Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

A Christmas Hangover 12/29/2009

Filed under: Christmas,gift,gifts,Hangover,holidays,Jesus,manger,mayhem,mommas,mothers,Traditions — Vickey Banks @ 9:57 am

 

Can you have a hangover if you don’t drink alcohol? Because I think that’s what I had the day after Christmas. Yeah, A Christmas Hangover, that’s what I’m calling it. I woke up at 1:00 in the afternoon!!!

I can hear all you mommas of young children now, groaning with glee at the mere thought of sleeping past 8 a.m., much less past noon. Mothers everywhere will attest to the fact that somewhere along the way, Christmas has become a lot of work for us. The shopping for food and presents, decorating, wrapping, goodie preparation, gift delivering, party hosting and attending, Christmas card crafting, stocking stuffing, and endless attention to creating and carrying out traditions…makes you tired again just thinking about it, doesn’t it?!

Even when we’re trying hard to focus on the manger, it’s easy to be worn out, if not sidetracked, by the mayhem. So, what’s a momma to do? Here’s my personal Christmas List for next year:
  
1.     Start early.
2.     Keep it simple.
3.     Thank God everyday for the gift of Jesus.

Please feel free to remind me of what I just wrote, in case I start to get caught up in the fog of it all. I’d hate to miss seeing Jesus through the haze of activity. After all, He is the gift we’re supposed to be celebrating.

Merry CHRISTmas,
Vickey


Really Relating 
How do you keep the mayhem to a minimum during the holidays?
Please, do share your tips with the rest of us!

 

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! 12/24/2009

Filed under: Christmas,Christmas Tree,Decorating,Memories,Story,Tradition,Traditions,Tree — Vickey Banks @ 1:52 pm
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
   
Decorating our family Christmas tree has long been a favored Christmas tradition in our house.  I loved the way my son explained why when he was just six years old, “I like to hear the memories.” he sweetly said.
  
I knew exactly what he meant then, and I still feel the same way over a decade later. Every year, when I lift the lids off the boxes of ornaments, I could swear that I hear them talk! Even if carefully holding them in my hands didn’t prompt a memory, each ornament has a written description of who or where it came from, as well as what year we added it to our eclectic collection. When we carefully unwrap them, we remember “their story” and are transported back in time.
  
As I hold the tiny teddy bear sitting in the rocking chair, a smile spreads across my face as I remember my first Christmas as a mommy. Construction paper chains and pinecones piled high with glitter also flood my heart with memories of my chubby cheeked children dancing about my feet. Other handmade creations take me back to sitting side-by-side friends and family, laughing hard as we painted, sewed, cut and pasted our own masterpieces. And, as over half of the ornaments are from my Mom, I cannot help but be touched by the realization that her hands once lovingly chose and wrapped them with us in mind. I lightly kissed each of hers before prominently placing them on the tree this year.
  
And the trips we’ve taken! There are seashells, starfish, and a sailboat, all testifying to sun-kissed times at the ocean. Miniatures of the Lincoln Memorial, St. Louis Arch, Eifel Tower, and even a Pinocchio from Italy take me back to places we’ve played.
  
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…you do make my heart smile. Thank you for the memories.
  
Really Relating 
What is your favorite Christmas tradition is and why. I can’t wait to hear!
 

Fighting Mad 12/11/2009

Filed under: Cancer,Christmas,Jesus,Passionately Pursued,Satan — Vickey Banks @ 11:55 am
I knew I was getting sick when I went to bed Monday. Drainage in the throat, head clogged up, couldn’t breathe, etc. By morning, I felt I’d been pummeled in a prize fight. Since I’m dealing with my Dad’s Cancer and Christmas – the most UNnormal of situations, I dragged my heavy head to the Doctor.
  
Explaining that although I was clearly contagious, the Dr. refused to write me a prescription. She said it was TOO EARLY in the stage of my cold and it wouldn’t help yet! That is when I lost it. Seriously. I couldn’t quit crying, blubbering on about not being able to expose my Dad, blah, blah, blah. Talk about embarrassing. I’ve dealt with chronic pain every day of my life for years. Fought grief and it’s accompanying depression with a maniacal vengeance. Painted a smile on my face when I wanted to drop kick my Father’s Cancer and Chemo. But…I cried because the Doctor wouldn’t give me a Z-pack!
  
Confident the Dr. surely thought I was an absolute nut case (and that I probably was!), I was hanging my head all the way home. Defeat written all over me. That’s when I remembered something Jesus said,
  
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 
      Jesus, John 10:10
   
Normally, a hopeless romantic like me would be flattered over the idea of being fought over…but not like this! Thinking about Satan coming after my family and I immediately changed my mood. I got mad. I popped up my hanging head and said aloud in my car, ”Leave me alone! You can’t have me!” 

Call me certifiably crazy, I don’t care. But know this: you too are being passionately pursued. God has a full and abundant life planned for you, one where there is hope even in the midst of madness. But slimy Satan has something far more sinister in mind. Let’s keep our guard up and our fighting gloves on. Let’s not let him take the life that is rightfully ours.
  
Really Relating
How is Satan messing with you? What has helped you to fight back?