A Merry Christmas Muster - Lauren Sparks

Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas Eve everyone!  I hope you are in full celebration mode already – or firmly on your way.  My regular month end post is coming to you a week early because something special is coming for New Year’s Eve (can you believe that’s one week away?).

Our Merry Christmas Activities

The very first day of December I received my 5 year pin at work (after 6 years, but covid).  The next day my husband and I drove my daughter’s high school choir entry in our city’s Christmas lights parade.  It was festive and long and affirmed my decision not to be a teacher like my mom and dad before me.  The rest of the next two weeks blurred together as I shopped, wrapped, baked and worked.  I did get to watch my Baylor Bears cinch the Big XII Championship in dramatic fashion.  My heart rate may still not be back in regular rhythm.  Sic’Em!Merry Christmas

On Thursday the 9th, my parents came into town to see our songbird in the high school choir holiday concert.  One of the best we’ve seen.  Allie sang a duet, in a trio and in multiple ensembles and choirs.  She was on a 2 – 3 day performance high after that!  Two nights later we had her jazz choir come to our home to sing for our friends and neighbors at a little Christmas party.  So fun!

Chuck, Shelby and I attended a Grinch themed play put on by the adult special needs program at the Rec center where I work, then watched a drone show over Main Street Grapevine (we are the Christmas capital of Texas, you know)!  The next night the 3 of us went to see the new Spider Man movie.  I give it more than two thumbs up.

The week leading up to Christmas has been a frustrating exercise in trying to coordinate schedules of our little family of 4 to spend any time together.  We do have plans that I hope will happen to get Santa gifts to the kids (yes, he still comes to our house) and 3/4 of us will go to the Christmas Eve service (a day early).  We did manage one night with all of us together to bake and watch a movie.

If I can be frank, this season is hard – for many more reasons than our schedule.  We find merriment where we can, but we often find stress and tears as well.  The last thing I would want is to mislead you into thinking the Sparks’ have a picture perfect Christmas happening here.  If you are in the middle of a struggle, know that you are not alone.  And that the baby in the manger grew up to save us all.  He has delivered and He will deliver.  Seek Him!

Our Merry Christmas Entertainment

I finished reading The Women of Chateau Lafayette the day after Thanksgiving.  Perfect timing to start a holiday novel (I chose Christmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts).  The first mentioned book disappointed me since I fell in love with the first two historical novels by Stephanie Dray.  I recommend them (America’s First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton:  A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton) over this one.  I also read Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller and quoted it often on social media with pictures of all my nativity sets.

My sweet husband has endured many Hallmark Christmas movies with me.  Usually the expression “when you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all” is a bad thing, but when you LOVE one, you love them all!  I recorded and attempted to sit through A Very Boyband Christmas, but ugh.  I couldn’t do it.  Please don’t @ me.  We thought it was terrible.

I heard a movie critic I respect say that Scrooged (yes, the one from 1988) was her favorite Christmas movie and settled in for it since I had never seen it.  I did finish this one, but wish I hadn’t!  And even though it’s not a Christmas show, we enjoyed the new live remake of Facts of Life and Different Strokes.  I found Kevin Hart hilarious and charming and (spicy take) Jennifer Aniston to be boring.

The one movie we all watched together was Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas on the Roku channel.  We enjoyed that show and hated to see it canceled.  And I appreciated that the new Marvel series Hawkeye on Disney+ had a Christmas setting.

Even if you are busy the next couple of days, watch Christmas with The Chosen:  The Messengers.  The music will transport you to a truly heavenly place.  It is not, however, anything like the series.  You can watch it free on the app if it’s not playing at your local theater.  And we are still officially in the season of Christmastide until January 6th.  So, you have plenty of time.  People must know.

As this publishes, my family and I are making the hour and a half drive to my parent’s house for a couple of soul filling days of family before driving to Illinois to see my bonus son and his kids.  After that we will make a jaunt to my in-laws for New Years.  Whew.  I’m tired from what I haven’t done yet.

I pray you have a Christ-filled Christmas surrounded by those you love.  And as always, I love you, I thank you, and I hope January treats you well!

And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!

This week I’m sharing a post from the website of fellow Grace and Truth host Tammy Kennington!  She didn’t write it, though.  It’s a guest post.  When I saw it came from the book of Acts, I had to read it.  We are currently studying Acts at church, and when God repeats something to me, I listen.  I hope you will listen to the important message in Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear.

1. Share 1 or 2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. (No DIY, crafts, recipes, or inappropriate articles.) All links are randomly sorted.

2. Comment on 1 or 2 other links. Grace & Truth linkup encourages community.

3. Every host features one entry from the previous week. To be featured, include this button or link back here on your post (mandatory to be featured, but not to participate).

Grace and Truth_Meet Hosts

We encourage you to follow our hosts on their blogs or social media.

MAREE DEE – Embracing the Unexpected
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LISA BURGESS – Lisa notes
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TAMMY KENNINGTON – Restoring hope. Pursuing peace.
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