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This time of year is my absolute favorite time of year.  The giving, the lights, the kindness, the joy in children’s eyes, and just being with family make me light up.  This year it’s different for us because we can not go home to Texas to be with our family.  It saddens us but at the same time it will be nice to stay in our jammies all day if we want to.

Every year we decorate the inside of our house as most do and do a little decorating outside.  This year I didn’t want to do much decorating because I really hate taking it down.  Plus this year I’m much busier than I was last year with my new Etsy shop and it took forever for us to even put the tree up.  But just like a friend of mine told me I would I did do all the decorating that I usually do.  And I’m glad I did.  It brightens my day to see my tree lit and the lights out on the house.

One of our traditions is of course The Elf on The Shelf.  I have a love/hate relationship with that little dude!  I love how the kids love Ralphy but I hate figuring out what to do with that little guy every single night!  A few other traditions are: we listen to Christmas music the entire month!  Watch Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Christmas Story about a 100 times each.  And drink as much hot chocolate as we can stand.

Every year we also choose two Angels off the Angel Tree in the mall.  This year, in Washington, we couldn’t find an Angel Tree (guess it’s a southern thing).  So my husband’s company helped out a foster family and we chose two kiddos.  We always get one need and one want off their list.  I’ve been doing this since I was little….it’s a tradition I did with my Mom.  I hope my boys keep it up when I’m gone.

Now to my entire point of this post.  I posted a photo of our growing presents under our Christmas tree on Facebook the other day (it is the above pic).  I got a few comments that made me kinda feel bad but when I thought about it I realized I shouldn’t feel bad.  Yes our kids have a ton of gifts under the tree.  There is a reason to that.  We don’t buy our kids gifts, toys, etc unless it’s their birthday or Christmas.  They usually only get clothes when needed and at the beginning of school.  We help others at Christmas and throughout the year and give w/out expecting anything in return.  So now that I think about what we’ve got under our tree I don’t feel bad about it.  There have been times where we’ve had just a few gifts under the tree because of hard times…so when we can give we give!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!  Smile at someone daily….you just might make their day.  😀