If you missed this week’s Thrifted or Grifted results, be sure to check them out! It was close!

And now for:

five days five ways | 5 Things Thursday

Today’s theme is (what else?):

big wonder

I would love it if you would link up (or leave comments about) 5 Christmas-related ideas (from your own family traditions, projects, Pinterest inspiration, cyberspace, or anywhere else) but if you’d rather just link up 5 pieces of randomness or a different theme, I’m totally fine with that as well.

The “rules”:

  • Please link up to your specific “5 Things” post rather than your blog’s homepage, and

  • Please place the Five Things Thursday button (left sidebar) somewhere on your page or post so that others can join in the fun.

That’s it!

Happy list-making! : )

For me, Christmas is:

1. The chance to get at chores that have been lurking in the back of my mind, guilting me for, well, months.

IMG_0152 (I’m usually pretty decent about cleaning out/organizing my refrigerator every month 1/2 or so, but there was that one time the state of my refrigerator literally drove my grandmother to tear it apart and scour it from top to bottom in a flurry of disgust and foul language…mostly because she’s prone to flurries of disgust and foul language, but the fridge was not the cleanest it had ever been…yeesh).

2. The chance to enjoy more time with these crazy bat-boys…


…and this sweetness:


She was fed up with Mama trying to get her to hold still long enough for a clear picture…


…until big brother came along to make her smile like only he can.

3. Gingerbread houses!


(I’ll have an update with the finished products soon!)

4. Unexpected acts of generosity and kindness:


I have to say it: with every Christmas that goes by, I get less and less enamored with the concept of giving/getting gifts. Not because I don’t enjoy giving to others. Or getting things.

I do.

But when I find myself racking my brain for something…anything to buy one of my American friends or family members who already has everything he/she could want or need, or realizing that I’m in the same no-needs boat, I wonder what it’s all about anyway.

I know the answer.

It’s all about Jesus.

Or it should be anyway.

I’m still struggling with finding the balance between honoring family traditions/showing people that I appreciate and love them and keeping the focus 100% on the tiny baby in the manger.

But whenever I encounter something unexpected—like the gift bag in that picture above (filled with glitter nail polish and a Chili’s gift card) that one of my fitness class participants brought for each of her instructors, or…


…the laundry shelf I’ve been dreading organizing because it was hard/unwieldy to reach, only to discover that my sweet hubby had tidied it for me without my asking…

…THEN I see how God can still use our traditions—however misguided or excessive they can become—as examples of Jesus’ love.

5. Jesus



Because the tiny baby in the hay didn’t stay tiny.

Because He “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52)

Because, when he was grown, he healed so many of their earthly afflictions.

Because of his bold, uncompromising declaration that, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Because even though his declaration made him lose his favor with man, he continued to balance mercy, love, and truth.

Because when those he taught, healed, and loved betrayed him and sentenced him to a brutal death on the cross, he drew a shuddering breath full of pain to plead, ““Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23;34).

Because without Christmas—the birth of my Savior—I would still be hopelessly lost in my sin, separated for eternity from my Heavenly Father.

Because Jesus really is the reason for this wonderful season.

Merry Christmas, my friends! May God bless you and yours this Christmas!

Your turn…


  1. this is wonderful. i love your blog, and follow you on bloglovin! Love that curly hair(i’m a fellow curly-er). 🙂

  2. I am just now finding and reading this post, and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for the reminder of the meaning of Christmas and how we would all be without it.

  3. i am dying over here!!!!! i just looked at your home and had a picture of your home in my pinterest- your daughter’s room!!!! new follower now!

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