12 things I’m glad I did this Christmas

  1. I am glad that I hand delivered my Christmas cards. 
    I originally did it to cut costs, but in the end I preferred handing everyone in my family their Christmas card.  Also, helped me keep a mental checklist of who all I’ve visited this Christmas!
  2. I’m glad I gave as much as I could possibly give.
    Money is always a stressful aspect of life, but it becomes even more stressful during Christmas time for myself.  I love Christmas, and I want to give every single person in both my family and my fiancee’s a present.  I really treestressed over this, but now that Christmas is in hindsight – I’m really glad that I gave as much as I could.  I love seeing people’s face when I give them a present, even more so when they weren’t even expecting one!
  3. I’m glad that I put the Christmas tree up a few days before Thanksgiving, with no decorations. 
    This was one of the smartest things I could’ve done since we adopted two sweet kitties from the shelter this year, and it was their first Christmas.  We knew that they would go crazy as soon as they saw the tree.  They immediately thought the Christmas tree was their personal play ground, as soon as it was put up.  Our male cat Simon, climbed up half the tree while I was fluffing it, before I even realized what was going on.  Surprisingly, they Simon in treenever knocked the tree over completely.  Just made it wobble.  By the time we put the actual ornaments on it, the cats had lost interest.  We only lost one ornament!  That has to be a record in a house with two adolescent cats.
  4. I’m glad I discovered how awesome Dollar General is.
    I’ve never attempted to wrap my presents fancily, but this Christmas I discovered DOLLAR GENERAL!  They built one super close to our house not too long ago, and it made it much more convenient to visit one.  Their Christmas decorating materials were so cheap, that I spent $25 on wrapping paper, bows, boxes, ribbon, Christmas cards, and tissue paper!  That lasted me the whole season.
  5. I’m glad that I went Black Friday shopping.
    I can’t believe I just admitted that, but I was able to get the majority of my fiancees presents for such a huge discount.  It allowed me to spend more on other people.  It was definitely crazy, and I thought that my 5’0″ foot self would get trampled, but I made it out alive.
  6. I am glad that I am still the first one awake every Christmas morning. 
    I am no longer the youngest in my family, and I am still the first one up!  I am always the one calling and waking everyone up, telling them to get their butt over to my dad’s so we can give presents!  I am surprised that I made it this year, without spoiling what I got for everyone because I usually get so excited that I can’t wait to tell.
  7. I’m glad I made a point to see everyone I cared about.
    I might have been freaking out a few days before Christmas, trying to plan what time I would be where, but I am happy I got to see all of my loved ones.
  8. I’m glad I welcome a puppy into our family.
    Yes, now I feel like we are running a zoo (two cats and a dog) but he is too precious, and he seems to be learning really quickly.  It was so sweet, coming home Christmas Eve night, to a puppy sitting on the couch and my fiancee hiding in the kitchen waiting to hear my reaction.  Of course, my first reaction was practical – “did you get him any food” “any toys” and “did you get a crate?”  And of course, the answer to all of those was a big resounding no.  He was too excited to get the puppy, that he didn’t think.  On Christmas, we got a southern blizzard, and weren’t able to get him any puppy stuff until 3 days later; but, he found our homemade water bottle toy very amusing.
  9. I’m glad I watched my favorite Christmas movies.
    The Santa Clause, Elf, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (and yes, in that order of awesomeness).
  10. I’m glad I made some homemade gifts.Homemade
    I enjoyed making and gifting my homemade gifts (check them out here and here) more than anything else.  I think next year, I’m going to plan ahead of time, and make homemade gifts for everyone.
  11. I’m glad I made Christmas desserts.
    These are always so fun to make, and there are always great memories made when Christmas desserts are made!
  12. Most of all, I’m glad I volunteered.
    My dad and I volunteer every year at the Santa Shack.  I love seeing the kids faces when they see Santa.  Although, my favorite part is those parents who stand in line, in the cold, for 30 minutes just so their child can sit on Santa’s lap.  They can’t afford a picture, and they are doing it just so their child can meet Santa.  There is not much more gratifying than telling a parent they can have a picture for free.  So many people come up, and pay for the people behind them or just donate an extra few dollars for family’s in the future who can’t afford it.  We also dressed up as elves and delivered presents to the kids of the angel tree.

– What are you glad you did this Christmas? –

this is why we love you

Dad's present 001

This gift, is probably the greatest gift I’ve ever given and probably will ever have the pleasure of giving.  It is so special to me, that I have had a hard time deciding whether I want to blog about it.  I ultimately decided, that I should share this idea with others, so maybe someone else can have this type of blessing in their life.  For my dad’s 50th birthday, I gave him a book full of letters written to him.  I entitled the book “this is why we love you” and all of the letters were words of encouragement, appreciation and love.  I ended up gathering over 50 letters, and this project turned into something much more magical than I envisioned.  I originally had intended on taking the letters, printing them off on a Word Document, and putting them in protective sheets in a binder.  I began to discuss this project with a good friend of mine, and she so graciously allowed me to come over and use her scrap-booking supplies.  She helped me create this masterpiece, and I am forever grateful for that!   I created a Facebook group of all of the people that I thought would like to write them, and gave them a little over a month to send them to me.  I then printed them out, and over two 4-hour session, we made our masterpiece.

title page

Dad's present 016

On the left side of this picture above, there is an explanation of the book that reads:

Here we are, celebrating 50 years of your life, and you have touched more people than anyone could ever count.  Your blessings, unconditional love and devotion has reached more than you or I could ever imagine.  But, in order to give you a better idea of how much you are appreciated, we have all come together to write a letter to tell you just how much we care for you.

Your kindness, compassion, faithfulness, and spirit has touched family, friends, children, adults, and even a Starbucks employee.  You have forever impacted our lives, and this is all we know how to do; write a letter to tell you how much we appreciate you.  That’s what this is, a book full of letters who have taken the time to let you know they love you.  There are many more than just this, but here is just a small fraction of those who love you.  Whenever you feel down, you will always have this to remind you, you’ve done more than you would ever imagine.  You are our hero.

Dad's present 018

Dad's present 019

Dad's present 020

I took a video of my dad’s response when receiving this book, but I haven’t brought myself to part with it.  He didn’t even make it through the title page without shedding a tear.  This is really the most awesome gift you could ever give; no money in the world can amount to the words of those who love you.  He will always have this gift to pick him up when he is down, and remind him what a great man that he is, was, and will always be.  I hope one day I can amount to half of the person that he is.

What is the best gift that you have ever given?  If you decide to replicate this idea, please let me know!  I’d love to hear how this idea has reached others.

Do what feels right.

This is what my Dove chocolate read to me yesterday after a good Mother’s Day meal! And I think it is very fitting for my contemplation on new blog name!
My father is hardcore about his chocolate and he thinks it’s best to eat one piece of chocolate after every meal. His favorite his Ghirardelli dark chocolate! My choice is Dove Carmel Milk Chocolate! I love the little “promises” they give you in every bite!

Sometimes people get so caught up in eating the right thing that they forget the joys in life! Don’t completely throw out your favorite treats, just take them in moderation.

I hope everyone has a good Monday!
The official new blog name is “The Pint Size Chef!”  So the new URL is feesbites.wordpress.com!  It goes along with my moms nickname for me, “half pint” and I’m pretty satisifed with it!  Let me all know what you think!

——What is your guilty pleasure snack?——