It's Christmas Time at the Riddles

In keeping with our tradition, we began putting up Christmas decorations the weekend following Thanksgiving.

The girls "helped" Allen put up the outside lights. Then, they "helped"me put out all of our nativity sets. Finally, they "helped" decorate the tree.

What would tree decorating be without a little wrestling?
And a full-blown tantrum?
You can hear the screaming, right?

Addie begged me to take a picture of her by the tree during lunch. Yeah, we eat Fruit Loops for lunch and we like it.
Allen helped the kids make their very own mini-trees.

The crown jewel.

I don't have a particular passion for Christmas. Sure, I love the excuse to give lots of presents and shop with semi-abadondon, but I'm not a Christmas freak.

What I do love is that my kids have started to recognize the season, and what it means for our family. We slow down a bit. We work together to change the entire inside of our home to reflect our beliefs about the Savior. We talk of his birth, choosing to give rather than receive, and take time to reflect upon our many blessings.

And while the world has distorted the true meaning of why we exchange gifts, I find hope in the windows of every home I see that has a tree lit this time of year. Somewhere, some time ago, wether the people inside attend church now or not, or claim to believe or not, their loved ones - perhaps generations ago - believed in Christ. They carry on the tradition of acknowledging just how significant his birth was to this world. I see a world that knows the Savior came to this Earth.

My heart is filled with gratitude this time of year and that feels good.

May your traditions do the same for you!

Merry Christmas.

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.