Merry Christmas!!

Sorry I've been absent for a while from the blogsophere.  I did almost ALL of my Christmas shopping at the last minute this year, and the last several days have been a whirlwind of hectic shopping trips, frantic gift wrapping, and oodles of cookie baking.

Presents for five kids wrapped and ripped open and two Christmas dinners down, I am finally enjoying some relaxation!  The holidays can be super stressful, but thankfully, it's mostly a positive stress.
The magic of Christmas is alive with this one!!
I loved watching the excitement on my kids' faces as they opened up their gifts.  I loved seeing five generations of my family together for the holidays. I loved spending time with my honey wrapping presents, laughing at how awful he is at this task, and commiserating over our aching feet.
As much as I've been going the last few days, Christmas is often the one time of year that I truly stop and enjoy my family.  It's so easy to get caught up with the stressors of work and day-to-day life that we often don't get that chance to step back and appreciate, listen, and engage with our families and friends.

I just love sharing in the magic of Christmas with my kids, especially my youngest, Savanna, who is such a true believer in Santa and so enthusiastically appreciative of each and every aspect of the holiday.
The motley crew - at 3 am after Santa had arrived!!
I'm not a very religious person, but I tend to see all religions as teaching very similar ideals and values.  The values of peace, love, sharing, compassion, forgiveness, and hope that the winter holidays bring help warm the heart and the home.  I grew up with Christmas as a cultural tradition, so it's still an important part of my life.  And, I love sharing these traditions and passing them along to my family.

To those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter and warm moments. 

Thank you to all of who read and follow my blog, and as we wrap up 2014, I wish you a safe and happy new year! 

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