A few weekends ago when I visited Oregon I got to stay one night at Jenn's house. Lucky me! We woke up Sunday morning, got dressed, and then drove to the aiport. But before we left, and before Jenn came downstairs I grabbed my camera and tip-toed around the house, capturing a few images of the things I love about her house at Christmas time. Her home is so homey . . . . So comfortable. Just so Jenn.
I loved being in her house & seeing all the decorations because over the years there have been many gatherings in her home during the Christmas season. It just seems right to be in Jenn's home at Christmastime! There's our annual girlfriends' christmas dinner & gift exchange (with a few appearances by Paige's famous creme brulee). Also a Relief Society progressive dinner or two. And stopping by with the family to drop off a plate of Christmas treats and maybe even a little caroling on her front porch.
So many fun memories and connections. It's the sights, the smells, the familiarity, and the people that make Christmas so special. And I realized that this is part of the reason why it was harder for me to feel that special magic of Christmas this year. Missing the ward christmas party with Santa -- my kids have sat on that Santa's lap for many years. Missing seeing everyone at church in their Christmas best with smiling faces. Missing out on receiving plates of treats and goodies from friends & neighbors (I was surprised by how much I missed that this year -- so we tried to compensate by making lots of treats for ourselves.)
And most of all, missing our traditional bowling & Burgerville activity on Christmas Eve with all 5 families. Lots of fun, laughter, and smiles. And cupcakes! Because we also celebrate Josie's birthday (she's a Christmas Eve baby). And I always loved our hugs as we said good-bye, wishing each other a Merry Christmas.
Happy 5th Birthday Josie! And I'll make sure I always pronounce your name right from now on. She let me know I was doing it wrong. And when she asked me to come play doll house with her, she also let me know very nicely that I was placing all the furniture in the wrong spots. She's a sweetie.
I guess I have just been missing my friends a little more than usual this weekend. I'll be thinking about them tomorrow for sure. We are going to continue our bowling tradition here in a new state. It will be fun, I'm sure. Just different. And I'm glad that we had those 8 years of Christmas Eve bowling to bond and solidify our friendships. No one is going to fill your bowling shoes.
So have a very Merry Christmas! We are going to find a burger place to eat at tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, we'll have to bring a jar of Burgerville spread (we have a few thanks to Jen's fam) to make it feel more official. :)