Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink’s 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We’re so excited you’ve decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions, and memories over the next month. You as our reader have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want to give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you’ll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards!
One of the great things about living in New England is the steady march of the seasons. The changing natural world hurries us along the calendar. At the end of our all-too-brief summer is officially Autumn. Here’s what my backyard looks like as I write this.
I think we could easily rename this season Harvest. As gardens small and large are giving up the last of their fruits and many animals scurry to store up enough food for winter, the trees harvest the sugars out of their green foliage, leaving behind the bold colors of fall. We’re all running around trying to collect all of the goodness. There are county fairs, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, and cold nights.
Halloween is the peak, the moment when we know the season is about to turn and winter is ahead.
When December finally comes it’s time to get cozy and await the joy of Christmas, storing up as much cheer as possible to get through the dark and cold of winter.
I love this time of year. Crafting, baking, gift planning, decorating… all of it enhances the joy of the season for me. Making things cheery and bright is a huge part of both Thanksgiving and Christmas for me. Even when the results are less than stellar. Not sure what I was thinking with the burlap and box Advent wreath here.
I would like to make gifts instead of buy, but I know how it goes. I will get some clever idea off Pinterest, buy all the supplies, and then fail to have enough time to get them done. I generally do well with DIY decoration.
One of the secrets of making this season joyful is to know your limits. We try not to overdo it by saying yes to too much and end up so busy we completely miss the point of the Christmas season.
We host Thanksgiving at our house, but drive to my parents’ for Christmas. They’re only thirty minutes away (we New Englanders measure distance in drive time) so we have Christmas morning to ourselves. We all empty our stockings, but save the presents for Grandma’s. When we arrive the house is usually filled with the good smells of Christmas dinner and the adults sit down to watch the kids surround us with a pile of wrapping paper as they tear into their gifts.
If the dates fall right, our family often has a whole week together before we have to go back to work. This time is golden, free of pressure or obligation, we can enjoy each day as it comes. January is a downer, I can’t lie. It’s cold (really, seriously cold,) dark, and dreary. After the bright lights and celebration it’s a long winter until the hope and warmth of Spring.
Some might question all the effort we put into the celebration of what’s essentially a pagan holiday with a Christian translation. They might point out that Christmas has become so commercial it’s barely recognizable. But I think they’re missing the point. Christmas is the chance to reach out to those that might not normally want to hear about Christ. People know the basics, they’ve seen the imagery, what a great opportunity to share the actual Gospel. It’s also the chance to connect with friends and family in a meaningful way. For me, Christmas is the time to serve others, love one another, and delight in God’s Providence.
I’d love to hear what Christmas is for you. Let me know in the comments how you feel about the season and what your traditions are. And, don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour! Tomorrow’s stop is here with Deborah and Linda. You can click on a day below or go to http://mountainbrookink.com/blog/ to see more.
November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth
Stop #1: October 28 – Kimberly Rose Johnson
Stop #2: October 29 – Christina Coryell
Stop #3: October 30 – Mary Davis
Stop #4: October 31 – Angela Ruth Strong
Stop #5: November 1 – Susan Page Davis
Stop #6: November 2 – Amy K. Rognlie
Stop #7: November 3 – Gayla K. Hiss
Stop #8: November 4 – Christa MacDonald
Stop #9: November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth
Stop #10: November 6 – Richard Spillman
Stop #11: November 7 – Annette M. Irby
Stop #12: November 8 – Miralee Ferrell
Stop #13: November 9 – Jeanette-Marie Mirich
Stop #14: November 10 – Anna Zogg
Stop #15: November 11 – Teresa H. Morgan
Stop #16: November 12 – Kelsey Norman
Stop #17: November 13 – Barbara J. Scott
Stop #18: November 14 – Patricia Lee
Stop #19: November 15 – Linda Thompson
Stop #20: November 16 – Janalyn Voigt
Stop #21: November 17 – Cynthia Herron
Stop #22: November 18 – Trish Perry
Stop #23: November 19 – Heather L.L. Fitzgerald
Stop #24: November 20 – Sara Davison
Stop #25: November 21 – Taylor Bennett