Oh how I love the holidays this time of year!!:) As long as I can remember Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Hall household has always been done in great style and with such excitement. No matter how much money we had, my Mom always made both of these holidays special. We used the same decorations for Christmas for many years, but each time we put them up she made it seem like it was her first time seeing them. So we just followed her in her excitement, and were ecstatic when it was time to put them up again. So now that I am grown I still get SO excited about these holidays! I'm now just as eager to get those Christmas decorations put up; and last year we finally got my Dad to put lights up on the house! Oh!! They were just gorgeous to us!!! We are working on him getting them up this year too, but he's really a softy inside so I think we will have some pretty lights up this year too! ;) I'm going to open the door to our house a bit, and let you see what these holidays are like for us!
First thanksgiving. All of us girls (minus 1 :( ) and my Mom pick dishes we are going to make, and are all in the kitchen sharing ingredients and pretty much making a huge mess; guys in the family come in sniffing and complaining about WHEN the food will be ready. Once it's ready we stuff ourselves to the full then take a nap to let it digest you know ;) Then we have a game we play called "bonky ball" where we all stand around in a circle outside and hit the ball going from A to Z. My brothers are at this "macho guy" stage where they just think every time they hit the ball they have to make a sound or make it look cool; then there's my Dad who will hit the ball as hard as he can in a direction, and one of us have to run to hit it before it hits the ground and herd it back to the circle. All of this may sound corny or absolutely boring, but to me it is absolutely the most precious memories in the making. We have some of the funnest times just being together! It's a time where we get to come apart from the cares of the ministry or just the day, and be together. Then late Thursday night/early Friday morning the girls in the house go Black Friday shopping, and often we aren't out for a great deal necessarily, but it's just fun for us to all go out together. Many times we just stop to get something to eat.
Then Christmas!! The Christmas season starts well before December gets here. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, sometimes that very night, we get our Christmas decorations up while listening to some Christmas music. It takes us quite a while to get everything up, because one person likes one decoration in a certain place only for the next person to move it, and by the time 7 people do that it has become totally chaotic. Once our house is in the Christmas spirit, then we start making white chocolate covered pretzels and all those delicious Christmas goodies!!! It's no wonder we all think our new years resolution needs to be a diet! Us kids all swap names in a hat to buy a gift for our secret someone. Then all of us kids used to go out with my Dad to buy Moms Christmas gifts until my Mom wanted to come too. Now we have to figure out how to buy all of her Christmas gifts with her there. We all hated leaving Mom behind though, so we have become creative with sneaking things by her! While we are out, we all have to pair up to buy our secret someone a gift too. Then we finish off with going to Steak n' Shake to get a meal and some holiday milkshakes. (but just butterfinger for me thank you!) We go Christmas caroling with our church, then on Christmas Eve we go riding around looking at lights and singing Christmas carols.
I'm sure I have left a few things out in our holiday 'traditions', but the general idea of these holidays is family. Of course all of our hearts aren't completely together, because part of our heart belongs to 5 people in Chile! :( We have learned the Lord's will is not our own, and to trust Him even when we miss those we love!
I hope each one of you have holiday traditions with your families. I encourage you to put down all the electronics and tell friends no you can't spend a lot of time with them, these seasons are times to cherish your families! Make memories!! I am so very thankful my parents for as long as I can remember put aside most things when it came to these holidays. They paved the way for all of the memories I have today, and continue to have. You don't have to be rich or spend a bunch of money to make these holidays special. Most of the things we do cost nothing but some gas or the price of our ball ($3.97 at Walmart). All they really cost is the time of each one of us. My Dad instilled in us the importance of family from the time we were all very small, when you feel no one else is on your side family is the one thing apart from God that will always stand beside you! Your family are your best friends, (sometimes) enemies, play mates, audience, partners in crime, will work beside you, will soul win beside you, the people you can always be yourself around, always count on, and will love you always and forever. I thank the Lord every night for allowing me to be born in this family, I personally think I have the best family! (I hope all of you feel that way about yours too!) Parents who realized very early that their children were their greatest responsibility! God has been so good to me, I hope you can look around at your precious family and say the same thing!!
Maybe you don't have any holiday traditions, it's not to late to start them! Pick some traditions to start and get them going! Maybe you have some great holiday traditions already, if you do and don't mind sharing them I would LOVE to hear about them! I just love all ideas Thanksgivingy or Christmasy! Just comment below! :)