Home for the Holidays

The holidays can be lonely, particularly when you’re far away from the people you love. Over the years I’ve learned that family can be created in the friendships you build along the way. As difficult as it’s sometimes been to be away from my immediate family at Christmas, I’ve never been lacking in loved ones to celebrate the holiday with… And those who were far away? Well I’ve always been with them in thoughts and spirit.

As a gal who adores Elvis, I figured it was time to use one of his songs to speak the words of my heart.

What have you done when you’ve been unable to be with the people you loved to celebrate the holidays? Any tips to make them feel closer despite the miles?

Claiming Christmas (with a little help from my friends)

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No post yesterday…I know, bad of me. Usually I give warnings if I’m going to miss. Unfortunately, duty called. Anyway, still in El Paso, so I’m missing my family. As I sat at breakfast this morning, I started looking at pictures of Christmases past and thought I’d share. The above picture is my oldest girl, Isabella…she is such a tolerant girl. She sat with those antlers on her head so we could take pictures and didn’t even try to take them off.

You know who else is great? Hubby! For Christmas a couple years ago he got me this awesome holiday dish set so we could entertain friends and family in festive fun. He knows my entertainer spirit so well! Of course my friend, Natalie, has a hubby with some pretty interesting gift ideas, too!

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On the subject of gifts, my buddy Marcia also has some great ideas on how to help our deficit & economic issues while shopping for the holidays. In fact, I’m taking her up on the challenge and trying it, myself! Care to join us?

As I sat in my hotel lobby, enjoying the fireplace and thinking about different holiday traditions over the years, I came across my friend, Mae’s post on Mythical Monday about Yule logs! It was like she was psychic and knew where I was while I was busy being homesick!

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The thing is, usually hubby decorates the outside for Christmas and I decorate the inside….including putting up the tree. Well, he sent me a picture of outside…

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And he told me that he’s already put up the tree, too, since we’re not sure how long I’ll be away from home. He even volunteered to write out the Christmas cards! He also mentioned something about baking Christmas cookies! I know it’s sweet, but part of me is a bit sad. To comfort myself, I’ve been looking at unique Christmas Tree Ideas for the book lover. It did help me to re-find my smile. Here’s a pic of our tree from Christmas past…

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Now no one quite dressed the Christmas part like my grandpa…well, except maybe Santa! So, finding this old family picture from Christmas Eve a few years back (complete with my cousin’s dog and gramps’ oxygen tank) made me smile… This was one of our last Christmases before he passed away. Check out his snazzy red Christmas pants and sweater! Loved that!

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The guy in the grey suit in the back row? That is my stepdad. He has gluten allergies. For Christmas last year I made him a gift box filled with home made GF treats…bread, chocolate brownies, peanut butter cookies. You get the idea. It was probably one of my favorite gifts to give, too! Like Amber from Journey Of Steps said…nothing replaces the good feelings associated with the true intentions of Christmas!

Now to add the final steps to ensure I don’t become a Christmas Curmudgeon, I need Christmas Carols, people! I need to know all of your favorites…so I can sing them to myself. So help a sister out! What is putting you in the Christmas spirit? What is your all time favorite Christmas song and why? What is the best gift you’ve ever given at Christmas and why? Because nothing makes me Christmas Cheery quite like singing Christmas music. Well, except maybe this adorable girl….

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