January 3, 2012

hosting my first Christmas

This year for Christmas, we were planning on celebrating with John's family at Hume Lake. But it ended up being very icy and cold at Hume...possibly dangerous with people slipping and falling....so at the last minute we decided that John's family were coming HERE for Christmas. At my house!

Keep in mind, my teeth were still troublesome and my wisdom teeth were not yet pulled. I was a little sketchy but overall I was ok. I was excited to host my very first Christmas at my house. I have never hosted a major holiday at my house. Um, this was going to be interesting. I'm seriously like a 12 year old boy when it comes to preparing food. There were going to be 18 of us total, so I wanted to keep it simple with paper plates and disposable goods.

I went to Party City and was very distraught at the pitiful Christmas selection. It was just 2 days before Christmas. And everything there was SO ridiculously expensive. After wandering the aisles for almost an hour, I was ready to curl up in the corner and cry.

I just wanted something{even just ONE THING} a little festive, for my first Christmas at home. I remembered my friend Becca's baby shower. I was smitten by the mason jars and straws that katygirl had put together. A few texts later and my dearest friend Katy had delivered me some special striped straws. Bless your heart forever Katy! And a trip or 2 to walmart and I had 24 {CHEAP} mason jars. My kind of deal. I felt just like Phoebe on Friends who was in charge of cups for Rachel's surprise party...GO CUPS!

I still had nothing for paper plates ect. I'm the worst party planner ever because I am paralyzed by pickiness. It's a problem.

My little sister Lindsay knocked some sense into me. "Nobody is going to care. Just go to Target and pick out some cheap paper plates. Pretend you are on a show where you have to 'make do' with whatever Target has. It does not even have to be cute. Buy something that is 'neither here nor there'...don't let the true meaning of Christmas get clouded", Lindsay instructed. For a younger sister, she is a bit wiser than I am at times.

I was so cheered. It was true. Nobody but nobody was going to care what I bought. I was on a mission to buy something 'neither here nor there'.

At Target I looked through their selection chanting 'buy something neither here nor there' and I finally settled on some Santa plates. I picked up the plates, frowning a little. I did not really grow up with Santa. When I was little, I remember my mom telling me that Santa was a "silly old man", LOL. So I'm holding these Santa plates in Target, telling Santa "you are a silly old man". But I bought them! And a few more items to make my house a little festive.

Some jingle bells for the mason jars.

I arranged the mason jars into a Christmas tree and tied up some napkins with fabric I had laying around.

Tying napkins is actually very therapeutic to me.

Here is all the stuff I bought.

My little place setting. It's simple but I had so much fun doing it.

We set up the table in my craft room...you know, the craft room that is NEVER going to be a craft room.

John's dad lent me the antique cream crochet table cloth. It meant the world to me to have something lovely on the table. I want one. I think I will try to purchase one at my antique store for my next special occasion.

I know that the wooden trees are kind of hokey and country but for $4 at Target I was not going to complain. And they ended up being great because they were small and did not block anyone's view.

It was time for everyone to get here! The 10 'little people' all sat in the kitchen area.

Brookie and Mikayla are at the other end of the table.

The 8 'big people' ate in the other area.

By the way. I must mention and confess. John's parents made most of the food and John made the rest. I only made ONE desert. I told you. I'm a 12 year old boy.

Each year we take a picture of the cousins from tallest to shortest.

Hannah, Becca, Alyssa and Mikalya.

Brooke and Emma

The grandkids loving Grandma Betty.

Uncle Mark made a game called hockey board that he used to play when he was a kid. My boys had a blast. Calvin was the ultimate champion.

Peter and Kristin and some of their girls.

Hannah and Becca.

Hannah was teaching me to do hair, using Becca as her model. It was so much fun.

John's family is so easy to host. They are not fussy at all and they were very thankful for my little efforts. They were so very supportive and told me they all had the best time. It was a very special sweet day and I had a wonderful first Christmas at my house. I never take for granted these simple moments and I am very thankful to Jesus for each and every member of the family. But mostly I am so thankful that Jesus decided to become a PERSON, just like one of us.

Really that is mind-boggling to me. I cannot believe he was willing to leave the splendor and comfort of his throne to become a human. I've been reading in Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too SHARED IN THEIR HUMANITY so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death".

Can you imagine if we did not have hope after death? I shudder to think of what would become of us.

And later in verse 17 it goes on to say how "he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, that he might make atonement for the people"... and in verse 4:15 "we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses".

I don't know about you, but this means the world to me. We have Jesus in heaven who truly understands and cares what is happening to us. He was once here on earth. He gets it. No matter what we are going through...He is here for us and can sympathize.