Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think tomorrow officially kicks of the "holiday" season... Today I had the joy of shopping for Thanksgiving dinner! It was a very pleasant first experience, I have to say. For tomorrow I only need to toss a salad, but I had to shop for the dinner we're hosting on Friday. I had a variety of other errands to run today, so this was one of those days when I'm so glad we live in Columbia. Josh remembered that there was a Giant even closer to us than the one I had been using, so I ran in there for the food stuff we needed. Then I went to Bed Bath & Beyond for a meat thermometer since I'll be making turkey and my mom never bought me one (I give her a hard time about that, its a running joke). While I was there I realized we also don't have a gravy boat, and Yankee Candles were on sale 25% off. So I picked up one "Mistletoe" (since we use an artificial tree) and one "Christmas Cookie." Then it was home to unload groceries, have a bite to eat, and then a quick appointment at the eye doctor to replace one of the lenses in my glasses. Turns out the right eye was the wrong prescription - now they're just right and I'm so happy!

I couldn't resist and I lit the Mistletoe candle when I got home. The whole house soon smelled like Christmas. Something about that smell makes me all warm and fuzzy. I even turned on Christmas music for a little bit tonight too. I know there are a lot of people who celebrate Christmas who aren't Christians. And some people even try to change the holiday's meaning by acting like it's just about being nice and not the birth of our Savior. I feel so sorry for those people. They will never know and understand the joy and love that Christmas is really about. They think they get into the "holiday spirit" by tipping their hair-dresser and making cookies for the mailman, but they don't know the meaning of the gifts. It's not just being nice. It's the gift of forgiveness, the promise of everlasting life that the most powerful being in the universe gave to each of us because He loves us, His children, so much. Christmas is a billion times bigger than non-Christians could ever understand. I pray that those people who pretend this holiday is some superficial excuse to be friendly once a year will one day know and understand God's love and the real celebration of the Christmas season. Did you know the soldiers in the trenches during World War I actually stopped fighting and celebrated together on Christmas? That's the power of God. People who were in the middle of slaughtering each other in the bloodiest conflict in history up to that point, believed in the spirit of Christmas enough to stop a war and celebrate, not with their families or loved ones, with their enemies. Only God's love can do that.

If you can't tell, that is a topic I feel passionate about - the real meaning of Christmas. I couldn't be happier that the season is upon us. Friday, well tomorrow night really, Josh will go out in the cold and stand in the ridiculous lines. And when he gets home, we'll put up and decorate our Christmas tree. By Friday night when our company arrives the house will be fully Christma-tized! I shouldn't say fully, because there are some things I'd like to add this year. We'll see. I haven't begun to Christmas shop, though I do have some ideas for people. I started what is called a "gift organizer" on Basically you enter the names of people you'll be shopping for and can either make a list of what you want to buy, or see what you have bought for them. Well before I had a chance to get that far, Amazon kindly made suggestions for the people on my list. Obviously they were based on nothing but the person's name because that's the only information I entered, and therefore the suggestions made me laugh. They included:

Dad: the movie Wall-E (you'd laugh harder if you knew my dad)
Evan: an electric wine opener (the kid turned one today)
Josh: a year's subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids
Lacy: an iPod
Leo: a 5 pound bag of gummy bears!
Mary Beth: "The Dark Knight" on BluRay

Hahaha, at least it made me laugh. Part of the comedy was that some of those suggestions weren't far off (Leo and the gummy bears, Lacy and the iPod). Others were just plain hysterical. So I may not be using the suggestions, but it will certainly help me document my gift ideas since I always seem to get good ones and then forget them when its time to shop. I'm pretty confident I'll be doing the majority of my shopping online this year too. I just don't forsee the time to go wander through stores or (gulp) the mall, and stand in lines.

Anyway, I know I use this blog to complain a lot, mostly about work. But since it's Thanksgiving, I'm willing to talk a little about things I'm thankful for too.... at least this once :)

Here's my short list:
  • My Joshua
  • Our families (even the crazy ones, and especially the babies)
  • Our wonderful, hilarious, quirky, weird, fun loving, always-there-for-us friends
  • Our home
  • Our Sheppie (even when he stinks)
  • Our jobs, ugh even though I complain about mine too much
  • Our health
  • Forgiveness

What else? Well lots of things. But the time is getting late and those things summarize nicely. Don't forget to take time to stop and think about how truly grateful you are, not just for what you have or where you are in life, but also for what you don't have and where you aren't in life. It's easy to forget how much worse life could be, and how much worse so many people have it than we do. And don't forget to actually stop and say, "Thank You." He'll appreciate it :)

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