I feel like it’s Christmas! What about you? While Christmas may be a date on the calendar, I think most of us actually celebrate this major holiday over a span of days – something like the 12 days of Christmas. Ha! And that’s why I almost didn’t even post today. It somehow doesn’t seem quite right to be going on and on about fashion or shopping or beauty products in the middle of such a significant holy day celebration. And that’s why today’s Q&A with Kay will be a little different.
I’m simply going to table the fashion and beauty related questions I received until next month. And in today’s Q&A I’ll focus instead on just a few other questions I received that feel a little more relevant to the sacred season we’re in.
Q – Could you share some of your family’s Christmas traditions?
Gladly! It’s funny how Christmas traditions evolve, isn’t it? And most of my family’s traditions seem to revolve around food. LOL! Some years ago I began getting together with my friend Dorothy to bake and decorate Christmas cookies sometime prior to Christmas. Originally that tradition always included one or both of my children. But this year, it was just me and Dorothy. And since neither James and I nor Dorothy and her husband need all those cookies, we made them for another mutual friend to enjoy with her kids and grandchildren.
Here’s a pic of me and Abigail baking and decorating cookies last year.
On Christmas Eve my family traditionally has Mrs. Jannasch’s Soup. Well, that’s what we call it simply because Mrs. Jannasch was the first to serve it to us many years ago. And we love Mrs. Jannasch. It’s really 7 Can soup – simply 2 pounds ground beef browned and drained, 3 cans of Progresso Minestrone soup, 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes, 2 cans of ranch style chili beans and 1 can of water.
After dinner we gather at the Christmas tree. James or one of the kids reads the Christmas story from Luke 2, we share stories of how God has blessed us that year and we pray. Then we open our gifts, one at a time. We usually finish up the evening getting into our pajamas and watching one of our favorite Christmas movies.
On Christmas morning James and I make monkey bread, eggs and bacon and, once everyone is up, we enjoy a big, late breakfast. We also, historically, have checked out what Santa brought on Christmas morning. But that will be a little different this year. (See the next question.)
The rest of the day we just enjoy being together, usually playing some games and maybe watching more movies. Then we used to have the big, traditional dinner of either turkey or ham. But in recent years I’ve given in to the fact that my son is not a fan of either of those, and we switched it up a bit. We began just planning a dinner that we all enjoy. One year that was beef tenderloin and another it was hot roast beef sandwiches with other finger foods. We usually wrap the day up by taking a good long walk.
Q – How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
It’s funny that I received this question because, indeed, we will not celebrate quite like we have in the past. This year neither of the kids could come home for Christmas, so it’s just James and me.
But he and I will still have Mrs. Jannasch’s soup, gather at the tree and read the Christmas story from Luke 2, share stories of how God has worked in our lives and pray.
On Christmas morning we’ll still have monkey bread, too. Neither of us was willing to give in on that tradition! But instead of a Bundt pan size, we’ll condense it down to a loaf pan. Hee, hee!
That afternoon we’ve been invited to have a Filipino Christmas dinner with some sweet friends from our church. So we’re looking forward to another non-traditional meal.
James and I are really doing pretty well with the kids not being here, although we’d much rather they were. We still decorated and we’re enjoying the usual Christmas movies. And, honestly, because we have so much to be grateful for this Christmas, we really can’t complain. Both of our kids had started new jobs in recent months, and that’s partly why they can’t travel to Arizona. So we are thankful that our children have jobs, and we’re also grateful that they have people to celebrate the holy day with.
Okay, let’s see if I can keep the rest of my answers shorter!
Q – Would you mind sharing your salvation testimony?
Not at all! (“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” ~ 1 Peter 3:15)
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home where Jesus was loved and served wholeheartedly. My parents raised me to know Jesus. We attended and were very involved in a Bible-preaching church full of wonderful people who also truly love and serve the Lord. I didn’t go to a legalistic church or a church where the gospel was watered down. I went to a church where I was taught that Jesus loves me and that, in fact, He loves everyone. I am so grateful for that church, where my parents still attend and serve.
So it was no stretch for me to accept the free gift of salvation from God. I learned that He sent His Son to die in my place so that I can have eternal life in the presence of God. I also learned that there was nothing I could do to earn my own spot in heaven or to cause God to love me more. So I humbly accepted that gift.
At a very early age I began reading my Bible daily and spending time journaling and/or in prayer. I sought out mentors and discipleship relationships, too. So, while I’ve certainly strayed and had my seasons of willful sin here and there, I’ve always returned to the relationship that has meant more to me than all others – my relationship with God. Honestly, there have been several times when He, like the shepherd in the parable in Luke 15:4, has had to go looking for me. And I’m so grateful He did.
I used to feel like my testimony was weak and uninteresting. But then I realized that my salvation testimony is a reflection of the fact that my parents raised me just the way my husband and I have tried to raise our kids, and just the way we’ve taught so many other young couples to raise theirs. My testimony testifies to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, but it also testifies to the importance of godly homes.
Psalm 22:10 describes my story exactly:
On You was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb You have been my God. ~ Psalm 22:10
Q – What’s your favorite Christmas verse?
Surprisingly, I didn’t have to think about this question long at all. I am stunned by the fact that Jesus’ entrance into the world brought our Maker close. He is God. God with us.
I can’t even being to imagine living a day without the assurance that God is with me. If you have not realized that truth and allowed God to come close, I encourage you to seek Him this Christmas. Because Jesus was born into this world in the form of human flesh, and because He paid the price for our sinfulness on the cross and then rose from the grave, you and I can live in the presence of God daily. His Holy Spirit has been made available to us, and we can call upon Him to walk through every moment of life with us.
If you have any questions for me about how you can know God personally, please do not hesitate to email me. I’d love to share more.
Q – What does Christmas mean to you?
Gals, you asked some great questions this go-round! (Yes, some of you asked some great fashion/beauty questions, too. And I promise to get to those next month!)
This Christmas I’ve been mulling over my personal response to Jesus’ birth. And I’ve been camping out in the final part of the Luke 2 Christmas account:
In Luke 2:17-19 we learn about three responses to the birth of Jesus. The shepherds went and told others. Those they told wondered about the account. And Mary pondered these things in her heart. Basically, there was a lot of telling and pondering going on!
And I think that’s a good place for me to start. I try to spend a little time at Christmas thinking on the significance of Emmanuel – God with us. I think about what Jesus has done in my life recently. I think about our relationship.
But I think it’s also important for me to do like the shepherds who were graced with the first birth announcement (Luke 2:8-16) and go and tell others. And, thus, I’m sharing my Christmas thoughts with you here. This wasn’t an easy decision for me. Obviously I won’t make a dime off this post. And I know that I’ve run the risk of losing some subscribers and readers by posting this rather different Q&A, too. But truly, I can’t help but tell you what the Lord has done in my life. It truly is “good news.”
We have a Savior. Jesus Christ has come to save us from our sins and the death we deserve. Hallelujah! And Merry Christmas!
I truly do wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas, gals. Thank you so much for reading Dressed for My Day and for being so supportive of me here at this blog. I am very grateful for you.
So I won’t be posting again until after Christmas. I’m taking the next few days off completely to celebrate the Reason for the season with my church family and my husband. By the way, he wishes you a merry Christmas, too. I’ll be back the day after Christmas with tips for shopping the post-holiday sales. And I have some other great posts lined up, too. So I hope to see you gals back then in full force!
Blessed for My Day
There’s actually one more verse in the Christmas story of Luke 2. May we all find time in the hustle and bustle of Christmas to worship and praise God for reaching out to us through His Son, Jesus. I invite you to check out and listen to this, my very favorite Christmas song, as we ponder this amazing gift.
The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. ~ Luke 2:20