Emmanuel, God With Us

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What a night!  Before I go any further into detail, here is my December 24th favorite:

What is your favorite Christmas carol?  My favorite Christmas carol is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”  Now I will continue with my story.  I have been battling a cold for two weeks but was offered an opportunity to sing at my church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service.  I have been praying for God to bring along such opportunities so I said yes and trusted that He would do the rest.  I did not talk all day today and babied my throat.  I was very nervous, but I kept praying and reminding myself for Whom I was singing.  When the time came, I sang “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”  I was so worried about my throat and the sound of my voice, and yet everything was fine.  I continue to learn this lesson: When one’s heart is in the right place, everything else will fall into the right place.

Stay merry readers!  Only 1 more day until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“O come O come Immanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice, Rejoice, Immanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.”

Merry SNLmas

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Give it on up for Homelessville!  If this line is familiar to you, chances are you have seen the hilarious Saturday Night Live Christmas special.  Before I give too much away, let me introduce my December 23rd favorite:

What is your favorite holiday TV special?  The Saturday Night Live Christmas special.  I love the holiday season but understand that it can be quite stressful.  Laughter is the perfect medicine for such an ailment.  My prescription is Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Will Ferell, and a pinch of Adam Sandler and Justin Timberlake.  Not only do I enjoy the variety of talent in the special, but Justin Timberlake’s “Homelessville” sketch is my favorite SNL sketch.  How many times do you hear the lyrics of contemporary songs changed to soup references?  Only Justin Timberlake can pull it off with equal parts comedy and vocal skill.  Instead of jabbering on and on, I will end with the encouragement to take a break and laugh.

Stay merry readers!  Only 2 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Christmas isn’t about Santa kicking a cup of soup in the croutons.  It’s about giving.”  – Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live

 

Prairie Christmas

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I am sitting in the TV room with my mom catching up on Christmas movies and specials, and I can’t help but shed a tear.  Christmas is coming to an end.  I hate that the best time of year has to end, but I suppose it must.  Moving on to happier thoughts, here is my December 22nd favorite:

What is your favorite holiday TV episode?  Back in my childhood days, I would put my hair in two braids and skip around with a pretend lunch pail.  I even attached two belts to a chair and created my own buckboard (a.k.a. a wagon).  I was practically Laura Ingalls, minus Almanzo Wilder.  Years later and I am still watching Little House on the Prairie and dreaming of such a life.  After all that, it is easy to deduce what TV show my favorite holiday TV episode comes from.  The episode title is “A Christmas They Never Forgot.”  The synopsis is as follows: The Ingalls, Kendall, and Wilder families are gathered for Christmas along with Hester Sue.  They get snowed in at the Ingalls homestead and spend the night reliving memories from Christmases past.  The episode is charming and wholesome, as is expected from the beloved show; it also reveals unknown details about Almanzo Wilder, Caroline Ingalls, and Hester Sue.  Diehard fans are given an opportunity to connect on an even deeper level with the characters.  If you are an LHOTP fan and crave nostalgia, this is the episode for you.

Stay merry readers!  Only 3 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Nostalgia is a powerful feeling; It can drown out anything.”  – Terrence Malick

A Sprinkle of Nutmeg

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I am still getting over my cold therefore my diet has consisted of mostly beverages over the past two weeks.  Since I have been spending the majority of my time sipping cranberry juice, ginger ale, and peppermint tea, why not discuss beverages?  Here is my December 21st favorite:

What is your favorite holiday beverage?  I hate to be cliche, but my heart belongs to the nog.  Contrary to the title of this blog post, I do not actually put nutmeg, or cinnamon, on my eggnog.  I just fill up a Christmas mug and drink to my heart’s content.  Actually, I typically drink a mug of eggnog and eat a slice of my grandma’s chocolate bread on Christmas morning.  Breakfast of champions!  It is a nice segue into new year resolutions.  Dear God, please don’t let this eggnog and bread affect my current weight in a negative way.  Amen.

Stay merry readers!  Only 4 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

Blanche Devereaux: “Hey, I think we’d get along great. I got a feeling you’re a wild woman.”

Rose Nylund: “Oh, you bet I am! I eat raw cookie dough. And occasionally, I run through the sprinklers and don’t wear a bathing cap. And at Christmas, I’ve been known to put away more than one eggnog.”

– Golden Girls

 

 

 

No Place Like Home

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During the holidays, there is much to see: Christmas lights, family and friends, holiday shows, store displays, etc.  But, in my mind and heart, there is nowhere better to be than safe and snug within one’s own home.  Here is my December 20th favorite:

Where is your favorite place to be at Christmastime?  I could say my house and be done, but that is not my full answer.  I told my tale of Christmases past involving a Christmas tree farm, but this post revolves around the results.  It feels good to complete the process of cutting down a tree, driving it all the way home, grooming it, maneuvering it into the house, setting it up, watering it, and decorating it.  Why not take a step back and admire the finished product, a question that brings me back to my main point.  My favorite place to be at Christmastime is snuggled up on my living room couch admiring the glow of the Christmas tree lights, preferably at night.  Another positive side effect is how beautiful the other decorations look bathed in the glow of the colorful lights.  In the case that my family does not purchase a tree, I am satisfied with laying on the living room couch and staring at the nativity scene.  Each character has a unique, meaningful story, and each story centers around one being: Jesus, the Reason for the season.  What a way to spend the day!

Stay tuned for my favorite ornament and favorite decoration.  Yes, those are two different things.

Stay merry readers!  Only 5 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Let there be light.”  – Genesis 1:3

Seasonal Smells

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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!!!  Today’s post is all about the senses, specifically smell.  Here is my December 19th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday scent?  This is an easy answer: Evergreen (a.k.a Christmas trees).  I don’t think it has to do with the fact that Christmas trees are a common family tradition.  When I think of Christmas, I think of winter and walking through snow therefore I like the the scent of evergreen because it reminds me of the picturesque outdoor scene in my head.

Discussing Christmas trees has reminded me of a childhood memory, and I have decided to share that memory with you as a bonus.  My family did not participate in the Christmas tree tradition until we moved to Texas.  A few years after our move, a couple from our church invited us to accompany them on their annual Christmas tree farm trip.  The drive took 1-2 hours, but it was well worth it.  The entire day consisted of riding in a trailer, picking and cutting down a Christmas tree, spinning on a tire swing hung from a tree, eating hot dogs cooked over an open flame, and drinking hot cocoa.  Even though we only repeated the experience twice, it is something I will never forget.  I am holding those memories especially close this year because my family does not have a tree.

Stay merry readers!  Only 6 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Not only green when summer’s here,
But also when it’s cold and drear.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,
Thy leaves are so unchanging!”  – “O Christmas Tree”

Faith in the Unseen

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This post is all about faith.  Leave now if you are not ready to receive such a message.  Here is my December 17th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday quote?  My favorite holiday quote is from the movie “Polar Express”: “…sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”  Based on personal observation, people today put more emphasis on believing in what can be seen than what cannot be seen.  Why is that so?  I can answer this because it is true for myself: It is easier to mentally process something that can be seen and physically touched.  Putting faith in something invisible means giving up control, and that is not something our human nature takes to easily.  This world is not giving me much to put my faith in.  Why not give up control and believe there is something beyond the physical and visible?

Stay merry readers!  Only 8 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“…sometime the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”  – “Polar Express”

Festive Attire

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Today’s post is all about looking festive for the holiday season.  This time of the year should cause all of us to look at the condition of our heart.  Once the results are what they should be, the exterior should match the interior.  If we feel joyous on the inside, why not look composed and confident on the outside?  Here is my December 16th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday article of clothing or accessory?  My favorite holiday accessory is my snowflake earrings.  They are beautiful and put me in the Christmas spirit.  Their clean silver and white color combo matches any outfit I wear and adds a hint of sparkle.

I have not gotten into ugly Christmas sweaters, but it is a universal Christmas tradition.  Beware!  I am going to get deep for a minute.  What a way to bring the world together!  Wearing Christmas sweaters that are labeled as “ugly”.  Most of the time, people would avoid wearing anything described as ugly.  Is the time of year and the fact that everyone does it really all it takes to make it acceptable?  Food for thought.

Stay merry readers!  Only 9 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“A piece of clothing is a way to express your real identity, a way to show everybody else your values and convictions.”

Family Ties

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Due to my lack of creativity at the present moment, I am sticking to the gift theme.  I will first give an explanation of my favorite for this week.  Have you ever received an unexpected gift?  For example, maybe you have been given a coffee mug, and the box was equally as nice and useful.  Or perhaps the unexpected gift is a memory associated with the actual gift.  I hope my explanation is helpful.  Here is my December 15th favorite:

What is your favorite unexpected gift?  In 2004, American Girl came out with a Samantha DVD.  I really wanted it, and my younger brother obliged.  His thoughtfulness meant a lot to me, as did a small unexpected gift that was unintentional: The DVD came with a locket, the same one pictured above.  I outgrew the DVD but still have the locket as a reminder of my brother, whom I love very much.  Treasure your family while you have them close to you!!!

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Ohana means family.  Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”  – Stitch, “Lilo & Stitch”

From Me to You

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My previous post explored the feelings of receiving a gift that leaves a lasting impression.  What about giving?    Here is my December 14th Favorite:

What is your favorite gift that you have given?  This is a hard question to answer, and I’m the one who came up with the idea.  I think the perfect answer to express my thoughts is happiness.  Seeing happiness on the face of the person receiving my gift(s) makes spending time and money worth it no matter the amount.  An even better experience is watching the receiver use that gift.  It feels good to know that the receiver is not only happy but also appreciates your efforts.  Gift-giving should be a selfless act, but everyone wants to feel appreciated in some way.  For me, seeing the gift put to use is enough.

What is your favorite gift that you have given?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love.”  – L.O. Baird