can now appreciate all that went into preparing for these few special days. I might not have done the advent readings like I had hoped this year, or been patient with my kids like I should have been…but in the next several days we will be sneaking away for time with family. Time to gather and laugh and make new memories and I will cherish them all.

Friends, I wish you Merry Christmas from our family and pray that you will find time to celebrate with your family, to laugh and find the wonder of the season. Always remembering the greatest gift we were given in the Christ child.

 

Photo Credit: freeloosedirt

Grandma Gertie’s Caramel Creme Sandwich Cookies

Caramel-Creme-Sandwich-Cookies

In the spirit of sharing and receiving some wonderful cookie recipes I am sharing my all time favorite Christmas cookie recipe. This one is so good that I don’t know why I don’t make it all year round. It is my dad’s favorite cookie and a recipe from his mom whom I never had the chance to meet. But I think that I would have loved sitting down with her and a batch of these wonderful cookies.

For the dough:
1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add egg yolk. Slowly add the flour until mixed. Then put the dough into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Once chilled roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Press flat on a cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie press with a little design on it) Bake for 8-10 minutes @ 325 degrees. Remove from sheet and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
2 Tbls butter – brown in a sauce pan on the stove
Add 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Add 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and then add a Tbls of milk, one at a time until thick. (Usually just 1-2 necessary)

The frosting will be almost like a carmel-like consistency. Find 2 cookies of a similar size and frost the bottom of 1 cookie and press it together with the bottom of another cookie.

And what you are left with are sugary, wonderful bites of goodness! I am telling you these are RICH but wonderful and will sure to be a hit at your Christmas parties!

I hope you try these cookies and if you have any questions in the process please contact me!

What is your favorite cookie recipe at Christmas? I’d love for you to leave a link/recipe in the comments below! Maybe I will find a new favorite!

Merry Christmas friends!

Photo Credit: via

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