19 Things I Learned During the Christmas Season of 2019.

It’s that time again. The occasion when I gather my wits about me, along the candy wrappers from my stocking loot I’m still consuming, and open my mind and laptop. I sift through my sugar haze and recall what I’ve learned over Christmas break.

Mind you, none of these lessons are necessarily life altering, but I believe moments and lessons don’t have to be ultra important in order to be noteworthy. Sometimes I simply like to record and remember what life was like during a specific stage and season. I’ve done this for several years.

And so now I present to you…

19 Things I Learned Over Christmas Break 2019

  1. The more cups of coffee I consume while decorating my house for Christmas, the more strands of lights I hang inside.


  1. If you have a Costco membership, your husband may put 40 pens in your stocking.


  1. Birds of a feather flock together. This is also true for The Andy Griffith Show fans. Sometimes New Year’s Eve “partying” looks like a ruckus game of Mayberry Trivia. This was on purpose.


  1. Giving your children gift certificates for Christmas entitling them to one 24-hour period over Christmas break when they could watch unlimited tv, play unlimited video games, and have no bedtime is a big hit. It also leads to weakened brain cells and immune systems.


  1. Strep throat is content to spend time with my children and stays longer than one 24-hour period.


  1. When the family is sick, it might just be a good time to try the 7-day free trial of Disney+. What was that we said about unlimited tv? Yes, Mom and Dad can use your gift certificate too.


  1. Disney movies you enjoyed as a child will not necessarily translate and hold up to your children today.


  1. Home Alone will.


  1. No one is actually good at bowling. This does not stop anyone.


  1. Sometimes you take a risk and give a gift you’re not sure will be well-received.


  1. Sometimes the gifts you aren’t sure will be well-received turn out to be some favorites.


  1. If your child has a megaphone, she’s probably going to use it wake you and your husband up on Christmas morning.


  1. If you’re so far into break you don’t know what day it is or what time it is you’re doing it correctly.


  1. Finding out it’s the time you usually go to bed, and you just finished a Coke-in-a-bottle, you find that caffeine does indeed keep you awake.


  1. Nothing brings out inner Divas like a pink karaoke machine. My daughters enjoy it too.


  1. You can teach a new dog old tricks: a 9-year-old can be thrilled with the gift of a used, broken, rotary phone.


  1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, even if you give them the lyrics and a microphone. (See #5).


  1. My son is a member of the “I need longer pants each month” club. I’m thinking about joining the “I need wider pants each month club.”


  1. Sometimes clichés are just that. Cliché. But “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” holds up better than Home Alone.

Behold! I Stand At The Door… and Ring the Doorbell.

It’s fun to mess with your kids! In love, of course!

Since moving to a different house a few months ago our family has repeated a new trick that has yet to get old. Well, it’s not yet old to me anyway. In fact, I was giggling about it earlier tonight and my husband called me immature. But he started it!

The trick is that we now have two doorbells: one at the front door and one in the garage by the door leading into the house from the garage. The chime sounds exactly the same no matter which doorbell you push so of course we’ve been driving each other insane by ringing the garage doorbell and sending whichever gullible family member is closest to the front door. And nobody is there. It’s hilarious!

This evening I got our son with the trick once and then the second time he came looking for me the in garage. I tried to duck down behind the trashcan but I wasn’t quick enough so I earned a “Mooooommmm, I knew it was you!”

A bit later I had my husband ring the bell while I was with our son and it didn’t fool him for a minute. He knew it was his Dad. But… he’s not able to outwit his parents yet. We sent our three-year-old out to garage (she can barely even reach the doorbell!) and while our son was changing into his baseball uniform near the front door (why he changes his clothes there… we don’t know!) and when he was down to his undies our daughter rang the doorbell with Mommy and Daddy both in plain view of our son. He looked from one of us to the other and his eyes got huge as he took off down the hall. Gotcha!! 😉

Ahhhh…fun times. Yes, they’ve gotten me with it several times as well. Mainly my husband, the one who called me immature, has sent me to the front door while I’m trying to make dinner or do some other important task. See, he really did start it!

And here’s the thing. I got to thinking about it while doing dishes one day (when I was not interrupted by a doorbell!) Sometimes in life we’re looking for direction. As Christians we say we’re searching for “God’s Will.” We have options, but we’re not really sure if we’re supposed to go toward “Door Number One” or “Door Number Two.” We think we hear God’s leading but the chimes sound the same. How do we know what God’s will is?

My Dad has always told me that if you want to be in God’s will, well then you probably are. I like that. What he means is that if you’re truly trying to honor God and live in obedience to Him then you most likely are. God’s not going to trick us and ring a doorbell and run away. He’s not going to send us to an empty front porch and make us feel like an idiot. Instead, our Heavenly Father loves us and desires for us to live in righteousness and obedience. He will help guide us if we’re truly seeking His direction.

But we still have to move when the doorbell rings.

We can’t just sit back in our Lazy Boy or continue with our housework while listening to the call of the bell. At some point we’ve got to move.

Romans 12:2 says:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Test and approve. See, we have to try the doors. God’s not going to drag us to the right door. We have to move. And we have to trust that He’s not going to trick us. He loves us and will gently guide us as we honor Him with our actions.

Our Heavenly Father desires our obedience. He has a perfect will and if we want to walk in it, well then we probably are. He won’t deceive us with the call of the doorbell.

I wish I could say the same for my husband!