Christmas at Emberly

11:36 AM

Christmas is just around the corner and I am currently thinking about the real magic and meaning of Christmas. This has always been my favourite holiday and as a child I was memorized by the stories. I grew up with the teachings of Santa and the North Pole and all that but I also was taught the story of the birth of Jesus. As a child my favourite Christmas carol was "Away In A Manger" and then second to that "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and to me that song was pure magic. Don't get me wrong...I loved the idea of flying reindeer too because I loved animals, but there was something so magical about the Christmas story to me. I would sit (kind of creepily) beside the nativity scene and play with the wisemen we made in school out of toilet paper rolls and feel like anything in the world was possible. The idea of following a star in the night drew me in...I loved stars and astronomy. The idea that rich wise men brought gifts to a poor family in a barn spoke to me...we never had much money. The picture of animals bowing down at the manger caught my attention...I had a very deep love for animals. I remember watching Prancer, a movie about Santa, and falling in love with "O Little Town of Bethlehem." This song had nothing to do with the plot of the movie and yet it's all I can clearly remember from it. I have always loved how certain Christmas songs had this almost eerie magic to them...this spark of light and meaning I had never found in children's songs about Frosty or Rudolph. Sure those stories involve magic, but these other more mature carols drew me in with a different kind of magic: hope. Today, my favourite carol is O Holy Night....and it stirs my spirit every time I hear it. It moves me in a way I don't believe any other song could.

So all of that being said, I will now go back to why I am thinking on all of this. This Christmas is going to be a very different Christmas for us. Due to reno/repair costs and putting our foot down to try to get debt free, our funds this season are very tight. The most tight they've ever been. So it's easy for me right now to have a "this sucks" attitude. To be mad I can't spend what I want to spend this Christmas. To be ashamed we can't donate to this, or participate in that. But then I also have to remember....this is just a passing season. If we work hard and are faithful and diligent with our finances, we will get through this. We bought our dream home at the ripe ages of 26 and 25. Of course things would be tough. But there is definitely a pride that gets built up, and right now we are watching it fall down as we are forced to admit "we just can't afford that dinner, or that trip, or that outing right now" to everyone.

As sucky as this all feels, I love my house so much and know that what we are doing is worth it. We are in the dream house, we just have to turn it into the dream. Dreams take work...and sacrifice...and dedication. We signed up to journey down a long road, but one we believe in journeying down. We wanted a home away from the busyness. We wanted a home we could raise a family in AND run home businesses out of. We wanted a home that could support friends while they are in transition phrases. We wanted a home we could host family gatherings at and offer a room to stay in. And of course, we wanted a home we could have dance parties in ;)

In all of this, I am really being stretched as an entrepreneur. We only have one vehicle, so meeting clients or doing shoots is hard to arrange right now. I am hours away with no car and therefore I can only really do work on weekends. I have started brainstorming how I can work from home during my off-season with photography and am already in the beginning stages of launching a new business. The business will be a chance for me to focus on other interests of mine and I am so excited about it!

In this season of "less" I am remembering the magic of Christmas. I have said with my own mouth that Christmas is gonna suck this year and that we are hardly doing Christmas this year...and now I know I need to repent of that awful mindset. Christmas is magic. Christmas is getting goosebumps listening to O Holy Night. Christmas is cutting down a tree with loved ones, sipping hot chocolate, and trying not to ditch your vehicle during a snowstorm. Christmas is sparkling lights (and trying not to think of the electric bill). It is the smell of pine, cedar, chocolate, scotch tape, cinnamon, turkey, and peppermint. Christmas is playing card games with my family and wearing those stupid paper crowns. Christmas is using what little we have to bless others. Christmas is singing carols with our church. It is a magic that cannot be bought or is something you have to be willing to see and feel. It is making room in your heart for God. Don't wait to give him your heart and life when it's perfect. How much you will miss! In every situation and season you find yourself in, God is King and worthy of our praises and adoration. Whatever situation you find yourself in, whether you feel as though your heart is a shiny palace or a run-down stable (or an old fixer upper..hehe)...remember: all that Jesus is looking for is room.

So as we prepare for this season of hope, you don't need to throw off the commercialism to find God. As a child I found him in the movie Prancer. You just need to look for the magic. It's everywhere, if you are willing to see it.

And since my mom doesn't have Instagram and has been asking, here are some updated shots from around the home this Christmas :) The tree will be up next weekend and then I will post photos of the tree and the outside lights! I am still crafting away in my spare time so there will be more photos to share of those things too.

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