Awwww, the smell of cinnamon scented pine cones, fresh-cut pine, homemade baked cookies, wood burning from the fireplace, laughs, lights, food, and drinks.
It's my favorite time of the year.
Just the feel of the season comforts my soul.
Getting into the Christmas Spirit is always so easy for me, even in times when life has kicked me in the face. It's something about the sense of family, love, and happiness, picks me right up and gives me the hope I need to go on.
This year has been such a doozy, and celebrating Christmas helps me get away from the craziness.
It's most definitely a mental break.
I've learned that happiness isn't always the same for the next person. Every year I see people hate entirely on Christmas, mostly because of the religious significance, the crowded malls, crazy shopping, and the amount of money spent to celebrate.
Well, let me say this, you don't need all the crazy to have a Merry Christmas. As much as I love to spend money on all the Christmas activities, simple has always been best.
When my finances barely allowed me to get presents, I learned to do things, like making cookies and homemade candies. I would decorate my home with my dollar store ornaments and leftover decorations from my mom and grandma.
Many of these ornaments I still have and use every year.
Me and little Maddy in a two-bedroom apartment singing Christmas songs, watching my favorite Christmas movies curled up on my loveseat drinking Hot Cocoa.
I didn't have much, but what I had I worked to get.
Pride is what I felt. I could provide for my child and make her happy. I was so excited to have peace of mind.
Fast forward a few years later, a gorgeous man entered my life with two beautiful little girls and made my life expand by three. I was so excited to do more, give more, and share my Christmas cheer.
I remember watching my babies and my husband as I sipped my coffee, my heart filled with joy.
It reminded me so much of the Christmas my parents provided for me. I loved how my parents did things every year; that became a tradition.
My years of Christmas memories date back to as far as I can remember. I have memories that we share every year. It never gets old. Like being with my family on Christmas Eve, eating gumbo, fish, spaghetti, veggie trays, and hot chicken wings.
My family share laughs about what they did when my brother and I were younger.
The story of my father and my two uncles, who tried to put my desk together, and it was a complete fail.
It was completely put together wrong. My drawers didn't have bottoms.
LOL!!! Believe it or not, I kept that desk until I was long gone from living at my parent's home.
It's things like this, the memories, that make the holiday. Not money or gifts, plan old family, love, and fun.
Another Christmas memory that will forever be etched in my mind.
December 23, 2011, My husband and I were blessed with a baby boy two days before Christmas.
We were so excited about our baby, but what happen next made everything Christmas stop.
This year was a heavy one; life had smacked us down; Christmas didn't feel like Christmas that year; the only significant part of this year's Christmas had been my baby boy was due. Everything that could go wrong did.
My husband lost his job weeks before my scheduled C-section. After asking for time off to be with me as I delivered. They let him go; he had worked there for a tremendous amount of time without taking a single day off. That didn't matter. His family didn't count; they let him go without a single reason weeks before Christmas.
Stress was at an all-time high, we had no tree, no lights, cookies, no holiday cheer, and no celebration at my house.
We didn't have the girls that weekend anyway.
So my husband got with my parents and his mom and celebrated with them as I was in the hospital with this beautiful baby, and the worst nurses I ever encountered.
The food was gross; the nurses were nasty and pretty pissed that I wanted my son to be in the room with me the whole time.
My doctor was so mad that I chose a hospital that she hated. She fought me on it.
I needed to be close to my family, and being that both our parents were only blocks from the hospital, why would I make everyone drive 30 minutes during the holiday to be with me.
My doctor ditched me the moment she pulled him out of my body and cleaned him up, off to vacation she went, without even checking on me to make sure I was ok after delivering.
I was so upset at everything besides my baby.
The moment I held my baby boy, My heart was full of so much love, and even though I spent the whole holiday in the hospital, I was so happy to have my sweet little Christmas joy, all my cares just went out the window.
The next year, we were right on track again for Christmas.
It was Harlems first Christmas and the first birthday; we had to make it memorable, and that we did.
As years moved on, we made our traditions. My children look forward to picking out their Christmas tree to cut down. We make gingerbread men and houses. We have so much fun decorating our home, and no Christmas is complete without Let It Snow album by Boys II Men.
Although this year is much different, you have to remind yourself of the real reason for this season. I refuse to let the weight of the world make take the focus of what this season means to my family and me.
No matter what this world pushes on you, finding just the small bit of light. I will outshines any darkness that may come.
If you know someone has a hard time this holiday trying to bring a bit of Christmas joy to them.
It's ok to care for others and do something special for them; you never know what battle they are fighting within.
I hope you guys have a wonderful Holiday season….. Merry Christmas, Luvs!!!