Winter is my favorite time of the year because I love the weather. I love snuggling up under a blanket, with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. We never turn on our heater. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever used a heater since I’ve lived on my own. I’d much rather snuggle up next to my hubby in sweats and warm socks. ❤
Leon’s okay with this. He’s kind of my personal heater & he rarely gets cold. 😉
With winter comes Christmas, my favorite holiday. I love Christmas because it’s magical. The beautiful lights on people’s houses, lit up trees in windows, and Christmas music on the radio. It all makes me so happy.
Have you had the luck of falling into a home with wonderful neighbors? The kind of neighbors that have a key to your house, are invited to your wedding and are generally known as family?
I’ve lucked into that three times.
The first time was when we first moved to Arizona. We moved into an apartment complex where we met Jane and Jenna. Jane quickly became my mom’s best friend and Jenna quickly became mine. I remember climbing the tree in the apartment complex with Jenna and going trick -or -treating with them too. They are now a part of our family and we love them dearly.
The second time was in my house in Maricopa, where I met Chanelle and Corey. They moved in the week I bought the house. We exchanged house keys within a month and were instant friends. We cooked dinner for each other and played hundred of games of ping pong.
The third time was by proxy. See, the people I’m referring to aren’t really my neighbors, but my Aunt’s neighbors, Jack and Denise. They are literally a part of our family and I’m so happy they are in our lives. Every year they have a huge Christmas party. And it’s not Christmas time until the Conroy Christmas Party.
The reason I bring this up is because it’s part of the holiday season for me. All of it. I love the time we spend with family, friends and those people who start off as friends but eventually become part of the family.
I put up my Christmas Tree last weekend. Chewie helped. And by “helped” I mean got in my way.
This was her:
(pic from Purr-Fection Animal Rescue & Shelter)
Want to play “Where’s Waldo?” Our version is “Where’s Chewie”
And one last picture:
She got herself so tangled in lights that it took Leon and myself to get her out.
No ornaments for me this year! And we are taking bets on how long it takes before the tree is on its’ side. Anyone want in?
Mom and I did our annual Christmas light escapade. We are constantly looking for someplace like Lehnartz Ave, but nothing comes close.
For those who don’t know, Lehnartz Avenue is a magical place in Illinois with the most amazing light setup on the planet. Every year around this time we would get hot chocolate and go to Lehnartz Ave when we living in Aurora.
We do like this one place off of Guadalupe and Country Club. They usually have nice lights but this year, it was raining so they didn’t have them all on.
Then we got our pictures taken with Santa….
And then, inspired by something that happened to our dear friend Jane, we decided to do a random act of kindness.
Before you roll your eyes and call us cheesy, hear me out. One of my favorite movies of all time is Pay it Forward. It’s this movie about a little boy who has an amazing dream. If he does a random act of kindness for three strangers, and each of them do another random act of kindness for three more strangers and so on we can touch millions of lives!
Just a few weeks ago, Jane shared with us that she was the lucky recipient of a random act of kindness. She was at Starbucks, in the drive-thru. When she got to the window, the barista told her that the car in front of her paid for her drink. Confused, she asked why. The barista responded that it was a “random act of kindness.” It made Jane’s day.
Mom and I were both touched by that act. Someone made our friend smile. It didn’t cost them much, just a little forethought and selflessness. Shortly after, she paid it forward.
Mom and I wanted to have a similar impact on someone’s day. We went to Starbucks, and pulled into the drive-thru. At first there was no one behind us so we stalled a few minutes, deciding what to order. 😉 Then someone pulled up behind us. We were literally giddy with excitement. We pulled forward, and told the barista we wanted to pay for the person behind us’ order. He smiled and said, “okay ladies.” We told him, when they get to the window, just tell them it’s a random act of kindness and to have a wonderful day.
We drove away giggling like children, with our hearts warmed. Yes, it’s only a $7 cup of coffee… yes we could do so much more for others… but this was a small way for us to “pay is forward” for our friend and to also make someone else smile.
Isn’t THAT what this season is about? It’s not about how much money you have or how many gifts are under your tree. For Leon and I, it’s not about religion either.
It’s about being with people you love. Making a difference for someone. And enjoying life.
Do me a favor. This week, do a random act of kindness for a stranger. It doesn’t have to be at a coffee shop and it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Be creative. Think of something special. It will make their day and yours’ too. I guarantee it.
Much love and a happy holiday to all.