Posted in family, family traditions, memories

Santa Clause…Just for fun?

Today my blog has nothing to do with cleaning or keeping house. It may or may not offend some but it’s my story. I believe I am to share it. I hope it has an impact on someone’s life.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures

With tears streaming down my face and a terrible twisting knot in the pit of my stomach I ran to my mother after school and threw myself on her. I had tried so hard to hold it in since recess that morning when my world had been shattered and everything I believed to be true was ripped from me.

As many other kindergartners, I believed that if I was a good girl that Santa would bring me my Christmas wish, that beautiful blonde haired doll that drank a bottle and really peed her diaper! I looked at her in the JC Penny’s catalog every chance I got! I worked very hard to be nice to my brother and do my chores and be obedient to my mother.

That day, I was crushed. The boy on the playground told me that Santa wasn’t real. That parents just lie to get us to be good. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I don’t remember much from forty -eight years ago, but I remember that very clearly. Tim. He was smart and normally a nice boy. His mom was friends with my mom. Why would he lie to me? He must be lying…. my mother wouldn’t lie to me, would she? Lying is so wrong!

As I cried on my mother’s shoulder, she asked what was wrong?! I couldn’t get it out until we got home. She held me on her lap and told me that Tim had been right. Santa was just a story. I was just devastated. Confused and bewildered I asked why did you lie to me? Lying is bad! At this point my mother was just as heartbroken as I was. We both were in tears. It’s just supposed to be a fun story that children believe she said. She comforted me and eventually I began to feel a bit better but still didn’t feel right inside.

Nothing about this felt good. Thoughts continued to run through my head. I may have only been five, but I had been taught right and wrong and was no dummy. This Santa thing didn’t sit right with me.

That night my mother tucked me into be and we began to say bedtime prayers. A thought flashed in my mind and my eyes flew open. I gasped! This is just another lie! How can this be?! Jesus is who I talked to when I was scared or alone. He helped my mommy feel better when she was sad too! We had been through so much since daddy left but Jesus is what made us feel better. That sick feeling came back with a rush and I felt hot and the tears were flowing again.

Jesus isn’t real either I screamed!! My mother was taken aback. “Of course He is honey!” ” But you said Santa was real and he isn’t. I couldn’t see Santa and I can’t see Jesus. I tried to be good so I could get my Christmas present and I try to be good for Jesus. You said Santa could see me and Jesus can too! You LIED!” I cried.

My mom held me for a long time and we cried together. She asked me to forgive her for lying to me about Santa and promised to never lie to me again. She told me that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit do exist and that Jesus had died to take my sin so that I didn’t have to “try to be good” to receive anything from Him but that He loved me unconditionally. She reminded me that I had asked Jesus to live in my heart and that if I prayed He would give me peace and understanding and that I would know for sure He was real.

We prayed together and Jesus did fill me with peace and I knew He was there with me and that He was not just a lie. I knew in my heart that He would always be there for me and that I wanted to live for Him and let other people know that He isn’t like Santa. He is real and He loves us so much that He sent His son to be born and live and give His life for us so that we don’t have to strive to “be perfect”. He forgives us and has paid the price for us. He gave us the best Christmas gift ever given. It is for that reason that we celebrate the birth of Christ!

I made a decision at five years old that I would never ever lie to my children. I would never tell them that Santa was real and that they had to strive to be good to earn gifts. I would never give them reason to doubt that Jesus was real.

When I grew up and had my girls, we read the “Night Before Christmas” and all the other stories of Santa and they enjoyed those stories just as much as they enjoyed all the other fairy tale books we read. We put out Mt Dew and cookies on Christmas Eve because our “Santa” liked Mt Dew better than milk! We put out “reindeer food” in the snow, knowing it was a wonderful gift to the birds. They enjoyed every minute of the Christmas season and never believed in Santa. They believe that Jesus was born and came to save us from sin and give us grace. They have never doubted it a minute.

I don’t write this to heap guilt on those who have told their kids that Santa is real, but just to share from a child’s point of view. Maybe you might rethink the story you’ve told. This made such a huge impact on me as a child. I have always felt it was important to share but had never written it out until now. I hope that it can help a parent or child somehow.

This year, give real thought to your Christmas traditions and remember the reason for the season!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Merry Christmas!

Elizabeth xoxo

Posted in cleaning, family, family traditions, food, happiness, organizing, planning

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

We had a “quiet” New Year’s celebration this year. Quiet for us anyway. It was still rather noisy and full of laughter and fun! It was just our family and a couple of friends playing games, eating and generally having a good time.

It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without the annual tree burning. I honestly don’t know how this tradition even started. For years we have been burning the Christmas Tree in the backyard in the snow New Year’s Eve night.

It seems so symbolic. The representation of the end of the year. All the past year’s mistakes go up in a pillar of black smoke and we are given a clean slate to start new. We get a chance to make different decisions and make better choices. It, in some way, resembles the forgiveness we were given when Jesus died on a tree and then defeated death to give us new life.

It is awesome sight to see a tree burning in your back yard! Safely… for the most part!

It is now January 2nd, and everything is back to reality with the addition of maybe some new resolutions to actually make changes this year. It is a good thing to want to make good changes in our lives! We often have such lofty goals that we totally miss the mark and are more discouraged than before though, and that is not where we want to be.

The key is making small changes that will lead you in the direction you want to go! Having someone to be accountable to, that can encourage you, guide or help you is good too!

I am so excited about the upcoming things planned for The Self Cleaning House this year! We are going to work together, step by step to get rid of clutter and organize the things we need to keep. We are going to learn how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of! We’ll find out what needs to be cleaned and how often we need to clean it. What are the best tools and supplies for cleaning? How do you make it look nice once it is clean? We will talk about time management, kids, meals and menu planning, self-care, positive attitudes, self-talk and keeping Jesus at the center of our lives.

I don’t claim to know all things clean and organized and so there will be some guest bloggers here to share their knowledge and skills!

Most importantly, these things are not going to be so hard, time-consuming or overwhelming that it takes away from your family time or your weekends. They will be small changes that will be fun and lead you to have a clean, peaceful home for you and your family to enjoy.

We are going to do this together! We are going to stick to those resolutions to clean and organize your home and we are all going to be doing it together!

When you enter your email to follow the Self Cleaning House, you will receive an invitation to the exclusive Self Cleaning House Facebook Group! There we can discuss what topics you want to hear about, chat about questions or ideas you have. We will do challenges and get daily reminders for things.

I am looking forward to transforming our homes together this year so that you can spend more time doing what you love!

Cheers to a very happy 2019!!

Posted in cleaning, family, family traditions, food, happiness, memories

Holiday Traditions

Traditions are something that you give your family that will last long after you are gone. They are a gift you give your kids and they give their kids.

Traditions make your family unique.  It is what makes your family special and different from the neighbor.  Tradition gives us a feeling of belonging, a part of something exclusive.

woman preparing christmas table
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

As parents, it is our responsibility to pass on our core values and beliefs in a way that they will be as meaningful to them as they are to us.  There is no better way to instill your values into your children than through tradition.  Faith, patriotism, integrity, responsibility, work ethic, and compassion can all be taught through tradition in a way that it becomes a part of them and they will pass it down to their own children.

Traditions give security to children.  Something they look forward to year after year.  Your children will remember the traditions forever.  The gifts at the holidays and birthdays will be quickly forgotten.

Families need to be held together by that bond of memories and traditions.  Now more than ever we need to keep our traditions and give that gift of belonging and history to our children so that they never forget who they are!

It is important to involve your children in your traditions!  Take the time to explain why you are doing those things and where it came from.  Family history gives them pride in who they are and in their family.  It’s that sense of being part of something big and special. The most important thing about tradition is that it is done every year!!

Our traditions have changed slightly over the years.  When my husband and I were married, we combined and morphed our traditions together and add a few of our own.  It makes OUR family unique!

We have a lot of traditions in our family!  I will share a few of them with you.  It’s always inspiring to see what other families do and I am always looking for new ideas.  I would love to hear what you do!

We go to church on Easter morning every year.  We have lamb for dinner and always have communion as a family before dinner. Easter baskets for our kids always had a new swimsuit for the season!

easter

When our kids were young we went downtown to the local fireworks display for the 4th of July every year!  Over time the crowd got really bad and it just didn’t feel safe anymore. So now we have a huge BBQ at our house, play yard games and do our own fireworks in the street in front with our neighbors.  The May Family Annual 4th of July Party is awesome!

The planning, baking, and cooking for Thanksgiving with my girls is one of my favorites.  Before we pray over the Thanksgiving dinner, we each say what we are thankful for.  After dinner, we play games, watch football, and just hang out in comfy clothes until we are hungry again and then we have rolls with turkey and cream cheese and cranberry sauce, and more pie!  Mmmmmm!

dessert

The day after Thanksgiving/Black Friday is one of my favorite days of the year!  Not because of the shopping.  That is fun and all but our favorite part is going to our local annual lighting ceremony, parade and fireworks!  Rain, cold or snow has never stopped us from being there.  It is the most wonderful time of the year! After the fireworks we go home and have Cheeseburger Chowder for dinner. Yummy!

Putting up the Christmas Tree and decorating it has always been super special for all of us.  We all get involved!  We play Christmas music, have a fire in the fireplace, drink hot chocolate and have Clam Chowder for dinner.

Christmas Tree

When our kids were little they always got to open one present on Christmas Eve. My daughter has continued to do that with her daughter but changed it a bit.  She makes a Christmas Eve box for her to open.  She gets new Christmas jammies, slippers, a new movie to watch that evening among other things.  Such a fun thing to do!

On Christmas morning we open presents…like at the crack of dawn!  A lot of times my husband and oldest daughter have to work at 7am-7pm Christmas (they are law enforcement) and we want to have them there for presents so we just all get up really early!  Then we put on a huge brunch for all the extended family.  It is an open house style so that people can come and go as needed. It’s nice to get to see people without anyone feeling like they have to be there at a certain time or stay until the party is over.  It works out great!  Later in the evening, we have a nice family dinner.

We have always had a big New Years Eve party with lots of friends and family and champagne! They are so much fun!

party

Keep your family traditions alive! Give your children the memories and traditions that will continue to live on for generations.

Please enjoy my favorite pie crust recipe!  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Holiday Recipes / Holiday Recipes

Perfect flaky pie crust everytime!

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup water


Mix first 3 ingredients, add shortening. Cut in until crumbles. Beat water, vinegar and egg. Combine with flour, stirring until moistened. Do not over mix. Divide into 5 pieces. Chill. Makes about 5 single crust pies.

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Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.

Click here to get Cook’n (it’s free!)


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