Living A Simple Life-Part 39 (Celebrating Simply)

Simple Thurs
Happy New Year! 
These past few weeks, we have chosen to celebrate our holidays simply.  (There was some “oversimplification” to due to the effects of our blessing, but celebrating simply was also nice!) 
By “oversimplification,” I mean that we temporarily bypassed some of our traditional festivities, in favor of rest.  Some of these activities may be missed enough to add them back in later years, though. 
 I didn’t bake most of the usual holiday goodies, except for our Christmas morning cinnamon/brown sugar biscuits and a batch of cranberry shortbread.  I also simplified our traditional Christmas dinner, which I described last week
The only Christmas decor in our home this year was our Christmas tree. But we kept the tree lights on throughout the day, and filled our home with candles, Christmas music, and Advent books from the library. We also watched some free old Christmas movies on the computer (such as It’s a Wonderful Life).  Much to my surprise, even without the extra garlands and other touches, it felt perfectly celebratory!  (And Gen was thoroughly “regal” as she glided about, wrapped in the gold tinsel garland that typically overhangs a doorway.) :) 
We were thrilled to actually have a Christmas tree this year.  We walked down our street mid-December, and purchased a $10 one from a neighbor. We loved being able to support a neighbor who was working hard at selling trees in his front yard this year!  It was actually big enough to hold all of our Christmas ornaments, too! (My mom loves sending us each unique/amusing ornaments each year, and it was fun to actually use them.) 
With our snowstorm, I wasn’t able to go to stores to do much Christmas shopping, even if I wanted to.  I made a few homemade items, including a batch of brown sugar mixed nuts based on Kimi’s delicious recipe as a stocking stuffer.  (I’ll be sharing other homemade items later on.) 
On Christmas day, we walked through the snow to share the afternoon with friends who live nearby.  Neither of us had family visiting for Christmas, so it was a treat to spend time together.  We walked through the snow, carrying a small gift bag of homemade items (jars of homemade pickles & mixed nuts), singing carols, and greeting those out shoveling their driveways.  What a lovely day! 
Now, as we enter the new year, our traditional finger foods menu keeps getting adjusted, as I work around the nausea of preparing aromatic foods (why did I get garlic sausage?!). But at the moment, we are munching away and sipping sparkling cider, cheerily wishing each other a “Happy New Year” (and explaining to Gen that it is a bit different than a “Happy Birthday” party, as she searches for the cake).  
We just finished singing “It is Well” from our old hymnal before sending Gen off to bed.  (We only sang two verses, as it was getting late, but she asked for more!) What a precious time of snuggling in a family “group hug,” as we look forward to the new year ahead of us.  A simple joy. 
This year, I’m not necessarily making “New Year’s Resolutions.”  I tend to set goals throughout the year, and attempt to tackle them.  At this point, it seems a good point for evaluating my regular routines, and observing where I can further simplify for a season (to maximize opportunities for rest and nutrition during these months of pregnancy).  I am also excited to see how God works in our lives this year, as we seek to grow in our marriage, learn what it means to parent a two-year-old, and serve Him in all other areas of our lives.  
So, I’m not attempting to add anything new right now. Most of all, I know Him who holds the future, and I place my hand in His, as I enter into the new adventure of 2009! 
The LORD your God is with you, 

he is mighty to save. 

He will take great delight in you, 
he will quiet you with his love, 
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17
Many blessings to you, dear friends, in the new year!  How about you- are you adding or subtracting from your life in this coming year?  I’d love to hear!

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