Last night as I went to bed, I was filled with Christmas spirit. My weekend has been full of moments that we only experience at this time of year. Our 5th annual trip to Bronner's in Frankenmuth, Michigan on Saturday brought out the warm fuzzies. Anticipating my sons' visit with Santa Claus left me smiling from ear to ear. My children's eyes sparkled as we walked amongst the crowd while soaking up every bit of Bronner's Christmas decor on display and available for purchase. Busy but joyful, this atmosphere is one of the many signals that the holiday season is upon us.
Our visit with Santa Claus was priceless. I've kicked myself for not having a video recorder out and ready at different times, but this was not one of them. Santa gave us a moment that we will always treasure, and will be a wonderful addition to our annual Christmas dvd gift for family & close friends. Let's just say that my boys will behave a little better, or be on the lookout for elves that will be reporting back to the big guy in red. Santa's jolly laughter could be heard during our visit, which only enhanced the experience for me and it put a toothy grin on my face. He took the time to listen to both of their wish lists and remind them of how they need to behave, especially at Christmas time. Before we headed out, Santa handed 2 special ornaments, of the Nativity scene, to O & M and wished them a Merry Christmas! We all thanked Santa and wished him the same.
We purchased our items and headed out into the unusually warm Michigan night. Photographs were taken at some of the Bronner's hot spots before we climbed into the car and drove to the South side of the store. My family ooh'd and aah'd over the beautiful Christmas lights, especially a set that looked like fireworks or snow falling, before parking near the Silent Night Memorial Chapel. Honestly, this is one of my favorite parts of our annual trip. We've seen this beautiful chapel in the falling snow and on a crisp clear night, such as Saturday's. Each year, as we walk up the chapel pathway and enter the small quiet room, I feel the Spirit of God with us. In that moment of peace & tranquility, I take the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and remind my children of it as well. M was just an infant on our first annual visit to this place, which left me a little misty as I watched both of my children sign their own names in the guest book this year. At times we linger, at times we stay only briefly, but each time is a wonderful memory I will hold in my heart.
Yesterday, Sunday, I sat down during the evening hours and began working on a Christmas gift for a friend. This gift involved getting a bit crafty, and I began to really enjoy myself. While listening to the audio book Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner, I let my creativity take over. What a wonderful way to spend the evening. By the time I finished the gift, I loved the result so much that I decided I will make another one, personalized of course, for someone else on our holiday gifting list. My Christmas crafting left me feeling relaxed, inspired, and full of Christmas spirit.
How was your Thanksgiving? How did you spend the weekend after Thanksgiving? Are you feeling the joys of the season or the stress? I hope your holidays are blessed & full of love! P.S. I shall bring back the nerd next week!
Aly & AJ * Greatest Time of Year
Amy Grant * A Christmas To Remember album
Christmas Can't Be Very Far Away (one of my favorites)