Monday, December 8, 2014

All I Want for Christmas...

What do you want for Christmas this year? Have you been asked that a lot in the last few weeks? Have you asked your loved ones this question?

A few weeks ago at church, my pastor posed this question instead: 

What does God want from me? 

That got my mind racing with more questions:

What can I give this Christmas?
Whom can I help this Christmas?
What can I sacrifice this Christmas?

Of course it’s not enough to simply ask these questions. These questions BEG to be answered. 

What can I give this Christmas? 
  • More time and attention to my kids
  • My hours and help at my husband’s office
  • Treats to the children at a local women’s shelter (the boys and I will be putting these together and delivering them next week)
Whom can I help this Christmas? 
  • A working friend needs help with care for her son, so he’ll be spending a couple of days with us over Christmas break
  • My mother-in-law is hosting a lunch for 30 women at her house this week, so I will help with greeting, taking photos, and washing dishes
What can I sacrifice this Christmas? 
  • This one is personal, but I will look for specific ways to be selfless, secondary, and sacrificial in the weeks to come
Christmas is not about me or you or our families or the needy. Christmas is about our mighty Lord leaving His throne to enter our sinful world as a helpless baby with one purpose: death.

What did He give this Christmas? His life in place of our sin.
Whom did He help this Christmas? All who believe.
What did He sacrifice this Christmas? His glory, His crown, His body.

Still care about that new iPhone?

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rabbit Rabbit Christmas

I think I was in sixth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Ripley, taught our class about saying “Rabbit Rabbit” first thing on the first day of each month for good luck. It’s certainly a silly superstition but somehow it stuck. Thirty years later and I still whisper it, when I remember, as I open my eyes on the first of each month. I don’t really believe in luck, but it makes me think of sixth grade, which was a really fun year at my small school. Mrs. Ripley got pregnant that year and the eight of us in our small class were really close. So Rabbit Rabbit and Happy December!

I faithfully made it through Thanksgiving without listening to any Christmas music and, let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. But now that we’re safely over the turkey and onto the holly, I’ve been enjoying the sounds of the season.

I have other favorite things this month as well – to listen to, read, taste, and watch.


I have three Christmas cds on constant rotation at home, two by David Ian (otherwise known as Dave Ghazarian, co-founder of Superchick and current guitarist of the Peter Furler Band) and one by Peter Furler (former lead singer of the Newsboys).
Dave’s cds, Vintage Christmas and Vintage Christmas Wonderland, are a smooth, jazzy rendition of Christmas classics. Offering both vocal and instrumental selections, these are the perfect songs to have on while you’re baking or wrapping Christmas gifts. Also, I want to throw 17 dinner parties this month just so I can play these songs in the background. My favorite is an original composition by Dave titled “Christmas Time With You,” (a duet featuring Andre Miguel Mayo and Acacia on the Vintage Christmas cd). I couldn’t compose a song if my life depended on it, so I really appreciate Dave’s talent not just in arranging these songs, but in playing piano, guitars, and bells as well.

Peter’s cd, Christmas, consists of 10 classic carols and spoken word offerings. His voice, with that Australian accent, is so strong and unique. My favorite on this cd is Peter’s rendition of “We Three Kings” and a haunting version of “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” Dave produced this cd, and infused it with a multicultural vibe, including violins, cello, the Armenian duduk, and French Horn. There’s a touch of the Armenian Divine Liturgy in the background vocals, and the spoken word selections really bring meaning to this season. Peter is gifted and the Holy Spirit brings Scripture to life through him.

You can pick up all three cds (and more) here. They also make great stocking stuffers!


I recently read my friend Carrie Padgett’s book, Short, Sweet & Sassy. It’s a collection of romantic short stories, and by short I mean that each story is one chapter. In just a few pages, Carrie captures that moment of a guy and gal falling for each other. Each tale is unique – a sweet snippet of romance and love-at-first-sight in different settings and circumstances. You could read one story before bed for two weeks or, like me, devour it in one sitting.
Order it here for less than $5! This would also make a fun stocking stuffer! And be sure to visit Carrie’s blog here.


Anyone who knows me knows I’m a little fanatical about the Hallmark Channel – especially at Christmastime. I’ve been made fun of relentlessly but I don’t really care. If you want sweet, entertaining, family-centered stories and can suspend all reality and logic for two hours, then Hallmark Christmas movies are for you.
I get it – they’re cheesy and predictable. But who cares? I want a happy ending, even if I can see it coming a mile away. Yes, there just happens to be a single lady and a widowed guy and a puppy and a bakery – I mean, however could it possibly end up? You just have to ignore the sarcastic comments (I’m looking at you, Jayson) and enjoy the ride.


I’m slightly obsessed with Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Stars cookies. They only come out at Christmastime and I try to control myself by purchasing one box at a time. But about mid-December, I get a little desperate knowing they won’t be around much longer and buy an extra two or three (or six) boxes that I stockpile in our pantry and ration throughout the year.
And if you’re feeling really crazy, try the Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Stars cookies. I mean, dark chocolate and mint? And they’re mini? The cutest, most deliciously evil and addicting cookies out there. If you miss them this season, you’re welcome to visit my pantry.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.