Is anyone else as happy Christmas is over as they were for it to begin? I hope so, then I won't feel so alone! Do not take this as me complaining. I had nothing but JOY crammed into a few short days. But man am I exhausted!
In summary, my Christmas holiday looked a little like this: Salvation Army bell ringing, Christmas Eve church, cherry moscow mules, games, food, laughter, more games, more food, more laughter - with some gifts sprinkled in here and there.
On Friday, Joel and I kicked off the holiday weekend by bell ringing for the Salvation Army. This is the third year we've participated and we have such a great time. It was very rewarding to ring bells just before Christmas. The Red Kettle Campaign goal hadn't been met yet, but due to Christmas being right around the corner, people were in a very generous mood. We hope that our efforts helped get them a little bit closer to their goal so they can continue "doing the most good."
On Saturday, the Christmas festivities began.
As you know, I'm not huge on material things, but I did get two items that I really, really love. Both from my mom. I've been researching the Amazon Echo for awhile, she read my mind. The necklace is beyond perfect. Eleanor is one of my ultimate heroes. What a great reminder to wear around my neck, especially when I need some extra encouragement.
Overall, the number of gifts we received was low, which was so appreciated. The gifts we did receive were practical, thoughtful and appreciated. My parents stocked us up on enough household items, paper products and personal care items to last us through 2017 (we look forward to this every year). Joel's dad and stepmom gifted all of us a two night family vacation to Hickory Hills in the summer. Joel's mom chose some special items she knew we'd love and hold onto. Other family members spoiled us with items for our new home and lots of yummy looking sauces and spices to add some excitement to our cooking routine.
We had such great time. But like I mentioned earlier, we are both a bit tired from all of the fesivities. I shared some of my favorite moments from the weekend below. I hope you all had an equally wonderful holiday, are feeling surrounded by love and inspired for the new year!