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Christmas 2019

by Janet Carson | December 27, 2019 at 8:41 p.m.

I love the holidays, the decorations,

the food,

the presents,

the parties,

but most importantly, the people.

I love having friends and family around at either my house or theirs. I love small gatherings

and big blow-out parties,

I love parties and I love people! I have always had a passion for entertaining. Whether it is one friend or 100, I have great fun planning and organizing our events. I have done parties so often, that I for one, think I have it down to a science. I erroneously thought, that once I retired and had TIME, that the holidays would be smooth-sailing. They have been great fun, but I am almost at the end of a month's worth of events and I feel almost like I did when I worked full time--I cook, I clean, I put up, I take down, I cook, I clean, I put up, I take down. It is a cycle and I think I have simply added to it instead of making it easier.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I am never done until we start to open presents. I buy things all year that I think people will like, and once I pull it all out, I am sometimes overwhelmed by all I have, and unfortunately, I don't start pulling it out until a day or two before Christmas. This year, I do think I had even more, because I did have more free time to shop. I am always amazed and envious of the people who have such artfully decorated packages under their tree. I for one, worship at the throne of whoever came up with gift bags.

I have bags in all sizes and shapes, and if it can't go in a bag, it probably isn't worth giving. I also don't start bagging things up until Christmas eve, so it is a mad dash to get everything sorted, and then within an hour, the house is chaos, and everything is done. For the past few years I have added a new tradition that works even better-- a laundry basket. Who doesn't need a new laundry basket each year? Both of my kids get one heaped with all sorts of items, from things they need weekly like laundry detergent and soap, to shower gels and cologne, to new sheets, kitchen gadgets and more. A big bag thrown over the top, keeps the contents hidden until opening time, and then they have something to haul their stuff home in. I highly recommend it, and so do they. It takes care of a huge amount of stuff at one time!

We went as a family to the children's Christmas Eve service, and I adore the candle lighting Silent Night part. My mother loved it, and I am always teary-eyed as we finish. We came home to our ritual of snack foods, which I had to finish up, and then we opened gifts. A highlight this year, was my son proposed to his girlfriend Brittnie,

so we will have a new permanent addition to our family.

Another thing to celebrate.

We ended the night playing Christmas trivia and watching a new Christmas movie into the wee hours.

A big Christmas brunch with the whole family mid-morning, left us with the day to clean up all the boxes and detritus of the night before. Then we headed to Kyle's house for Christmas dinner. Again, cooking, cleaning, putting up, cooking, cleaning, etc. One bad habit I have started is forgetting to take pictures. The camera used to be a permanent attachment and now I am getting sluggish. That is New Year's resolution, to get back into the habit of daily pictures.

It has been a great holiday season with so much to be thankful for. We have only a few days left in 2019 and I look forward to what 2020 brings. I think we all hope to have great weather. I think it is a tad unusual to be using the air conditioner and wearing shorts at Christmas. But it is Arkansas weather, and who knows what we can expect.

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