We Don’t Do Santa

Little E and me on Christmas morning, 2011

We don’t “do” Santa at our house.

To my knowledge, he isn’t found anywhere in The Bible, and in our opinion, the guy really takes away from the reason we celebrate Christmas. (It’s because of Jesus, just in case you weren’t following me there.)

We still give each other gifts – we just know who they’re from. And sometimes, we even put up a Christmas tree and bake cookies.

But the whole Santa thing has been a non-issue at our house. Little E isn’t quite two years old; he doesn’t go to school where other kids talk about Santa; and he isn’t quite old enough to even understand the concept of Santa Claus. We treat Santa like any other fictional storybook character.

Then today, I was faced with my first awkward public Santa moment.

My son was flirting, as usual, with a female employee at Kohl’s. She asked him, “Who comes in December?” He looked at her. “Does Santa come?” He looked at her. I explained quickly, pleasantly and with a smile that we simply “don’t really ‘do’ Santa.”

She was slightly surprised and then sheepishly apologetic. Awkward for both of us.

Although the exchange was polite, friendly and quick, it did make me stop and think about the years ahead of us. Going against the grain of culture isn’t always the easy way to go, but sometimes (maybe most times) it’s the right way.

How do you balance our culture and your Christian faith during the Christmas season?

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2010: The Year of the Baby

the happy couple

me and BP

2010 is (unofficially) the Year of the Baby. BP and I know of (or are acquainted with) approximately 30 people welcoming babies into their families this year.

We recently found out that we are going to be one of those families!

BP and I are expecting our first baby around Dec. 20. What a great Christmas gift, right?

Yes, we are getting in on the tail end of the Year of the Baby, and we’re excited about that!

This June will mark our seven-year wedding anniversary, and this fall, we will have been inseparable for 13 years.

I guess some (my mother) would say, “It’s about time.” We say, “It’s all in God’s time.”

Cookie-Baking Review

The cookie baking extravaganza is complete! Here’s how it went:

cookie dough

BP helped me mix up two double batches of cookie dough.

rolled-out cookie dough

I rolled the dough to about 1/4-inch.
snowflake cookies

These lovely little snowflakes were the first to go into the oven.

cookies smashed on the floor

Those same lovely little snowflakes ended up in a pile on the floor. (sigh)

Christmas tree cookies

The first successful batch out of the oven.

lots of cookies

I baked lots and lots of cookies.

Christmas tree cookies

I thought these little Christmas trees turned out super cute.

cookies

I had some help with the decorating, and there were cookies as far as the eye could see (or maybe just covering the entire dining room table).

The Baking Will Soon Begin

Christmas cookies

BP and my first attempt at cut-out cookies in 2006. Ugly? Yes. Fun? Definitely.

In just a few short days, I will undertake a cookie-baking extravaganza.

It will begin Friday evening, with the mixing of cookie dough to chill in the refrigerator overnight. It will begin again on Saturday, with the rolling of dough and cutting of dough and baking of dough. The entire experience will culminate with some serious decorating.

And I’m ready for it. I’ve got the cookie cutters: snowflakes, Santa, a reindeer, a package with a bow, an angel and Christmas trees (thanks to a super sweet coworker who added those!). I’ve got decorating supplies: frosting tips, food coloring, sprinkles, sparkles and red hots. And, most importantly, I’ve got BP to help.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to create the same kind of cookie deliciousness that my mom achieves every year, but I’ll give it my best. After growing up eating the very, very best cut-out cookies every Christmas, the bar is set high.

I’ve only attempted it once before, three years ago. They tasted okay, and we got a little carried away with the decorations. But, it was fun, and I can only believe this time around will be even better.

Let it begin!

O, Little Town of Bluffton

Last weekend, I tagged along to cute little Bluffton, Ohio, with a good friend, LK. She was headed to The Food Store there, and since we share an interest in health and nutrition, I thought it would be a fun afternoon.

It was definitely worth the trip (not that I doubted it – LK is one of the most fun people I know). We started at The Food Store, which is located downtown at 103 S. Main St. It had all kinds of goodies – organic products, hard-to-find flours, bulk ingredients and other fun food things. She filled up a basket with some snacks for her small son and some other items; I left with some chai tea, both original and peppermint flavor. The employee who was working that day was helpful and friendly.

After stashing our goods in LK’s vehicle, we decided to take a walk through the small downtown and check out some of the local businesses.

We stopped in Forever In Stitches, which presented us with a beautiful display of fabric bolts and finished quilts upon entering. I’m sure this little shop is frequently visited by avid quilters. It was gorgeous. The fabrics were gorgeous. Just stepping foot in the door made us want to go home, get out our sewing machines and start stitching! It really was a visual delight, and an inspiration to me to get out the two quilt tops I’d set aside before BP and I started remodeling a couple of years ago. And on top of it all, the employees there were friendly, helpful and chatty.

It was a cold afternoon, and we were cold, so our final stop in the little town of Bluffton was Common Grounds Coffee House. LK ordered a salad and a small hot apple cider, topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. I also ordered the hot apple cider, medium, no extras. Both of us were satisfied with our choices and we chose a table for two alongside a back wall. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and there were several seating options available depending upon your desired level of privacy.

During our walk downtown, we also passed the local courthouse, which was decorated for its annual Blaze of Lights, a village-wide folk art Christmas display. Though we were there too early in the day to see the lights, the display draws many, many people from surrounding towns each year.

And last but not least, we also passed the Shannon Theatre, a staple in Bluffton for as long as I can remember. The small, one-screen theatre calls itself “Your Best Value in Family Entertainment!” It’s a great place to take a date or your family for an affordable evening out, complete with movie theatre popcorn!

Next time you feel like getting out of town, give Bluffton some love!