Today's Favorite Thing is ShaRhonda Crow. I only met ShaRhonda a year ago, but I can tell you this: I love keeping up with her through her blog and on our Facebook. She's the epitome of Super Mom. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!
My favorite things this time of year are not things for myself necessarily, but activities, traditions and memories that I help create for others.
1. Photo Books: On November 1, I begin gathering our favorite family snapshots for my mother and mother in law. I place these order from November to October 31st story order. I believe firmly in this quote...
2. Before Thanksgiving, my church hosts "A Christmas Gathering". This year was our 10th anniversary. This event is comparable to where Oprah meets HGTV in a church setting. I guarantee you a blessed time. You will walk away with gifts and be ready to face the holiday season the way it is meant to be. I encourage you now to mark your calendars now for the first Sunday in October to get your ticket. They go fast & furious! (https://secure.accessacs.com/access/events/upcoming.aspx)
3. Thanksgiving Eve. Bass Pro Santa in my opinion is the best Santa ever! My kids see the jolly old soul on Turkey Eve every year. Then we go out to eat or like this year I made Cinese at home. We decorate our tree and if the lights are on the house already they get turned on for the first time.
4. Thanksgiving night, the doorbell rings and our Scout Elves appear. This is our third year to participate in The Elf on the Shelf tradition. I make special care not to confuse the true meaning of the season with the elves. My family blog hosts a weekly linkup where you can show what your elf had been up to during the week.
5. Rhema Lights. Enough said. If you haven't driven through this display in my little big city of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma it is a must. I even encourage you to park and walk around. Maybe even a carriage ride.
6. A Very Pinteresting Christmas Party. This year will make my second year to host this fun night of friends, food and crafting. I don't know about you, but I need my girlfriend time. It's very rare that I get to play host and I love hosting. I invite a few of my favorite friends and neighbors over and we craft and eat Pinterest style. December 2-December 20 I will have a daily linkup featuring Pinterest inspired crafts, foods and activities.
7. Christmas Cards. I love getting cards. I love sending cards. My cards are always picture cards. Usually of my kids. Most of my aunts and uncles still do not have social media, so the do not get to see my kids daily. Snail mail is almost obsolete, except for bills. I like for my kids to know that all family members must get a Christmas greeting!
8. Cousins. I have a lot. My kids have 9 on my side and 2 on their dad's side. We make sure that we spend time with cousins during Christmas. Eating, playing with toys, four wheeling, golf carts, feeding cows...it's all about the memories.
9. Christmas Eve Gifts for the Neighbors. Before my children are allowed to open a single gift at our home, they deliver gifts to our neighbors. They don their Santa hats and bag and walk up and down the street. When Miss K was little she was pulled in the wagon. My kids know that it is better to give than receive. I love that the neighbors know my kids and look out for them. Another fun Christmas Eve tradition that my husbands family does is be the first to say "Christmas Eve Gift" to someone- whether in person or the phone.
10. Christmas Day. We always wake up in our own home on Christmas morning. My personal saying is, "if you believe, you receive". With an almost 13 year old, obviously I am having to emphasize this much more, especially in front of his 6 year old sister.
I say that these 10 things aren't for me, but in a way they are. My favorite things to do are what make me happy and what give me my magic for holiday season. After all seeing the joy of my loved ones is the best gift I can receive from anyone here on earth.