Christmas Traditions in Siestaville

Good morning, Sweet Things!

It’s one of those rare days around the Moore house when we get to sleep late. I got up about 7:30 because I like to have a few minutes before everybody else rouses around here. I just got finished with my quiet time and had you on my mind so I thought I might show you what life looks like from exactly where I’m sitting:

My man and I usually get a tree that is way too big for our low ceiling and have to cut two feet off the top. After all, we are the Moores and if medium is good, more is better. This year we got one that fits our size room a little more appropriately and is less accommodating to Star and Geli for chewing and climbing and all-around-dragging. Up front is me in my favorite house slippers. They are called “The Pinks” (forenamed by Melissa and I when we got our original pairs). Everyone in the family knows The Pinks and God forbid one of the dogs getting hold of them. I am very picky about my house slippers because my man keeps the house ten degrees below zero and my feet nearly freeze into nubs.

To the right of The Pinks you can see the very top of my favorite coffee cup. I’m annoyed at myself for not getting it in the picture better but I don’t have time to take another one and upload it. My Greek tutor, Dr. Joe Wall, and his beautiful wife gave me a set of dessert plates and cups and saucers from Russia where they train pastors. (Replicas of Catherine the Great’s official dishes.) I don’t have a ton of attachments to things but, if my house caught on fire, these would come out right after the baby pictures and the dogs. Coffee and tea drinker that I am, I love delicate cups and saucers. So do Amanda and Melissa and we have used this set no less than a thousand times. They have the added sentimental value of coming from people I love and respect so they make English tea or fresh brewed coffee taste even better.

On each side of the tree are dolls that hold candles and move their arms (hence, the blur). I’ve had them for twenty years and they mesmerize me. I could sit and stare at them for hours. Annabeth is also completely taken with them. She stands right in front of them and needs to talk to me at length about them. The one on the right has a hood on her red velvet coat and AB likes to put it on and off and on and off and with the delicate touch of a chimpanzee. Nonetheless, the doll stands tall and takes it like a trooper.ย  If you’re wondering where the presents are, we don’t bring them out until Christmas Day because they take up too much room in our den.

Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell them you saw what’s in them but these are my girls’ stockings:

I made each of these from kits with my own little hands right after each girl was born. (Amanda was born ten minutes after we were married. Not really. Nine and a half months to be exact and, no, I’m not kidding.) Of course, I also made a stocking for Keith and one for me. I still can’t believe I did it. (Don’t you dare ask how hard it could be. This might as well have been chiseling heads on Mt. Rushmore for me.) That was back when I had more hope of being the home goddess. I may have even had a sewing machine back then. I had high hopes of carrying on family tradition. My mom could sew anything and I didn’t have a store bought dress until junior high. My older sister, Gay, and I dressed alike all our young lives and still think it might be fun.

Uh oh. Melissa and Keith are up so I’ve run out of time. Here’s one more. It’s a picture the girls and I took yesterday at Saltgrass Steak House with Melissa’s I-phone on our Christmas shopping day. By 2:00, we hadn’t gotten a single gift but we’d eaten twice.

Oh gracious. I love those girls so much. They remain the greatest proof in my life of God’s inconceivable redemption. Even more than the ministry, as thankful as I am for it. God didn’t just do a miracle in my serving life. He did a miracle in my HOME. In my own troubled family. How Keith or I either one did not destroy this home is a mystery only God can explain.

OK, so now it’s your turn. What holds a special Christmas memory or tradition around your home? Do tell!

I love you guys so much.

PS. OK, because you insisted, here’s a close up:

And I couldn’t bring myself to show it to you empty so you just caused me to have a fourth cup of strong coffee. I’m typing really fast and feeling extra energetic. Going to get off and do handsprings in the den until I calm down.

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  1. 51
    Janice says:

    Ok…it’s all about the food. I bake and make candy for weeks ahead of time, and spread it all out on Christmas morning. Even if we don’t eat it all (and hopefully we won’t), it’s all about the presentation and the memories of Christmas past. The biggest delight is the homemade donuts. It’s something I picked up from my husband’s mother and grandmother, and it has been a Christmas tradition for ever since.

  2. 52

    You crack me up! Thank you for making me smile. I wasn’t feeling all that happy this morning. I was feeling like I wish Christmas was over and I could be back home again in my cozy little home with my husband and kids who love me. Well, that’s where I am right now, but I won’t be tomorrow about this time. About this time tomorrow I will be on my way down to my parents place in Oregon to be criticized for the way I live until Saturday afternoon, when we’ll head back, only because we can’t take any of them for one more minute without saying something we regret! They talk down to me constantly, like I’m still four year’s old and don’t have a thought worth mentioning in my head, and I probably don’t, but that’s beside the point. If I pointed it out to them, my dad would probably just say something like, I’m sorry, but you’ll always be a little kid to me. You’re my daughter. I don’t have the heart to tell him that I know that has nothing to do with it, cause I can see the total respect in his eyes and hear it in his voice when he talks to my sister. So I know it’s just that he thinks I’m a worthless loser. My mom doesn’t talk to me that way. She just doesn’t say anything about anything when it comes to me. She refrains from expressing her opinion, which of course means I know what her opinion is. Like she always taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So she doesn’t. We’re still re-establishing our Christmas traditions since losing my grandpa a year and a half ago to Prostate Cancer. We use to spend it with him, the very last member of my family that loved me. Now, I’m all alone. My family teases me (my kids) that I killed him, because the last Christmas we spent with him I got my Toshiba from my husband and nearly screamed my head off with excitement, scaring poor old grandpa! I tried to hold it in, I really did! Ask my kids, I shook for a few seconds before I finally screamed! I think I nearly squeezed my husband to death! I figured with our financial situation I would never get a laptop,ever! Of course, now we don’t have a working router so it’s basically worthless, but hopefully we will be able to remedy that soon. Yes, we have to save up just to get a router! Sad, I know. This is another reason my family thinks we’re losers. Money is everything to them. I married down as far as they’re concerned. I think I married up!!!!! Anyway, sorry to be such a downer during a time that is supposed to be joyful. I miss grandpa. I liked our previous Christmas tradition.

    By the way, I’m so happy someone else is a tea drinker and a coffee drinker. Most people here seem to think you have to be one or the other. I said something about my coffee at my church and someone commented that they were more of a tea drinker. I said, “I drink both.” They looked at me funny. I was like, “What? Why do we have to choose? Why can’t we drink both?” Yay! Beth Moore drinks both!

    • 52.1
      dairywife says:

      Shellie,
      I am sorry for the way your family treats you. Is it a possibility that your husband and kids stay home and start your own traditions and allow your children to see a healthy family enjoying each others company. If you must go to the parents I will be praying that your husband and kids will be filled with so much joy and the fruit of the spirit and whatever is said to you just falls right off and doesn’t effect you. Your response to any of their negative comments could be, sorry you are so unhappy in your life that you feel you need to try and cause chaos in mine. Good Luck this holiday and Merry Christmas and by the way I love to drink coffee and tea too.
      God’s Blessings on You
      Karen

      • Robbin says:

        And I am going to agree in prayer with dairywife for God to move in your family and make your crooked places straight. By the way, I drink hot tea and hot chocolate. Don’t like coffee at all, but I LOVE the way it smells! Merry Christmas!

      • Thank you! Yes, I pretty much have to go. I’m not sure we will every year, but this year we need to. I’m pretty sure my family thinks I hate them at this point because I hardly ever call them. Our lives are so different from theirs I don’t feel like I have anything to talk to them about, plus it’s not exactly encouraging, but they do want to see the grandkids, so they can teach them the “better” life of ranch life, since they’re just “worthless” city kids without their grandparents to teach them right. I’m sorry. I really don’t want to make anyone sad for Christmas. Just trying to explain how it is.

    • 52.2
      Sharon in Frederick says:

      I drink both also, and sometimes I throw in a hot chocolate if I’m feelin’ it. :>)
      Sorry being with your family is so difficult, just remember your value/worth is not found in *man*. When we except Christ we become *more than conquerors*and we take on the righteousness of Christ.
      Know that you are loved.
      Christmas {{{Hugs}}}to you,
      Love, Sharon

    • 52.3
      The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

      Shellie,
      I am both a coffee and tea drinker. It is possible that I have close to 50 different kinds of tea. I am not as exploratory when it comes to my coffee. So let me lift my steamy cup up and along with Siestaville pray for you. Let us remember together who you are, who you belong to–you belong to God

      1Sa 12:22 The LORD will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. The LORD was pleased to make you his own people.
      1Sa 12:23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright.
      1Sa 12:24 However, fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you!

      Shortly before my Father died 10 years ago, he said to me, “People straight out of college do better than you. People with no experience at all do better than you!” Money meant a great deal to him. I didn’t want him to accept and love me for the money I made, but because I was his daughter. I wanted his love and approval because I belonged to him. It was something he refused to give me. Even typing this now makes me cry. For me even now it is not a scar, it is an active wound that when something touches that place in my heart I cry.

      Those we love the most have the greatest capacity to hurt us. That hurt is real and it is painful almost beyond our ability to stand. It is a crushing weight. BUT, those that hurt us do not have the final say about us. Our GOD does. He is alive and He is at work–even when we are in the pit of life. He is working even when we do not see it.

      Psa 18:16-19 He reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me from the surging water. He rescued me from my strong enemy,from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted58 me in my day of calamity, but the LORD helped me.He brought me out into a wide open place; he delivered me because he was pleased with me.

      Our worth is not based on what our family thinks of us. It is based on what God thinks of us. Shellie, He is pleased with you. You are righteous and complete before God our Father if you have believed on the Lord Jesus.

      When the surging criticize of your family is about to take you under remember the truth of who you are in Christ. They can’t do one thing to remove you from the love of our Father. You belong to Him.

      I wish I could say something to make the pain go away. To make your family play nice. If I knew what to say, I would surely say it to my own family. One person in particular have moved from Michigan to Houston and I ask God once in a while to have them bump into Beth Moore at the grocery store so she can speak a Word over them. But so far the answer is no.

      Hugs to you Shellie. Cling to the hope we have in Christ. If I could give you a big hug and a cup of hot tea right now, I surely would. I would even let you have some of my special imported Kenyan tea that I am getting a bit low on my stock. You are worth it and so much more value than any human could possibly express. You are a child of the King. Don’t let the by standers along life’s road try to tell you otherwise. That doesn’t mean that the rocks they throw won’t hurt us and cause us to bleed along the way. Even with the pain they cause, they cannot alter our destination nor the fact that God is pleased with us.

      • I would love to have tea with you! I would try every single kind, too!

        • The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

          Shellie, I tell ya what. Tonight at 7pm 12/24 eastern time, I am going to brew up a cup of Ketepa Limited Fahari Ya Kenya Tea. I am going to brew it dark and strong and add some whole milk and sugar.

          Then as I drink that cup of tea, I am going to spend the next hour in prayer for you that will you will both know and feel the sustaining grace of our Father.

          As I think of you and ponder your post above some scriptures come to mind. Money isn’t everything, but Jesus our helper who will never leave us is!

          Heb 13:5-6 Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” NET

          Say it with confidence dear Shellie THE LORD IS MY HELPER, HE WILL NOT ABANDON ME! WHAT CAN MY FAMILY DO TO ME!

          Deu 31:6 Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” NET

          Deu 31:8 The LORD is indeed going before you โ€” he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” NET

          Psalm 27 Of David. The LORD is Shellie’s light and Shellie’s salvation; whom shall Shellie fear? The LORD is the stronghold of Shellie’s life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes/family, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army/family encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I Shellie will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me Shellie in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me Shellie under the cover of his tent; he will lift me Shellie high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies/family all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I Shellie cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in. Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. I believe that I Shellie shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! ESV with Personal Shellie edits

          Shellie your family can’t change the truth of who you are in Christ one bit! Shellie “wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

          Psa 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD Shellie, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. ESV with Shellie edit

          2Pe 1:2-4 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. ESV

          Shellie remember the Spirit is already praying for you this very moment. He does not cease to intervene in prayer on your behalf! NEVER! Even when we don’t know what to pray or say, He does.

          Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. ESV

          Hugs from South Carolina. You matter to Jesus beyond what words can express and your value is beyond anything any human can understand. You ARE a child of the KING!

          • The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

            Oh and one of the cats got into my earlier cup of tea and ruined it. I will put the 7pm cup in a travel mug and hold onto it so that I don’t have to get up in the middle of the hour to re-brew! The cats also like coffee. The sit very still until they are certain I am distracted. Then I hear the unmistakable lick lap and of course that ends the cup for me.

          • The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

            Shellie, I have brewed my tea (1999 Kwong Sang Tea Company Mango Black Tea) I decided to switch up. I purchased this tea on the last trip we took as a family–the whole dysfunctional lot of us before my Dad died. I only drink it on special occasions and this is one worthy of it. It was a trip for many reasons that I did not want to go on. I wasn’t sure I could endure the pain of it all.

            I pray that you would know grace and peace that passes understanding and does not make sense based on your circumstance or your family. peace that is supernatural and out of this world. Peace that can only come from Jesus.

            Php 4:5-7 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds5 in Christ Jesus. NET

          • Thanks for giving me about a thousand new verses to memorize and a new translation to buy (although I’m sure I won’t be able to find it with Shellie edit. I’ll have to do that myself ๐Ÿ™‚ You make me smile so much! I have a hard time believing someone would go to so much trouble for me! Thank you for loving me! Oh, and by the way I also love cats! My husband bought me a cat a day calendar last year and it’s hanging right beside me. Unfortunately, I am now allergic to cats and dogs. I have one cat and lots of allergy meds and I still experience symptoms, but it’s worth it! My baby Jewel loves me! I can’t believe your cats like coffee, though! My cat sniffs at mine and then looks at me like, “Why would anybody drink that stuff!” But then she doesn’t even like milk! She’s weird! Just like me!

          • The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

            Shellie, glad you checked back with the blog. I have been thinking of you and praying for you these last few days and wondering how it went for you. Glad to hear you are smiling!

            We had a family episode Christmas Eve after I got done praying for you. I ended up staying up late and praying through those verses above again for my own family. I too needed to remember who He is and what He is doing in spite of those around me or my circumstances might be going.

            If you want a free copy of of the ESV or the NET, go to the following links. I use E-Sword a great deal as I can put several translations on the screen and compare all at once.

            http://www.e-sword.net It is a great study tool and you can use it off line as you can download it.

            http://bible.org/downloads to download the NET Bible. There is a stand alone version with over 60,000 translation notes and one that is a plug in for e-sword.

            The above 2 resources are free. There are some versions of the Bible on e-sword that they charge for, but many are free and they also have commentaries and other free resources.

            Shellie, I hope you will join the SSMT this year. I would love to track with you as we both meditate on God’s Word and hear what God is doing in your life this next year through His Word. I am still praying for you and will keep an eye out for you on the blog. My email is Leah@Luminary.pro if we happen to miss one another here and you need some encouragement.

            If for some reason we don’t connect again, Shellie remember that the connection you have to Christ and that He has to you can never be broken. NEVER. There isn’t anything that can break the bond that Jesus has with you. And Shellie, if God is for you, who can be against you? God answers that plainly in the following passage.

            Rom 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ESV

    • 52.4
      Pam says:

      Yep, starting new traditions here too!!!

    • 52.5
      CAROL BRUNTLETT says:

      Hi Shellie
      I wil be praying for you and your family
      Its hard I go thru the same thing with my mother she always has something to say about my hair or the way I dress can never do nothing right in her eyes she treats like I am a kid as well. She is elderly and has alot of health issues and some days I just want to leave and never come back since I am the only child here in town I take care of hertoday was one of those days where nothing was right but somehow God always seems to bring a smile to my face and I also got this from Mama Seista she is just awesome . I defintley be praying for you all .
      Godbless you all Merry Christmas
      Carol

    • 52.6

      Oh, you guys really have made me smile today, A LOT! Who knew a blog could mean so much to me!!! I thought this whole thing was just silly at first and it kind of is! A GLORIOUS silliness! I’m going to bed with a smile on my face and I can face my family thanks to GOD and siestaville! I LOVE Sietaville! Thanks everyone! Do pray, though! I know you will!!!!!!

      • I gotta say Christmas didn’t go so well, but it could have been worse! I did say some pretty mean things to my family! And I’m afraid some of it I really can’t say I didn’t mean! Ugh! We are considering whether we should go down there anymore at all, though! I took lots of pictures just in case I never see those gorgeous Wallowa Mountains again! It’s too bad they have to be stained by my family! Check out my blog: http://www.spaparazzo.blogspot.com/

        I hope to have some of those pictures on there soon. If my husband ever brings home the cord from his office that plugs the camera into the computer, so I can download them! Last time it took a couple of months before he remembered! Needless to say my pictures are always WAY out of date! Sorry! It’s still fun, though! Hopefully, it won’t take that long now that I’m better at putting them on. Had to learn how to do that this fall. Maybe he’ll remember now that he knows he doesn’t have to do it for me!

  3. 53
    jackie says:

    For many years, i would put a little toy, like a matchbox car.. or some candy in the boys’ stocking for 12 days before Christmas. they loved it!
    thanks for the post, Siesta Mama. my husband came home for lunch and i was smiling and he asked what i was grinning about. i tried to explain how much i enjoy reading your blogs because you are Every Woman and i can relate so much. i told him about the pic with the slippers. he just got this puzzled look like, “What?!?”. the man doesn’t understand why that would be endearing, but every siesta does, i’m sure.
    i hope you and your family has a wonderful celebration this Christmas!

    • 53.1

      Ha! I don’t even bother telling my husband about stuff on here anymore! He just stares at me like I’m some kind of freak. It’s just a siesta thing! That’s what I’m going to say from now on!

  4. 54
    Lisa Glenn says:

    Merry Christmas, sweet Beth!

    (By the way, thank you SO MUCH for your thoughts on Romans 15:13 in your last post. You have NO idea how much it encouraged and blessed me and spoke straight to my heart. It’s going to be the very first verse I memorize for 2011!)

    We have many Christmas traditions, from the gum & Tic Tacs the girls always get in their stockings (they’re now 22, 21, 19, and 17, and they still look for those things!), to the ornaments on our tree, each one telling a story or holding a special family memory. We even have a tradition regarding Christmas breakfast, one my husband & I started when we were newly married — blueberry muffins and orange juice. And I don’t mean any old blueberry muffins — they have to be the HUGE ones with the crumbly, sugary topping on them! (We’re all on a sugar high for hours.) But our favorite Christmas tradition is going to the Christmas Eve service at our church — and getting tears in our eyes as the service ends with the choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus — then going out to eat at Chili’s with our best friends.

    May your Christmas be a blessed one for you and your dear family! I love you!

    • 54.1
      Jennifer Tricarico says:

      Thank you, LORD, for Lisa’s post! I almost forgot the packs of ‘stocking’ gum stashed in my purse for the boys!!! Perhaps, some day, I’ll be slipping a Siesta Spiral in my little girl’s stocking. (She’s AB’s age right now, but prays her little heart out.) Merry Christmas Lisa!

  5. 55
    Amanda says:

    This year I will be adding a new tradition to our Christmas Eve night of baking Christmas cookies and sitting by the fire and reading the Christmas story. For my four-year-old and two-year-old I want to show them that Jesus is Christmas. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. So we will do everything by candlelight…no lights on in the house, only the tree and candles. We will bake, decorate the cookies, read the Christmas story, and sing together and then we will read Psalm 18: 28 that says, “For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” And then 2 Cor 4:6 “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness ,who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” I hope to share in the Christmas story how the star of Bethlehem shone to guide the way to Jesus and how Jesus is the STAR, the LIGHT that guides us each day. So when the world may ask, “What is Christmas?” My children will clearly know… Jesus is Christmas, the Light of our lives.

    • 55.1
      Stephanie W says:

      I love this idea Amanda. Mostly, I adore your heart for Jesus. May your joy be complete with those sweet little ones this Christmas, for I know without a doubt, the Light will be so bright!

      • Amanda says:

        Thanks Stephanie! It was so wonderful! With a 2 year old whose attention wasn’t so great she still loved all the candles and I think they both got the meaning in their own way! At the end they blew out all the candles after singing Happy Birthday to Jesus! Priceless! Truly my most treasured Christmas memory to date!

  6. 56
    Denise says:

    Thanks for sharing. I like thin glasses and cups as well. Have some from a friend that are china and they are Christmasy.. but we use them all year long. That way at Christmas we have them out. I am thankful for God’s redeeming power as well. Merry Christmas.

  7. 57
    Becky says:

    Beth, girl…I love your post, love, love, love’em…
    and the pink house shoes.
    There are many childhood traditions and memories that are sweet and special to write about,I know you have better things to do with your time, so I’ll spare you all that.
    I’m happy for you that your girls are there sharing the celebration of Christ’s birth with you and Keith.I am also very thankful you are having a much better Christmas this yr than you were this time last yr. I’m thankful for the Lord’s healing on your sweet little self, as I know all the Siestas are.
    You, my dear Beth, have a Merry Christmas and a great 2011.Be seein’ and talkin’ to ya here in Siestaville.
    ;0)

  8. 58
    Amy says:

    My Daddy has sang “O Holy Night” at my home church’s Christmas Eve candle light service for as long as I can remember. He is now 63 years old and still singing strong. Every year after he sings I say, “NOW, it’s Christmas!” Looking forward to it again.

    I got my Siesta Memory Note cards in the mail today!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO! Great job Mama Siesta and Team! I am keeping one and giving one to my mother-in-law, AKA my Soul Sista. She and I have journeyed through every one of your studies together and we are so blessed by each one. May you all have a blessed Christmas and we love you!

  9. 59
    Debi Kauffman says:

    Dear Beth,
    My first time to visit your blog and what a present it was! Thank you for sharing YOU and may our Heavenly Father continue to bless you richly with the gift of teaching. I have been so blessed by your books and videos. I have a permanent rock in my home office with scripture verses (references) written on it that was a result of raising up stones of remembrances. Merry Christmas!

  10. 60
    Lori says:

    One of the sweetest traditions we have involves 3 little ornaments that resemble the “Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Mo”. Every year since these funny little ornaments were given to my husband they have managed to make their way into the nativity. For years I would put them back on the shelf where they were displayed and somehow they would find their way back. Until one day I asked why someone kept putting them in the Nativity. My son, a strapping high school football player at the time, answered, “Well mom, even the wise guys are welcome in the manger”. Each year they start out on their shelf and sometime during the holiday season they make their pilgrimage to the manger to be a part of the Nativity – and it’s now a sweet reminder that even “Wise Guys” are welcome in the manger. Thank you Jesus for the HOPE of Christmas.

  11. 61

    As a child, my favorite Christmas memory was my parents and brothers and sisters reciting Luke 2 from memory while we held pieces of Mom’s manger scene. The other was Mom making a birthday cake for Jesus and us singing Happy Birthday to Him before opening presents.

    Now that I’m a mom of 5 beautiful girls, I treasure the memories I’m making for them. Christmas Eve service when they get all dressed up in their Christmas finery and my husband wears his suit and we take a family picture in front of the church’s Christmas tree. Watching The Nativity Story after a dinner of Shepherd’s Pie. Children sleeping in the living room in front of the Christmas tree. Angel Food Cake on Christmas morning for Jesus birthday cake. Traditional English fare for Christmas dinner. Then, on Christmas night, snuggling up on the couch to watch the last and best Christmas movie of the year, It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. The day after Christmas we begin celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, culminating on January 6 when we have a Wise Men party. I pray that when my girls are all grown and think of the Christmases of their childhood, they will remember our focus on the true meaning for our celebration – Jesus’ Birthday!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Beth!

  12. 62
    His Jules says:

    Oh Beth – I do love your “pinks”, I have a pair myself but mine are cream-colored and my absolute faves. I think it is so wonderful that we all have those special cups that we love to drink our coffee, hot chocolate,tea etc from, mine is a giant tiger cup that my mother-in-love gave me many years ago.
    My favorite Christmas tradition is going to the candlelight Christmas eve service at my parents church. We still continue this today with our grown children and then we all gather at my parents home to celebrate with food and gifts.
    My favorite Christmas memories are always of watching “Alabaster’s Song”with my kids before going to bed on Christmas eve and listening to them wish each other good night as they wandered off to bed. I think we all may get a chance to be in the same house this year for Christmas eve so I am definitely going to try and talk all of these “grown up” kids to do it again!
    Much love and much grace to all of you Siestas!!! Merry Christmas…may His love fill your hearts and homes the whole year through.

  13. 63
    Rhonda says:

    As a child most of my memories are of going to my grandparents with all the aunts, uncles & cousins there.
    But 29 years ago tomorrow, my husband and I began a very precious tradition. Our twin sons were born 11 1/2 weeks premature on Christmas Eve. They were given less than a 20% chance of survival. I wouldn’t say we had strong faith…but we truly believed that God could do anything. And He Did!!! They had set backs and rough days, but they truly thrived and were able to come home earlier than their original due date! They are both healthy, Godly young men!
    Our tradition…to celebrate their birth on Christmas Eve, making celebrating Jesus birth on Christmas day even more special!
    Thank you Jesus for abundant grace and mercy!

  14. 64
    heather says:

    Christmas traditions…well my parents were divorced since I can basically remember so with my dad it was Christmas Eve 11 pm service and singing Silent Night by candlelight in a huge Presbyterian church, alwasy made me cry. And then Christmas morning stockings filled with teeny, tiny crazy stuff my dad would find. Then off to my moms side Christams Day with a late dinner and singing carols with the entire family. 4 kids, 8 grandkids and now 20+ great-grandkids. This Christmas will be bitter sweet with my grandfather(the spiritual patriarch of our family) of 94 years passed away in August(my grandmother went to be with the Lord 4 years ago). It will be good, because He is good. I am sure Christmas will take on a “new look” in the years to come. My husband and I haven’t really taken a whole lot of time to start our own traditions because of our schedule with traveling home but I think my kids would say something like, “well.. they spend all day Christmas Eve shopping, then come home and wrap like mad, have a non-traditional dinner, watch Jingle All the Way and then open presents!” It’s pretty much a blur but that’s what they think our traditions are thus far. I think they all think it’s good and so do we, but we are looking to make it more our own so this will be a great way for me to gather some ideas. I am no Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker so traditions will have to come in other forms ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing, Beth, love “The Pinks” and the hand-made stockings. Wishing you guys the greatest Christmas yet!

  15. 65
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:

    Merry Christmas, Everyone!

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to an 11:00p.m. Christmas Eve service with my sisters-in-law, nieces, and daughter. We have visited some churches we might not have gone to otherwise, and we are always blessed. Thanks for sharing with us, Beth! Love the dishes!

  16. 66

    Well. . first of all, I loved seeing your simple morning. .that’s one of the things I love about Christmas, the moments I get to relax and take it all in.

    We have so many traditions, I don’t know where to start. One favorite is Christmas Eve after church, we go to my mother in law’s for an appetizer party. The kids get all gussied up in their black velvet (of course it’s all been passed down from the older ones) and we dive into yummy snacks. Then, each child gets to open one gift which is always matching christmas pjs. This year I was able to find all “reindeer” patterns. The kids act surprised every year and run as fast as they can and change into them for a group picture. (even the teenagers!) They. love. it. And I do too.

    Christmas morning is a zoo. . and it’s a blast. Each child receives of course Santa’s surprises then three gifts to open (because Jesus did). That alone was already 27 gifts to wrap this year, plus the pjs, plus relative gifts. I’m rambling. Anyway, it’s a moment of sheer joy giving to them. I. love. it.

    This year we have snow in the forecast for North Georgia by Christmas night. What a memory that will be. My husband has ventured out again to find some sleds in town. . we might be sledding!

    Merry Christmas siestas! I love you all!
    Wendy

  17. 67

    Merry Christmas to you and your dear family, Beth. So thankful for you and all God has done in and through your life~

    Jennifer

  18. 68
    kimberly says:

    oh beth i just love you! you and your girls are beyond beautiful! i wish i had a few minutes before everyone woke – it would def make for a better day! maybe i’ll try it again. somehow even when i’m quiet as a moose my 1 year old finds away to hear me. with four little ones 8 and under it is hard, but VERY needed!

    on another note, please tell me you didn’t make those adorable cookies! if i could, i would post a picture of the cookies we just made! they are sad – truly sad, but they taste good! ๐Ÿ™‚

    i’m so glad you did this post! i was wondering what everyone’s favorite tradition was! my favorite right now is Christmas Eve. We go over to my MIL’s house with my husband’s 2 brothers and their familys. my baby is the 12th grandchild! we hang out, eat lunch, adults play dirty santa, we go to mass (my husband was raised catholic ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and then come back, eat dinner and then santa comes and delivers gifts!!!! that part is hilarious because each year it is someone different. usually one of the men, but one year my mil hired someone to do it and didn’t tell us and that was really funny! all the little kids think it is really santa so that is alot of fun! anyway, it just means that we start Christmas a little early and i love that! Merry Christmas girls! i can’t wait to read yours!!!

  19. 69
    Meg Ebba says:

    My favorite tradition is wrapping all my sister’s gifts for her fam while she bustles in and out, piling up more presents, saying “I can’t believe you like to do this!!” I can’t this year as I just had wrist surgery and am in a cast. No worries, can’t wash a single dish either… merry christmas to me!

    meg from nh

  20. 70
    GinnyLou says:

    What a pleasant morning you must have had!

    One of my favorite Christmas memories happened not really very long ago. When my husband and I were first married, we moved 6 hours away from home to go to graduate school. Over Christmas break, we’d come home and stay at my sister’s house. For each of the four years we were in school, we’d spend the last couple of days before Christmas shopping, cooking, and talking…oh, the talking sisters can do!

    Then, on Christmas Eve, we’d put her little boy to bed, and stay up into the wee hours wrapping gifts, unboxing things from Santa, and, oh yes, talk some more! There was nothing like getting to be there at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning when my nephew would bounce out of his room, run right past the pile of gifts, and into his parents’ room to be escorted to the living room just in case Santa was still there!

    We have since moved back home, had 2 little ones of our own, and the nephew is a quite-grown-up 12 year old. But, I have a feeling that we’ll be the hosts for my sister and her family in years to come…Christmas morning with little ones is too much fun to miss!

    • 70.1
      Becky says:

      OK….this made me cry! I love you, Ginny-Lou. Yes, we will come and spend Christmas Eve with you one of these days. I’m so proud of the mom you have become. See you tomorrow! Love, Becky-Lou

  21. 71
    dairywife says:

    My husband and I our 2 daughters and son would always go to the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service then when we come home each of the children would get to open 1 present each and it would be their Christmas PJ’S. This will be the first year our oldest daughter will start that tradition with her new family. I am truly blessed by this blog, I know I don’t write on here regularly, but I read each post and draw encouragement and uplifting words from all of you. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO Y’ALL

  22. 72
    Colorado GIrl says:

    Good Morning Mama Beth! I got to sleep in today too! Wahoo! I woke up thinking I didn’t really feel like rolling out more gingerbread…so rolled over and went back to sleep! Ah…Bliss! Now, the Gingerbread is done and cooling and waiting for Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) to come back from a little shopping trip to help my boys (12 & 17) decorate them. Can’t wait. We have never made Gingerbread Houses before (not real ones anyway) and so took on the task this year. The boys (men really!) are actually kind of excited about it…maybe it can BECOME a memory around our house, huh? I know what you mean about the presents taking up too much space. My cat can’t get to the front window anymore…and is fairly ticked off by all the boxes to climb over…but I love the way the presents look under the tree and just have to have them there! No little ones in this house though…YET…someday maybe! Can’t wait. Thanks for the early morning update and a glimpse of your days before Christmas. I love the way Christmas SMELLS, don’t you? The baking, the candles, and my mother taught me how to make a luscious orange peel and cinnamon mixture that we have kept on the stove for days…it smells so lovely. Have a blessed day and enjoy your week! And at the beginning of it all, JESUS! Wahoo!

    • 72.1
      Colorado GIrl says:

      Oh…and I forgot to tell you…we have handmade stockings as well. My Aunt had made mine for me when I was little, and when I married, my mother took up the task to make my husband one as well. It was made with “regular” yarn, unlike my wool one, so has STRETCHED over the years. Then when both my boys were born…they of course had to have their own…both of which seem to grow with time! The joke is that soon Grandma and Grandpa will be having to fill them…they just keep stretching! Loved the index cards in your girls! Shh…

  23. 73
    Jen says:

    I come from a family who cherished traditions, but my husband’s family does not. So….I have taken it upon myself to start some of our OWN traditions. This will be our fourth married Christmas and our sixth as a couple. Six Christmases ago, I bought my now-hubby a gift that wasn’t going to be delivered until after Christmas. Not wanting him to not have anything to open, I bought a very special ornament with a hinged lid with just enough space for a note. I left a note telling him what his gift was.

    The next Christmas, we decided it would be HIS turn to put a gift in the ornament for me. Turns out it was my engagement ring!

    We have carried on the tradition every year. This year, it’s my turn to be gifted. We’ve decided that the gifts should be something that we can enjoy TOGETHER as a couple. Memories, memories.

    I love this tradition!

    Merry Christmas!
    Jen

  24. 74
    Karen E says:

    We celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas morning with a coffee cake/birthday cake (including candles). Usually we would sing “Happy Birthday,” but as the kids have gotten older, they’ve gotten more self-conscious about that. The meaning is still with us, however!

    Thanks for the LOL post today, Beth. Your presence in my life via this blog and bible studies has been a marvelous gift from God, as He transforms my heart for Him.

  25. 75

    Well, I asked my daughter the other day and she said… “I guess Snowman Soup and Santa.” I stood there just shocked. “Christmas Communion doesn’t hold a special place in your heart?” She said, not mine. [Pout} But, it does mine. We used to have it at our Wee Baptist Church before moving to the suburban mega-church that is a small city all by itself. The bigger church does not host the intimate gathering reflecting both the birth and death of Christ through communion, but I have begun to host the tradition after the Christmas Eve festivities at my in-loves house. We gather around the little manger scene on the coffee table and read Luke 2. Then we each drink our sip of grape juice and eat our wafer while remembering the sacrifice of Christ that started with him as a tiny babe in a manger.

    Beyond that I think, decorating is about my most favorite thing. I scaled it back this year with only ONE tree. Yes, it’s a messy story about the Christmas after my son passed from this earthly home to his eternal one. It has about half the ornaments on it this year, too.

    This year I watched a movie… and O Lord help us if I didn’t hatch an idea that is sure to raise at least a few eyebrows in my home. I cut out pictures of lavish gifts for each of my children, my husband and our girls’ boyfriends. And, I’ve written or have to still write this evening a Christmas Blessings Letter for each one as well. On top of that I have gotten a “visual” from God for each of them that I’ve translated into an acrylic painting. I’m delighted with the results and praying the others will be as well.

    The pictures will go in with the blessing letter and a modest monetary gift as I will explain that I believe Christmas is not about the amount I’ve spent on the gift, but rather that it comes from the heart – as my stepdaughter so sweetly stated on her Facebook this week.

    So, the pictures represent the “Heart Gift” I would give them if I had much on the monetary side to spare for gifting 10 people whom I love to pieces. Yes, I did say 10… there are actually 12 stockings on my “chimney keep”- One for my hubs and me… One for each of our four living children and my hubs and I in matching dark red with red/white houndstooth cuffs(I bought them brand spankin’ new from Garden Ridge five years ago and traumatized my poor grieving family just in time for Christmas). You see, my family up until that point had the seven sweet memory stockings that I had made by hand stitching and newspaper pattern the year before Scott and I officially made our motley crew a blended family. So, Justin’s sweet stocking remains as it was the last Christmas we spent with him, in the denim of his childhood jeans and with his name written on it in white paint pen. ๐Ÿ™‚ I purchased three new elegant dark red stockings with a gold print pattern on their leg and toe. They are for the three new boys in our life, Meg’s Patrick, Taylor’s Daniel and Britt’s Michael. And one sweet bright red stocking for our little mister, Pogo, the dog that we love so much. And then there is the big red, fuzzy Santa suit looking stocking that is just for JESUS. Yes, Jesus has a stocking at our house which delights to no end the precious young my man my Brittany fancies.

    Well, I better go – my hair is drying fast and my hubs will be home in less than an hour. We are out to the town center for a little CHristmas Shopping of our own. OH how delightful… Christmas is my favorite holiday ever! Love and Merry Christmas Moores, Joneses and Fitzpatricks … And all of Siestaville! Merry Christmas to you all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. 76
    Tara G. says:

    Beth, your Lomonosov pattern is the “Forget Me Not.” I have the complete tea set, too, and they sell luncheon plates (which I bought as a present for myself when my husband was deployed once- I more than deserved them!). You can order them from a company in the States for a reasonable price- I got my set over here in Kyiv 5 years ago and I found upon our return that it’s tripled in price since then. {I love it that the flower symbolizes hope and love.}

    Ok, on with the tradition! One that is fresh on my mind is our advent calendar. We have Noel Piper’s and I love it- the kids really enjoy it, and every year I look forward to hearing them memorize the script word for word and seeing how excited they are to put Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning.

    Another quick thought- my youngest loves Miss Pattycake videos and she got the Christmas one this year- perhaps Annabeth would enjoy them, too.

    • 76.1
      Kristie says:

      We, too, love Miss Pattycake. She has actually become a personal friend, as we’ve helped organize several local concerts with her. My kids are sadly now old enough that while they still love “Mrs. Jean,” they think they’ve outgrown Miss Pattycake’s songs. That doesn’t stop me, though–I still dance around the house singing: In December, we remember Baby Jesus born today! How we love to celebrate this happy, happy Christmas way! We praise You! We praise You, with a hap-hap-hap-hap-happy HALLELU! We praise You, we praise You…singing “Happy Birthday, JESUS!” to You!

      • Jennifer Tricarico says:

        OMIGOODNESS! My Julianna (turned 2 in mid November) is OBSESSED with “Pah-Cack! Pah Cack!” My 8-yr-old son, Vinny, said he sang a miss pattycake song in one of his dreams last week! He is begging Julianna to find a new love. Meanwhile, she is going to be opening the Christmas DVD and Miss P’s child-sized frock in the morning! She will probably refuse to wear anything else for days. Incidentally, both Vinny and Joey were huge fans during their 2nd year as well and I still catch them singing along! God bless Mrs. Jean!

  27. 77
    Cheryl says:

    After church on Christmas Eve, my husband and I sit quietly and watch our four grown children (plus one son-in-law) exchange gifts. Most of them are quite amusing and we are always so touched by the time and effort they each put into finding the perfect remembrance for each other.

    It comforts us to know that our children are true friends and will love and take care of each other long after we are gone.

    And then we all eat shrimp!

  28. 78
    OceanMommy says:

    Normally, we attend Christmas Eve service, come home and stay “dressed” while everyone helps w/ dinner. We have dinner and just have a media free evening. No t.v., no phone, no computer. Just us. This year however, we have one child w/ the flu and the other child recovering. I think we will be doing good to have broth and crackers for our dinner! ๐Ÿ™‚ We are praying for a Christmas miracle big time. The girls don’t know that we have a surprise trip to Disney next week.

    Merry Christmas and thank you for challenging us to follow hard after Jesus!
    Stephanie

  29. 79
    Debbie Sauer says:

    In 1974, McCall’s magazine printed a recipe for Almond Pastry Wreath, and I made it. We ate one for Christmas morning, and shared the other with a friend’s mother. The following year we decided to make enough so that our extended family would all eat the same thing for breakfast on Christmas morning, even if we couldn’t all eat it together. Since then, I’ve made it for family and friends every year. This year I made 28 of them! On my side of the family the deal is that when you are on your own and no longer celebrating Christmas with your parents, you get your own pastry. I can’t easily make more than 28, because the almond paste comes in a 7 lb, container, and that makes 28. One year, my nephew spent Christmas Eve night in the hospital with a concussion, and the next morning the nurse invited him to stay for brunch in the cafeteria. Henry declined, and she said, “You may want to reconsider – you’ve never tasted our brunch.” Henry said, “You’ve never tasted my Aunt Debbie’s pastry, and if I don’t get home my brothers will eat it all!” The Christmas after my divorce, a friend offered to help make it because she was afraid I wouldn’t, but it’s my favorite tradition, and I wouldn’t miss it.

  30. 80
    Kristi Walker says:

    I just LOVE traditions. Something about the sense of family that they bring always makes me just feel warm and fuzzy! (kinda like The Pinks, Beth!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We have two that are my favorites. Our first is that we always buy a personalized ornament and make a family ornament each year. We have the ones with our names and dates on them from our first year of marriage all the way up until this year. We also collect them when we travel. Our whole tree is nothing but personal ornaments and handmade ornaments that just mean the world to me. They’d be second only to my scrapbooks in what I’d grab if the house was burning to the ground! That tree holds as many family memories as anything in our home.

    The other traditions that we have involve food and family. Christmas Eve is the time where our extended families come and we just eat to our heart’s content. We try to have traditional food that is associated with the holidays. It’s always at our home by some stroke of grace and I love that! This is when we gather together and read of Christ’s birth and pray over the coming New Year, as well. It almost always makes me cry.

    Christmas morning is when I get up and make a big Southern breakfast for my sweet family. Eggs, grits, sausage, gravy, biscuits, and homemade jellies. We all love it! Then we head to the living room where each of us open our gifts. No cleaning up until AFTER the presents are opened! We try to open them one at a time and sort of cheer one another on and really get interested in what we each received from one another. (with four kids that doesn’t always work out, but we try!)

    We never go anywhere on Christmas day. For us, that’s about our time together and really just taking that day to enjoy every blessing God has so graciously given us. Family, a warm home, and plenty of everything. It also lessens the stress and really allows us to focus on one another and relax.

    Merry Christmas, Sisters!! May God makes His face to shine upon you and may your hearts be overflowing with HIS grace, love and peace. May this coming year bring us every opportunity to point to Him and bring Him glory. Do you guys ever think things like…2011 could be the year we see His sweet face? Come, Lord Jesus! Love you guys, Kristi ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. 81
    Tina Harrell says:

    Oh Beth – Merry Christmas to you and yours!! I had to crack up by the fact that y’all had not bought a single gift but had eaten twice! The joy of family is beyond words. I’m so glad you are able to have Melissa & Colin back in Texas.

    Our tradition – staying home for Christmas. We will run around like wild people visiting anywhere and everywhere before midnight on the 24th, but then we go home and refuse to come out! There is just something about the 4 of us being home together for a special 24 hour period of time. Anyone is welcome to come see us…and we usually have a big breakfast and lunch. This year our son, who is a firefighter, has to work Christmas day. It will be the first Christmas he wasn’t home, but we are so thankful he is able to serve and protect others.

  32. 82
    Lyndsey says:

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is setting up the “pyramid” Its a german decoration, with multiple levels, showing the nativity scene with a fan like top to it. You burn the candles coming out of the lower levels and the heat from the flames causes the fan panels to spin, spinning the scenes on all of the levels. It was always my job to set up my dad’s he got from his side of the family. When I was 17, I went to Germany with my mom and finally purchased my own little one. Its so beautiful and a neat way of having the nativity scene out, reminding us of the true reason for the season.

    Merry Christmas, Siestas! Love, Lyndsey

  33. 83

    I have so many Christmas traditions from my mom and Grandma. Like putting an almond in a Christmas pudding so that any unmarried girl in the house will get engaged if she gets it. I don’t do that one as my girls are all too young and I’m not ready for that.

    One we’ve started the last few years is we all do a Christmas puzzle around a little table in the living room. We start it after TG and then we all just sit around, drink cocoa and tea and work on it. We don’t always talk but many times we do. Its all very companionable and our busy teenage girls love to stop and while away the time working on it.

    But mostly we sit around after all the baking and shopping and wrapping are done and drink really good coffee out of really special cups and eat goodies. Not just sweets but my mom’s Christmas Cardamon bread. I usually have friends drop by if they want to to just sit and visit and enjoy the day. Anticipation is a good word.

    Christmas is a lot of work, but I get a lot of joy wathcing my family enjoy it and be delighted with it all. The biggest kid of all is my husband. My very favorite Christmas cup is one that my Grandmother gave me. Its a royal Doulton cup and saucer with hand painted poinsettas on it that she was given as a wedding gift. It really makes coffee taste extra good!

    Heidi

  34. 84
    Jennifer says:

    Can you have too many Christmas traditions? Cause I love them!! Each year, in our 9 year marriage, we buy a family ornament and now that we have kids we get them one each year that represents them or something they love. My favorite one so far is “the very hungry catepillar”. We also read the Christmas story, get dressed up for the candelight Christmas Eve service & take a family picture, also go to the service. This year we are going to start making a birthday cake for Jesus and sing “Happy Birthday”. My kids are 3 years old and 4 months old, so I’ve got some time before they think its cheesey ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. 85
    Yolanda says:

    Growing up our family tradition came about from my Mom. She would allow us to each pick one thing from the grocery store that we generally didn’t have the rest of the year. I remember one particular Christmas I asked for pickled okra and my brother asked for Cool-Whip.

    I was raised in a share cropper’s home, and money was tight. But we always had food on the table, this still causes me to smile all these years later. My Mom’s parents were strong German’s and so we didn’t have turkey and ham for our main dish. I grew up having “piggies” which are similar to todays cabbage rolls, only they are not covered with a tomato sauce, they were steamed with equal amounts of water/vinegar. YUMMO!

    • 85.1

      Those piggies sound delicious.

      My father grew up the third of five children and remembers his sister babysitting them while his parents went to town to buy Christmas for them. His momma always had seven courses on the table for noon dinner and the evening meal, and at least three offerings with sides for the breakfast meal.

      It was always sweet to go to her house for holidays. She never failed to have fruit salad, mac and cheese (from scratch), fried chicken, fried cutlets (AKA Chicken Fried Steak in these parts) and well a large variety of every kind of fresh vegetable cooked to perfection. Corn, Green Beans… you name it she made it. YUMMO. She passed when I was five, but I remember well the spread on her table. Not barely a sparing room for the plates of those who ate there. ๐Ÿ™‚ Grandpa worked hard, he had his kids work hard and Daddy said Christmas and Birthdays were always for getting things you needed, not what you wanted. They were paid for the work they did and bought their own “treasures.”

      Somewhere in that mix, my daddy learned to give us good gifts and later told me that his father was a good man, hard worker and taught them well, but his position on everything must be needed or earned left no room for grace. I think your mother knew much grace. What a sweet memory that you got to pick anything you wanted from the grocery… That would open the door to try so many new and wonderful things – wouldn’t it? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  36. 86
    Pamela says:

    I collect tea cups and saucers so you know I love yours. Mine come anywhere but China!

    I am very discouraged this year Beth. We are a blended family and holidays are tough. No matter how much I have tried over the last five years to have traditions, it has not gone well. This year money is so tight the gift giving is minimal (and reallt, thats okay in my book). One thing I have done since we became a family is I have a tin can that has cards in it. Each year we write on one of the cards what we want to gift Jesus with from our life and then we seal it in an envelope. When the next Christmas rolls around, we open our cards from the previous year and dwell on if we gifted Christ well. What each person writes is between them and God. No one else looks at them. I save the cards and the tin is getting full. I pray our girls see how valuable this is from year to year and pray that it is impacting them. It impacts me so!!

    Your post gave me hope Beth. Thank you!!

    Merry CHRISTmas!!

    • 86.1
      Beth says:

      I have several friends who are also in blended families with extra challenges through the holidays. We’ll remember all you guys in prayer and I pray particularly that God will give you glimpses and undeniable glances that the families really are blending. I hope you guys have honest-to-goodness belly laughs together this Christmas.

  37. 87
    Tricia says:

    Merry CHIRSTmas Beth and family. I bet you are overflowing with joy and excitement to have both your girls home! That is a gift. We have several traditions, we always get a family ornament for our tree. We have several Christmas movies we watch and on Christmas eve our two girls get to unwrap a Christmas book. We sit and read it, talk about it and just be a family. We go to see Christmas train displays and always go to our candlelight service at church. We have an advent activity book we read from each night at dinner.

    Wishing you a blessed Christmas and blessed 2011. I am so thankful for you and your ministry. You have impacted my life greatly and you are a vessel for Jesus!

  38. 88
    Deana says:

    Ok I have not had a chance to comment on the beautiful spirals!!! I LOVE office supplies. It is killing me not to get a spiral. I do my memory work as I mow our lawn. Yep, my neighbors more than likely think I have lost my mind. The yard has hills and when I mow the tricky parts I have to sit on my 3×5 cards. The sprial is a little uh… uncomfortable to sit on. I bought some stickers to make my 3x5s cute yesterday.
    Christmas=game night christmas eve with our kids 13,10,6.
    We buy a new game to open christmas eve, play that night and then enjoy it all yr long.
    Merry Christmas Sisters! Daddy loves us lots,
    Made for Him

  39. 89

    I love getting a glimpse into your calm morning. A necessity these days.

    My favorite tradition … on Christmas Eve, my brothers and I along with our families will meet at my parents. You never know who my dad has invited, so it’s always a surprise (usually random people from church or possibly a homeless person. Listen, he would gladly bring a hitchhiker – no, I’m not kidding.) Anyway, it’s the most fun time with food and games. No matter how much my brothers have gotten on my nerves all year (amen?) or how much I have gotten on theirs, we love each other deeply. And, we have the best time on this day. Can’t wait.

    Merry Christmas Beth!

  40. 90
    ULCARDSFAN says:

    Dear Beth,
    I loved this post but my favorite part was the fact that you hadn’t bought one present but had eaten twice!
    I am an only child and all my presents from Santa were left unwrapped for me to find on Christmas morning. My husband has four sisters and his parents left their presents from Santa unwrapped under the tree also. One year his sister got my husband’s “Quick Draw McGraw”. I am not sure how my mother in law remedied that but Ernie ended up with Quick Draw.
    Have a blessed Christmas. Looking forward to scripture memory again with my Siestas in 2011!

    Love, Linda

  41. 91
    Cathy S. says:

    We do a progressive dinner a few nights before Christmas with my side of the family. We open the presents from that family at their house so it spreads out the gift giving and things aren’t such a frenzy. It’s tonight as a matter of fact, and the main course is at my house. Better go check on the Lasagna. Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

  42. 92
    Leigh says:

    I appreciate your attachment to your coffee cup. I am the only coffee drinker in our home although my 17 year old has developed an appreciation for my all-time fave – Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha. I am attached to my one cup. Daily I use it, clean it and tenderly put it in its place for the next morning. I love the way the handle fits in my hand. I had a mug I used for years on end until I accidentally dropped it one cold morning out with my dogs. I couldn’t find a replacement anywhere. Thankfully, I got up the courage to ask my mother to give me one of hers that was a match to mine. It has different artwork but is otherwise the same.

    As far as Christmas traditions, we have a live tree at my husband’s insistence. Hate the mess. Love the smell. Over the years, the most meaningful tradition has become our advent calendar. I got it 15 years ago and paid what seemed a fortune at the time ($25) to my husband’s horror. We were just married, blending our families and poor as could be. Now, I think he values the calendar more than anyone. It is a tapestry Nativity scene where characters and scenery are put on daily from December 1st till Christmas. With the daily additions of shepherds, animals, wise men, stars and, finally, Joesph, Mary and baby Jesus, we ponder the true meaning of Christmas. The wall hanging has come off its dowel multiple times and Greg, my dear man, gently repairs it treating the calendar as if it is a precious work of art worth thousands. In our hearts, it is worth so much more. Tomorrow our precious daughter will put on baby Jesus to complete the 2010 advent calendar. Another Christmas come and gone. To God alone be the glory.

  43. 93
    Becky Bell says:

    Since our kids both have December birthdays- and now we have our first grandbaby girl born Dec 7th (Charlotte Rebecca!!), Christmas and birthdays are all wrapped together for us. I love to bake, but around Christmas it seems like there’s no time to do much so it has become a tradition to have slice and bake sugar cookies on the night we go get our Christmas tree – which of course always has to be the coldest night of the month. The cookies are accompanied by chocolate milk for my husband and egg nog (called “egg knock” by our son)for the rest of us. Also it’s usually one of the first nights to listen to Christmas music so it feels like the real beginning of the season.
    Love you all!

  44. 94
    Stephanie W says:

    Mama Beth girl, ain’t no haulin’ out the bunched up Christmas paper to the curb in those sweet little pink feet covers! I’ve gotta have me some soles on mine!

    Yes, I drink both too. Even put some cream in my hot tea!

    I’m feelin’ kinda spunky…my proper english is horrible!
    **GRIN**

    All month long I read a wonderful book, The Christmas Story by Patricia A. Pingry to the kids. We have four small ones, ages 5, 4 and 2. (Plus I have two sweet daycare darlin’ age 4 and 2 that I love plantin’ seeds in)
    Christmas morning my husband gathers all ours around his chair and reads THE Christmas story straight out of the word. I cherish that book, that man and those sweet ears listening. Thank you Jesus, for loving me more than enough!

  45. 95
    Eposi says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Ms Beth, Amanda, Melissa, LPM staff, and all my sisters!

  46. 96
    Evie says:

    Hi Beth, love the pinks! My family tradition is a huge task and one that I have never ventured to undertake; and that is making Tamales for Christmas. That is until this year. One of my best friends mom went to be with the Lord yesterday which served as a confirmation to make the most memorable memories with mom, who lives with me and is 84 y.o.

    Growing up I saw her pour her heart into this task knowing that when the time came to deliver the “goods” to ALL (14 houses) of our neighbors she would use this opportinity to share with them what our Great Lord had done that year.

    This year is my trial year making it memorable for both us is my main goal but who knows maybe I’ll master this and soon will go out and minister in my neighborhood too; with a plate full of tamales ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!

    Wishing you and all the siestas the best Christmas ever.

  47. 97
    Siesta Stephanie says:

    Merry Christmas Mamma Beth and my sisters Amanda and Melissa

    You now it sounds nice saying that I never had sisters and really wanted them I have a dear brother and God blessed me with 3 girls. As they grow my oldest 20, they are becoming more than just my little girls. Looks like you had a wonderful morning. I work at a hospital so I had to work today but tomorrow is a home day with family.
    Merry Christmas eve and Day to all.

    Love and Blessings Siesta Stephanie from Ky

  48. 98
    Church Lady says:

    The Christmas tradition around our house is COOKIES!! I can’t tell you how many batches of cookies I have made this Christmas. We give them as gifts to teachers, coworkers, friends, you name it. If I’m not making cookies…it doesn’t feel right. This year my husband and I indulged and got ourselves a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, glory be!!
    Another tradition that my husband had to insist on after we had children was that we be home all day for Christmas. This one was very hard on me. I come from a family that visited all day on Christmas. Now after 12 years it has become a wonderful tradition.

    Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family, Miss Bibby!!

    Merry CHRISTmas Siestaville!!

  49. 99
    Leslie says:

    Hey friend! I’ve missed you! When you took your blogging break, I took one too and I’m just now catching up on everything! So excited about SSMT for 2011 – just want you to know three of us who met for the very first time at the Houston event have kept up with each other throughout 2010, sharing our verses, prayer requests and hearts! What a gift! I tried to get a spiral, but it looks like it’s back ordered! Wow! Also, congrats on getting your baby girl back in Texas! Meanwhile, my baby girl is moving to Texas! She just graduated from college (a newly-minted RN) and is moving to the Fort Worth area so her sweet hubby can attend seminary! To squish as much family time as possible into this holiday, we are having a non-traditional, but very fun, getaway to Crested Butte – making lifetime memories! Blessings to you and your sweet crew, Beth!

  50. 100
    Annette says:

    Merry Christmas!

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