- A Thanksgiving Eve service at our church with hymns, testimonies, and communion.
- Putting up two Christmas trees for the first time ever! This allowed us to display all of our Christmas ornaments, especially our vintage heirloom types.
- Christmas shopping on time and within budget - all in cash.
- Office Christmas dinner and a much appreciated Christmas bonus.
- As if a Christmas bonus weren't enough, an employer match into our retirement account.
- Christmas musical at church, with grandparents-in-law visiting and a clear gospel message proclaimed.
- Christmas luncheon with grandparents-in-law at their retirement village.
- Christmas Saturday with my mom, brother, and other extended family.
- Christmas Eve worship at church, grandparents-in-law visiting again, celebrating God's greatest gift to us, His Son, which makes all other gift giving worthwhile.
- Christmas Eve at in-laws.
- Christmas Day at home - new toys for everyone!
- December 26 snow day - an extra day at home, even if 5 hours were spent shoveling two driveways.
- Back to work, slower, relaxed pace for the rest of the year.
- Break from AWANA and Sunday Schools.
- Quiet New Year's Eve and Day, even with sledding.
All this, while still acknowledging the difficult times in the news, the neighborhood, and at home. We grieved this fallen world while keeping up with current events in our nation, we prayed for friends and family with various trials, and we persevered through ill-timed illness at home.
And, we are still trying to connect with my dad so that we can wish him a Merry Christmas as well.
Now it is time for hard work in the office, at home, and in our homeschool. My busy season is coming up with income taxes, audits, and more income taxes. We have the winter homeschool challenges similar to most families. It's still winter and not Christmas - if only Christmas lasted as long as the snow.
Then again, hard work is a blessing - Proverbs 14:23 says, "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk only leads to poverty."
So, as you get back at it post-Holiday Season, may your 2013 be blessed with hard work, profit, and wonderful memories of Christmas 2012.