Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas 2009

This is our first Christmas in Houston and it's different. Every year I usually pull out the Christmas decorations at Thanksgiving. I spend hours and days make sure the tree and hosue look perfect. I look forward to it every year. But this year, we are still in temporary housing and all the decorations are tightly packed. So I thought I would have a hard time getting into the Holiday Spirit. Not so, thankfully.
A few nights ago my husband surprised me by pulling out our little silver table topper tree. Here it is in all its glory surrounded by presents.

I know some of you may be thinking, What's the big deal? And you know what? You're right - that's what I learned in Christmas 2009. The decorations are fun and festive, but they do not make the season, they are not the reason we celebrate.

We celebrate because our Savior came from Heaven to earth to save us. It's not about stressing over getting the house ready and buying a lot of presents. It's about Him, His love for us, and sharing that love.

Don't get me wrong - traditions of putting up the tree, going to parties, exchanging gifts, and celebrating with the ones we love are awesome. I just learned that it's all about balance and putting Jesus first during this season (really all year round).

The Echols pray you have a very Merry Christmas with your family!

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10b-11, NIV

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Eternal Question...

What do I get my husband for Christmas?! I already bought him one gift, but he knows what it is -he picked it out. So I'm stumped. He just had his birthday in October and he got a lot of what he wanted. Then he used his birthday money to buy some books and DVDs. To top it off, he doesn't have the typical "guy" hobbies. He's not into hunting or fishing or sports (the Big 3). He does like video games, but he said he doesn't want any right now. He also does not want any clothes. So, again, I'm stumped.

Anybody have any creative husband Christmas gift ideas? What did you do when you were a newlywed and found yourself in this position?

This sounds so petty compared to what this season is really about. And I know he could care less what I get him, but I just want him to feel special on Christmas morning. So any help is greatly appreciated. And tell me if you've been there too - there's consolation in numbers.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Don't Get White Christmas's in Houston - Or Do We?

Well, living in Houston has brought it's share of challenges and surprises, but nothing tops yesterday. We got 3 inches of snow! It was so beautiful! Here are a few pics. They're not great but they give you an idea of what we saw.

We did not get much on the ground in our backyard because of all the trees, but look at the roofs!
You can kinda see how much snow was coming down in this one.
It really was awesome. The hubs and I were sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall as Christmas music played from the ipod. It reminded us of our honeymoon to Whistler, Canada. A perfect winter day.