Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Fun, Traditions and much, much more!

The Hickman house is taking on a new level of activity over the next few days. We are in a flurry (I'm using that "flurry" word right now because it's 75 degrees here today and a girl can dream, can't she?) of excitement all over the place! We have, just this week, attended Bailey's third grade Christmas play, celebrated our 14th anniversary, and participated in being a part of our church's Christmas "production" outreach by having our family videoed for something that will be shown during TREES at LifeSong. In the midst of that, we are enjoying time honored traditions in our home and having tons of fun making new ones.
We started off the month by having our annual Pastors and Pastor's wives Dinner Party. If you know me at all, you know that I thrive on throwing this Dinner Party every year. I love it! I am usually planning it in August. Everything turned out so wonderfully, but as you also know if you know me at all, I am renowned for some kind of snafu occurring. In the past it's been burning bread, not preparing enough green beans, dropping food on the floor, etc. This year, I took one picture and my camera DIED! So, I only have this one, and there's NONE of everyone that came, or of the food, so I'll just share what I served. We began with appetizers of cheese fondue with bread cubes and apples. Thanks to my friend Resia for sharing her recipe. Our main meal consisted of Spinach Cranberry Salad in White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Filet Mignon with Madeira Sauce, Twice Baked Potato Casserole and Wheat Rolls. For dessert we enjoyed Turtle Pecan Cheesecake. It was one of the best Dinner parties we have ever done...not because of the food, but we just really love our other Pastors and their wives so much. We LOVE hanging out and the evening was spent talking about their family traditions and enjoying lots and lots of laughter, as well as a sweet time of praying for them at dinner.

One of our favorite traditions is enjoying our Christmas cards. I feel almost like a hypocrite bringing this one up because I have not done a Christmas card yet this year. There's really no good reason, other than I don't have a great picture of the girls. I refuse to send one out without a picture, so unless I get on the ball, our plan is to send out a New Year's greeting instead, which I heard a friend say her friend does. I like the kind of unexpected feel of that because I get kind of depressed after Christmas when my mailbox is suddenly empty! So, anyway, we used to take these cards and stick them in an extra Christmas tree we kept in the kitchen, but this year we're not using that tree, but we have, for as long as I can remember, put our cards in a basket and kept them out for the year and prayed over each family that sent it as we gather around the dinner table. It's a good way to make good use of your cards and look at them year around, and you have a great honor of lifting them up to the Father during the year. No, I didn't come up with that idea. I stole it from a book by Emilie Barnes years ago when Jeff was in seminary.

This year, we wanted to start a tradition for the girls that they would enjoy. We already do ornaments for them each year, but that came from my Nanoo giving us all one each year, so after she passed away, I wanted to continue that blessing on for my girls. Let me just get off on a tangent here briefly and say that putting up the ornaments from my Nanoo each year is not something I do in haste. I take my time and think about what this incredible woman did to enrich everyone's life that knew her. She instilled the love of family and this love for tradition in me, so what a great honor to pass it on to my girls. So, back to the new tradition. We are hosting a Celebrate Christmas Break party for the girls and their girlfriends. They each got to choose three friends apiece and invite them over. We are doing it tonight and setting up the bonfire in our backyard. They'll enjoy hot dogs, chips, s'mores, hot chocolate and lots of FUN! I'm excited for them to have their own thing, too.

Monday night, Jeff, the girls and I are opening our home to our LifeSong family. We've invited the entire church over for a drop-in and an opportunity to hug each person and love on them. I know you are sitting there wondering, "Where are they going to park when your neighbors call the police on you for too many cars all the time!" Well, call us crazy (most do) but we are stealing an idea from the voting process and asking that families with the last names A-L come from 6-7 and the families with M-Z come from 7-8! Hopefully this will help, but we are inviting our neighbors, so maybe if they come, they'll LET people park in their driveway....NOT! :)
So, I'm planning away for light hors 'dourves and for a fun activity for any kids that might come.
For the kids, I, once again, stole an idea from a new favorite blog I read and we're making these.
Thanks to Vanessa for sharing! We can't wait to have our church family in our home. It's just our small way of saying, "Thanks for an incredible example you are to us of being missionaries where you live, work and play!" Anyway, if you are reading this and you know where we live, drop on by, but remember, if your last name starts with.... :)

We look forward to seeing many friends and family in the next few days. I'll be the first to admit that I don't enjoy traveling the least bit during the holidays, but I wouldn't replace the time spent with all of you in Slater/Marietta, Green Pond and Lyman for anything! I hope to be sharing pictures with you of our fun here at home and on our travels very soon.
OH, did I mention that my sweet Bailey also has a birthday on the 27th, so that's our favorite tradition of all!!!!


The Pettigrew's said...

Can't wait for the drop in. Tucker and I will be there for sure. We would not miss it for the world. I will park on the grass...can't deal with any drama. aha. I will bring my camera just incase yours dies!
I also really like the party idea for the girls I know you guys will have tons of fun with all the girls!.

Vanessa said...

Well, first off - happy anniversary! ")So glad you liked the idea (I stole it from someone else) and can put it to good use! I love the idea of sending a happy new year card. One of our good friends did that one year and it was so exciting to get something in the mail after all the Christmas cards stopped.
Enjoy the holidays! :)

**TRACY** said...

Wow! I'm tired from just reading your blog! We are planning a trip to Walterboro the weekend after Christmas. Any chance y'all will be there then?