The Treasures of Christmas

Poinsettia 3
Janoski’s Poinsettias- So Beautiful

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

So here we are in the “in between” week, the week between Christmas and New Year’s that gives us a chance to catch our breath. It’s a good time for rest, relaxation, and yes, reflection. Maybe you’re with family, friends, and your children. Maybe you have time off from work and are taking a well deserved break.

I did a lot of entertaining the last few days. My cousins are here from New York, my sisters are both in, and my (soon to be born) granddaughter’s other grandma made a visit to Pittsburgh to spend Christmas with us. Talk about blessings. Jess’ mom Ann brought me this oh-so-cool gift of special M&M’s with my son and Jessica’s picture on them (no kidding). They were even in this box with little feet on them.

Holiday M&M's
Is This Adorable or What?

I am looking forward to getting to know Ann and Jessica’s family better in the coming years. A new child is so bonding and we will all have Penelope’s best interests at heart as we go forward. She is due on January 9, 2016 (my son’s 30th birthday ironically) but really, she could come at any time. We are anxiously awaiting her arrival.

What are the treasures of Christmas for me this year? It was quality time with my husband’s family on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas Day with my kids, cousins, sister and husband, Jessica and Ann, and especially another holiday with my mom. She never fails to keep up with it all, staying up late, getting up early, and always ready for whatever we want to do. I tease her about the planning we do- the food briefings for Christmas were months ago- but it’s all in jest. Really, her entertaining skills were my basis for what I do today. 🙂

The true treasure was keeping the origin of Christmas in my heart despite the rush and commercial tugs of the holiday. It was about coming back to center, recognizing and honoring what this holiday truly means. I wrote a post about the Navitiy icon for the Orthodox Christian Network and it was even an education for me. That is the great thing about writing for them. I learn in the process too.

I want to wish you a very happy New Year and thank you for all your love and support this year. I am truly blessed with such a beautiful group of family and friends. It makes my life so rich.

Christmas Morning 2015
Sunrise Christmas Morning 2015


Join me on my graceful journey.

18 Replies to “The Treasures of Christmas”

  1. Such joy to spend Christmas with loved ones, new and old, and it sounds like you had a house full of those. Penelope is blessed to be born into a loving, close family who are all anticipating her beautiful spirit enlivening their lives.

    Thank you, too, Joanne, for all of your support and gracefulness. You are a treasured person in my life. I was blessed this Christmas with 4 wonderful days off from work, so I was able to spend some very nice quality time with my 26 year old son, as well as make Christmas cookies! Oh, they were so good. And my body and mind were so thankful for the rest. Also off 4 days next week to leading up to the new year.

    May our new year be full of joy, good health, and prosperity in every area of our lives. That is my prayer for us…for everyone!

    Marianne xox

    1. Marianne, how wonderful that you had four days off to celebrate Christmas. And a few more for the new year. Wonderful. And how nice that you were able to spend time with your son. May your new year be filled with happiness and balance. xoxo Joanne

  2. Joanne, I love to read your blogs! They remind me why we were best friends all those years growing up. We really are kindred souls. I too was blessed to have all of m family here for at least a day. Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy! Thank you for your support. It means so much to me that you are reading and following along. Glad that we can keep up with each other through social media. Miss you. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year! Joanne xoxo

  3. Sounds so awesome! We had a good Christmas and by that I mean the drama was saved for today, the fighting was saved for yesterday and the viscous tornadoes waited until yesterday to rip through here also. I was shown this morning how truly blessed I am when I saw the pictures of the devastation. I learned that an EF4 rolled through here, about 3 miles from my home! I got a call from my grandson’s school saying that some families from the school we affected and they were taking donations at the school, so we went into decluttering mode, lol! We got jackets and sweaters, jeans and shoes, canned good and water and tote it to the school in the pouring rain! I feel good that even during htis stressful time, we were able to help people who have NOTHING left.
    Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

    1. Oh my…I am so glad you were spared this devastation. And how awesome that you worked together and donated things for others. This is truly an awesome way to teach your grandchildren about charity. Much love into the new year! xoxo Joanne

  4. Hi Joanne, exiting, exciting, exciting…. the anticipation of a new baby on the way! I am so excited for you. This post takes me back to those exciting days that were filled with “wonder” as we anxiously awaited the miracle God had created. So exciting! How adorable is that gift from Penelope’s soon to be grandmother to you!♡♡ Such a blessing to share a grandchild and bond together as a family. I think Christmas is the perfect time of the year to rediscover Jesus, and as you said, “come back to the center.” I like that. The hustle bustle can sure capture us if we are not careful. Haha. Have a happy week

    1. Hi Cindy! Thank you for your abundant blessings for Penelope. We are very excited and this is such a wonderful time for us! Christmas is the perfect time of year to give thanks for everything grace filled. xoxo Joanne

  5. What a wonder-filled Christmas! The absolute joy of sharing Christmas with your family and the deliciousness of the food were wonderful. My favorite moment Christmas eve was when Michelene was sitting next to me and an Uncle was unpacking the appetizers. Everyone was in the kitchen area trying to get a peek. Michelene whispered “I am truly rich!” and I understood her completely. I don’t think I ever smiled and laughed so much. The food was perfect. The company was delightful! The hospitality was warm and inviting! Penelope Katherine will be blessed! I am looking for a granny pod in Pittsburgh! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

    1. I love all your words Ann. It was a blessing to have you with us and we are joyous over this child of John and Jesse’s. We are deeply grateful to have you all in our lives. We are looking forward to hosting you many more times for many more holidays and special occasions. I will keep my eyes open for a good granny pod spot! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. ( I didn’t know Michelene said “I am truly rich!” Thank you for telling me!) xoxo Joanne

  6. Beautiful, Joanne. The slow-down after a busy, joy-filled Christmas with family…a few heartbeats of rest…and then a new celebration on the way. And not just the New Year with new hope and joy and love–Penelope!–but a new expansion of your already wonderful family.
    This is going to a glorious journey!

    1. I hope you are taking a break too Marylin? I’m sure this is a tiring time of year for you as well and I hope the coming quiet months of reflection are good for us all. Thank you for your blessings for Penelope. Can’t wait to share the pictures when it all happens. xoxo Joanne

  7. I love this time between Christmas and New Year. I have quiet time for many things, including blogs and reading your contributions to the Orthodox Christian Network. Penelope, like the true gift she is, may arrive at Epiphany or at the Orthodox Christmas. 🙂 A lovely prospect.

    1. You know, that is a thought. I arrived on a big holiday, the entrance of the Theotokos. What a wonderful thought for Penelope. 🙂 Thank you for checking out my page on the OCN. xo

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