Monday, December 17, 2007

Journal your Christmas, Day 12

How many of you have wonderful childhood memories of your Christmas past? I know I have many and have shared them with you today. Journaling: I have many fond memories of my childhood Christmases. On Christmas Eve we
would visit friends of my parents and then head home and prepare for Santa’s
arrival. We would receive new pj’s and go off to bed in anticipation of the next

Christmas morning we would awake early full of excitement. We always began
with our stocking and then our gifts from Santa. Mom would prepare a big
breakfast and we would head off to church.

Lunch was always at my Grandma and Grandpa Laurens’ house. All of the cousins
would come to visit and we would play and open gifts.

Christmas dinner was always hosted by Auntie Linda and Uncle Fonce. Again, all
of the family was together for an evening of celebration.

Today Christmas is pretty much the same. Some of the people are no longer with us,
Auntie Linda and family is in Fla. and the children are now grown with their own
families, but the holiday remains the same. Time spent with family, children excited
about Santa and friends coming together to celebrate all of the blessings in their lives.

Take a few minutes today and bring back the memories of your Christmas past.

Journal your Christmas, Day 11

Real...Artifical... colored lights...white lights??? Today we were asked to journal about our Christmas tree. Here is my journaling: Growing up, we always had a real Christmas tree.
I vowed that I would never have an artificial tree.
I also used to decorate my tree to perfection. All
white lights, perfectly matched ornaments and hours
placing each decoration so my tree looked like it
belonged in a store window display.

Well after many years of cleaning up the messy pine
Needles and the tree dying three days after we put it
up, I decided to get an artificial tree. No longer are
there beautiful glass bulbs and Lenox ornaments
hanging from the branches, they have been replaced
with plastic balls and handmade ornaments that the
kids have made for us. Many ornaments are clustered
together and there are bare patches as well. This year
we even have a few sets of lights that are out, but I do
not let it bother me.

Instead, I now see a beautiful tree that is decorated by
the loving hands of six children who still see the magic
in the lights, and who’s heart is full of joy when they
see their ornaments hanging on the tree. That
certainly is much better than having a designer tree!

So, do you have a designer tree or a tree filled with love?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hurry Santa, I am too tired to wait!!

Journal Your Christmas, Day 10

Do you enjoy wrapping?? I know I don't. Today's journaling was all about gift wrapping along with the sample of paper we will be using.

Journaling reads: I am not a procrastinator by nature, but when it comes to wrapping gifts
I am guilty.

I do love to buy beautiful gift wrap with matching ribbon. I do enjoy
putting care and creativity into each package. However, I do not like the
fact that it is torn off in a matter of seconds and most time discarded.

Most gifts I take the time and attention to detail to make the package look
beautiful. My children’s Christmas gifts, I just quickly wrap them, no ribbon,
no tag, just their name written in sharpie.

I do however, love gift bags. There are so many beautiful designs with
coordinating tissue paper and ribbon. What is wonderful about a gift bag,
is that it seems to be used again and again. It is like receiving two gifts.

Journal Your Christmas, Day 9

Today I had to write down our holiday traditions. So here they are: We always attend the light parade in Putnam, Ct. The girls shine on stage at the annual dance gala. Our annual baking day on the 23rd of December. Our Christmas Eve celebration and our gift to the giving tree at church.

What are your holiday traditions? Take a minute and write them down, or start a new tradition this year.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yesterday was the annual Bouche School of Dance, Christmas Gala. This year the monies raised will be donated to the Molly Bisch foundation. Anna and Eda danced to Frosty the Snowman, and Ingrid to Nuttin' for Christmas. They were little stars shining bright on stage. The best part of the day was a visit from Santa!

Journal your Christmas, Day 8

Every where you look, there are definitely signs of the season. It may be a light display, a pointsettia and the obvious snow. What reminds you of the holiday season? In my house it is the Santa hat. They come out with the decorating of the tree and the kids wear them every where. Of course Ryan would not be caught dead wearing one, and as a matter of fact...don't know if I would either. Have fun looking for your sign of the season!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Journal Your CHristmas, Day 7

Today's entry was quick and fun. Just a to do list. Some of you know that at times I can be on the verge of OCD, so me planning and completing my Christmas shopping shouldn't surprise you. Journaling: With a large family, it is essential that my holiday
countdown begins mid September. Once I have
recovered from school shopping it is time to focus
on getting items that are on the annual wish lists,
and preparing for the holiday season.

I always set a dollar amount per child, and try
to purchase as many items as possible and put them
on layaway. This way I pay $50 a week and the
financial burden is not so bad, and the items are
picked up and paid for by the first week of December.
Internet shopping is an absolute dream for this gal,
especially when they throw in free shipping.

Then the drawn out chore of wrapping begins! I am
normally not a procrastinator, but when it comes to
wrapping this is my least favorite chore.

On December 23, it is our annual baking day. The kids
and I bake for 12 hours that day in preparation for
Christmas Eve. Cookies, pies and cakes are just a few
of the items we bake. Then we add them to the holiday
gift baskets for our friends and family to enjoy.

When Christmas Eve arrives I cook all morning in
preparation for our guests. When they finally arrive
I am able to enjoy the fruits of my labor!

Journal Your Christmas, Day 6

Today we had to remember two different tyes of good, one bad. Good Christmases come every year...but there was one very bad Christmas!!


I have been truly blessed. I can remember most of my
Christmases being perfect. The day spent with family
and friends, surrounded by the sights and sounds of
the holiday. My children delighted in the fact that
Santa was good to them, even though at times they
were naughty. On occasion a beautiful freshly fallen
snow on the ground and the peace and joy of the
season in our hearts.

There was however, one bad Christmas in 1998. The
boys and I returned from early mass on Christmas
eve to find Daddy sick with the flu. He stayed in bed,
while I entertained guests. No sooner did they leave
and Ryan got sick. I awoke the next morning
excited to open the presents only to find Christopher
sick along with Daddy and Ryan. No presents were
opened, no excitement or joy…just continuous vomiting!
I was so angry and disappointed…I ripped the ornaments
off the tree, and threw it off the balcony. I packed up
all the ornaments and had everything cleaned up by
noon. Good thing, because I then got sick and my little
5 month old Alec. Our whole family was sick with the flu
for 3 days. It was the worst Christmas ever!!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Journal Your Christmas, Day 5

Today's topic, advent. As a little girl I had an advent calendar and loved opening the little doors to see the surprise inside. As an adult, the surprise is inside of me all year long.

Advent is a very special time
In the church year. It is the
Preparation and anticipation
of the birth of Jesus

In the Catholic faith we have
a wreath that has three purple
and one pink candle surrounding
a white candle that is in the center.
The purple Candles symbolize faithful
expectation, and the pink candle
joy and hope.

On the First Sunday a purple candle
is Lit. On successive Sundays, the
second purple candle is lit, and Then
the pink and lastly the Third violet.
This is meant to represent God’s eternity.

On Christmas Eve we light the center
candle, or the Christ candle to represent
our Savior’s birth.

I love this time of year, because it reminds
me of when I was a little girl filled with
such hope. Ingrid shares this same joy,
and has made her own advent wreath to
celebrate this time of wonder.

Journal Your Christmas, Day 4

Today we were asked to journal what we thought was the perfect Christmas. I decided to take one from my childhood and now as an adult. The journaling reads: As a child, my idea of the perfect Christmas
was receiving all that was on my wish list.
Toys, toys and more toys were a top priority.
This year (1973) I got my dream gift…a
Barbie Townhouse. I was so thrilled.

I loved to receive new pajamas each Christmas
Eve and loved putting them on to go to bed to
dream about Santa. I looked forward to
spending the day with my cousins and having
fun just being together.

What I did not realize was this would be the
last year that I would have a “perfect” family
to share Christmas. In the Spring my parents
would divorce and we would spend the rest of
our Christmases as two separate families.

As an adult, my perfect Christmas is being
surrounded by family and friends. Everyone
gathering at my home on Christmas Eve and
enjoying the spirit of the season. The kids
excited and hearts filled with joy. The sound
of laughter and the feeling of love.

When my guests leave, I prepare for the arrival
of Santa and then head off to midnight mass alone.
As I sit in the home of Jesus, he enters my heart
and I am at peace. I enjoy the sounds of the trio
of opera singers and listen to the true word. As
I leave the snow is falling and the night is so still.

My children awake early on Christmas morning,
and their sounds of laughter echo through my
home and I know that Christmas day has arrived.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Journal your Christmas, Day 3

I love to receive Christmas cards!! Every day during the holiday season I stalk the mailman in anticipation of finding a card in the mailbox. Most of you receive my holiday card and letter and I just thought I would share with you, the process of making it to your home.

The Lindstrom annual newsletter and photo
Christmas card is quite an undertaking. It is
a difficult task to get six children prepared
for the photo session. There is always someone
who is not happy and just will not cooperate.
have you ever tried to find one photo where
everyone looks good?? Not easy!

Not to mention the creativity of writing the
letter. It is difficult to try to fit a year into
a few short paragraphs. I keep it positive and
wonder what people think when they read
it…am I bragging, does anything bad ever
happen or worse…who cares!

The task of addressing and stamping 125 cards
Is no easy feat, and making sure they get mailed
before Christmas can make you crazy!

So why do I do it?? I do it because numerous
people have told me they look forward to
receiving my card each year and can not
wait to see how the children have grown.

I do it because my family brings me great joy
and I want to share that same joy with my
friends and family!

Enjoy this year’s card tucked inside the envelope

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Journal Your Christmas, December 2

What is your ideal winter weather?? Today we were asked to journal about our perfect Christmas weather. I want to let it snow, and here is why...Growing up in New England I have been fortunate
to enjoy the beauty and delight of the winter months.

As a little girl, I absolutely loved the snow and cold. My mother would bundle me up in a snow suit and I would spend hours outside sledding, making snow angels and ice skating. Once I had my fill of the cold, I would come inside and Mom always had hot cocoa with marshmallows waiting for me.

As an adult, I love the hours before a snowfall. There is a crispness in the air and a quite calm that always seems to come before the flakes start to fall.

I love to take a walk during a snowstorm at night. The earth is so still and the snowflakes sparkle like diamonds in the moonlight. I love to hear the snow crunch under my boots as I make the first prints in the freshly fallen snow.

My ideal Christmas would be for the snow to start to fall during Midnight Mass. I would love to walk out and see God’s great beauty all around me in the stillness
of the night.

Think about you wish for a white Christmas?? As I write this we are experiencing the first snow fall, and it is absolutely magical.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Promise

I promise to journal my Christmas. Trying each day to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper for all to read.

I promise to slow down and enjoy the magic of Christmas. I want to take in the sights and sounds of the holidays through the eyes of my children.

I hope that some day others will look at this journal and know the joy and love that my family has given to me.