Christmas Eve Joy

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the season. It's a day of anticipation for the excitement to come! It's  a day that we really enjoy as a family. We take time to slow down and do whatever unfolds during the hours. Today, we made cookies and sausage balls-we created a gingerbread house-we took a ride in the truck out in the country-we stayed in our pajamas as long as we wanted-no rushing around. We'll attend a candlelight service at church tonight. Later we will eat seafood and watch "White Christmas." We breathe! In life we need to just breathe! Not be in a hurry, no being stressed about this or that, just breathe the air that God breathed into us. I love the stillness of this day-quiet joy that flutters in our hearts. Through a child's eyes, it's the anticipation of the gifts under the tree. For me as an adult I still love to experience that child wonder as I watch my kids' excitement. That child wonder still lives in my heart because I don't anticipate gifts (but I do like them)- it's the Gift that is so unfathomable to me. Can any of us say we could give the ultimate gift of life? Could we sacrifice our lives for another? There is no gift that can be bought, wrapped and given more precious than what God gave us-Jesus.
Emmanuel- "God with us". 

Ann Voskamp writes it so beautifully, " What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death. It cost Him everything to be with you. Who will spend a fraction of time just to be with Him? Who wants the gift of His presence?"

(From her book-The Greatest Gift)

Anticipation-the expectation of something to come. That's what today is about-the anticipation of a Savior. A small baby born so humbly on this human earth just because He loved me! That's why I love Christmas Eve. I love that the Savior was coming-He came and will come again. How about you? What are you anticipating this season? Be still and just breathe.

Many blessings and peace to you and your family.


Here are some special things I enjoy on Christmas Eve-what joys do you find during the day?

Baking with my kids. These cookie cutters
are the ones my mom used with me and my siblings
when we were children.
Our tradition of drawing names for each
other's stockings and filling them
with the special things we bought and made.
Frosty cold windows this morning.
The best oranges from Pittman and Davis-Thanks Mom!
Fragrant Christmas candles burning.
Sausage balls baking.
Candles that will be lit at church tonight.

Christmas dishes-we only see them once a year.
A Christmas Eve service at church
 really sets the tone for Christmas!
Every year we make a gingerbread house together-
we added a room on this year.
Presents wrapped and awaiting their receivers.
Azaleas blooming in December-only in the South.
Reading the Christmas story.
Each year we purchase balloons to send to Jesus.
We stand in the yard and sing Happy Birthday then release them.
 We've done this since the girls were little and they still
love to do it even at ages 15 and 11.


Christmas Open House in Richmond Hill

There's nothing like living in a small country town. Richmond Hill is not too small but it still boasts the small town feel that I absolutely love. We've lived here about a year and I am still amazed at the new people I meet and their down home sense of style and warmth! We chose to live in Richmond Hill because it reminds us of the country living we miss. Being in Richmond Hill really gives us the best of both worlds because we aren't far from Savannah, Tybee Island, Jekyll Island and only a "hop, skip and a jump" to Florida. Southern living at its' best! The city really honors local businesses and encourages its' residents to shop local. Richmond Hill is not built up with lots of chain stores and restaurants but it hosts a lot of local business owners with some incredible stores and places to eat!

This evening I visited Ella's, a home decor and gift shop located right on Ford Avenue-the hub of the city. Ella's is owned by Dana Lewis and is the best gift store in town. Dana has such an amazing eye for design and every time I shop there she has added something really unique to her store. Tonight Ella's hosted a Christmas Open House. Food, wine and shopping were at the for front of the evening for her guests. I enjoyed meeting Dana Lewis and her husband Griffin Lewis, a local builder. I also enjoyed meeting some local ladies that have the same style in decorating as I do. The store was just glowing with Christmas spirit and a warm welcoming atmosphere even on this chilly night in the south.

I want to showcase Ella's here on my blog. If you live in the area or are near I encourage you to stop by and check the store out for  gifts and decor. It's truly a wonderful place to visit-I promise you will not be disappointed!

Dana's father's truck sits outside of the store-it's so vintage!!

This was a little shop out back she calls the "burlap room"-for some reason I just love that name!

Beach room-sea turtles and sea horses (my favorite creatures) everywhere-oh my!!

Love these wooden monograms.

This is so beautiful!

My new crazy obsession-pillow wraps! Can I get one in every color and saying??

I am saving my money to purchase this painting-it's the cow painting I have been looking for. It's so simple but beautiful. I want it for my home-have the perfect wall just waiting for it!