Sunday, December 20, 2009

no. 10: 'tis the season

it is so nice to sit here, sip on my coffee, & write to you all. luke & i have been busily working on christmas gifts all afternoon & into the night. we decided to use our creative talents this season & make handmade gifts for all of our friends & families. we wanted our gifts to be meaningful, not just last-minute gifts without use to the person. so, we baked, we preserved many jams & butters, we made photographs, & we collected pinecones & recipe cards to adorn our baskets & packages of goodies.
some of our handmade presents include:

a scarf from me, to luke.

a basket full of homemade apple butter, collected pinecones, a hand-knitted scarf, & a homemade card with photographs for our dear friends

we were also so happy & thankful to receive handmade gifts from our friends, too. i was really looking forward to the brunings' christmas cd because last year's cd was absolutely beautiful. they're two of my favorites along with sufjan's.

our lovely friends, the goebels, surprised us with a cinnamon oatmeal pancake mix. i look forward to a saturday when both luke & i are off work & able to enjoy a quiet morning of pancakes, orange juice, & conversation!
thank you so much, friends!

but most of all- i am so thankful for the love that is shared during this time of year. there is nothing quite like this season- the celebration of His birth, the relationships we are able to cultivate because of His love, & the new year to come!

Peace be with you. Lots of love to you all!


This has been a very special Christmas season for Natalie and me. This is the first Christmas we will celebrate as a married couple. With that has come many other firsts for us: picking out a Christmas tree together, hanging ornaments, talking about traditions to establish, lighting advent candles, sending out Christmas cards, picking out presents and working out holiday travels. It has all been delightful.

Natalie makes me excited about decorating the house for Christmas--she has a way of making me excited about things I wouldn't otherwise be. We made an afternoon out of it: dressing up in our ugly holiday sweaters, going to the store to pick out our first Christmas tree, putting on Sufjan Steven's "Songs for Christmas," and hanging up ornaments. It was special hanging my old childhood ornaments on our tree. It made me think about future Christmas holidays to come, future ornaments, future children, collected memories.

But Natalie and I have also talked about staying true to Christmas, not getting distracted by all the gift-giving, consumerism and myth that goes along with the American Christmas. We've tried to remind ourselves of why we celebrate Christmas. We've tried to keep the birth of our Messiah on our minds and hearts--but it is hard. I find myself easily overwhelmed by all the things "to do," all the gifts to be given. I have to remind myself of the true "gift" we celebrate this time each year: God appearing to us as a humble babe, our means of salvation.

Merry Christmas!


ps. Friends, we will be unable to make an entry next Sunday because we will be in the midst of holiday traveling. Instead, we will be back in this place on Monday! We look forward to hearing about your holiday adventures! Stay safe & happy travels!


  1. SO lovely! I'm feeling the same way with the firsts! Cyrille and I are too establishing many new traditions for Hanukkah and Christmas... I like to think of it as things that will one day be carried out with our children. Happy travels and holidays. Be safe and always smile!