Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrating the REASON for the SEASON!

The past two Christmases have been very difficult times for Chris and I. Last Christmas, we were told a fwe days before that my white blood count was VERY high and my blood cells were not normal, I would need to go see a hematologist to make sure it wasn't cancer. I was also having fevers and not feeling well. The Christmas before that... well I had just been diagnosed three months prior, and needless to say I did not feel good.

Its always hard as I do not want to affect those around me with the way I feel... a lot of times I have been able to "fake it" and put on a brave front, but needless to say Chris is the one person that can read me.

So with that being said, I am ECSTATIC that this year, for the most part I have been able to CELEBRATE the season. It has been a long time coming, and I am so thrilled that we are able to go to IOWA tomorrow to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I haven't been with my parents for Christmas since before Chris and I were engaged which is about 5 years! I cannot wait to celebrate with them, do fondue, and smell my "familiar Christmas smells" of my mother's house.

We have lots to celebrate this year in the Allen household, and I am just thankful that we will be together to celebrate. Unfortunately, Brant and Kel decided to stay in Georgia. I think last Christmas' snow storm did them in for awhile! :) But we'll celebrate via Skype! I know Keegan is hoping Santa brings her a pink dollhouse and Mia wants a baby doll... I have on good authority that the big man will DELIVER!!! :)

My family is a very close knit family and we have LOTS of traditions that we have started throughout the years. Like Fondue on New Years Eve... something that we started way back when with family friends. This year, we are introducing my lovely mother-in-law to this tradition. As the Allens won't be together for New Years, well the Hatches are going to continue that tradition up North! I thought I'd share some of the "traditions" my family members started for me through the years.

One of my favorite traditions comes from my Grandparents, Mamom and Dooda. Every year till I went to college they would get me a silver sleigh bell. Every year I looked forward to unwrapping that gift and seeing what decoration was on the bell for that year. All the bells have they year on them and I have them from 1984 to 2003. My grandparents have been collecting them since the 1970's. Every year I love taken them out of their individual boxes and polishing them and reflecting on my amazing grandparents. My parents, have not started this tradition for Keegan and Mia.

My mother picked up where my grandparents left off, but since I already had so many sleigh bells, she switched to giving me the Lenox snowflake each year. I only have three, but I can't wait till I can do an entire tree of just sleighbells and snowflakes... imagine how pretty that would be! :)

Something my parents did for me growing up was each year they would get me a Department 56 house and my brother would get a nutcraker. I picked the Original Department 56 houses for back then. My mom stopped when I got around 16 as we had nowhere to put all of them! :) But now that I am older, and have the houses with me. Chris and I started the tradition to get my mom a Department 56 house. She now has about 7. She picked the Dickens Village. I'm very excited this year as we were able to get her the new "English Coffee House," which if you know anything about our household, we are all coffee nuts.

Here is my village this year, we decided to do it low key and put it on our sofa table, whereas last year Chris was REALLY ambitious and put it on top of our kitchen countertops. We had a problem though with Hannity wanted to be Godzilla.

Well just thought I'd share. Another fun thing I did this year for our neigbers was jars of Russian Tea Mix. It was super cheap, and something nice and warm to give to our neighbors, plus it is majorly kid friendly and I didn't have to mess up our kitchen too bad.

Oh...and no presents under the tree this year... Hannity LOVES the bows. They are hanging out in our guest bathroom until they can be safely transported to Iowa. They joys of a kitten! :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas... and just remember admist all the hustle and bustle of the season... remember the REASON! :)

Oh and yes... it is snowing on my blog! How cool is that! :)


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