Simply Ari: Simply Me
The Inspired Thoughts of a Ready Writer
"My tongue is the pen of the Ready Writer"
Merry Christmas! This holiday season, I wanted to devote some time to writing a blog series inspired by the 12-days of Christmas. I've called it, "The Carol of the Blogs." From December 12th to Christmas Eve (December 24th) I will be sharing a new written installment of the series here on the website! I am so excited about this project! I have some very special things in the works for this blog series that will hopefully keep you coming back, engaged and interacting with the content! I sincerely hope that these installments will warm your heart and will encourage you to share your own stories with me. I'd love to hear from you!!!
This first installment is a backdrop of what Christmases were like for me in my most formative years.
Growing up, Christmas was my favorite time of the year. Our family celebration would kick off early, starting with the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My mom always makes a big breakfast on Thanksgiving to watch the parade with: fluffy delicious pancakes, bacon, eggs with your choice of juice, tea or coffee. Together, my parents, my sisters and I would sit in our family room and watch the Parade together, and when Santa waved to the crowd at the very end, for us, Christmas was in full effect!
I can remember being really excited to receive the American Girl magazine(s) in the mail during Christmas time. They were never addressed to me, always to my older sister Rachel, but I loved to flip through them with her to read the short stories inside, and see all of the new dolls that were available for that year. For many years, those magazines served as coffee table décor. I took a particular liking to American Girl, because of the monogrammed items in the back of the magazine, American Girl and I share the same initials, and in some way I suppose, I felt a sense of belonging or connection to the brand because of it. The dolls were beautifully crafted, their stories, well written, captivating and educational; they would transport you to new places all from the comfort of your own imagination.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. It just wouldn't feel like Christmas if there wasn't music playing from every area of the house, the warm melodic tone of Nat King Cole, singing all of the holiday classics filled our home, and of course the BeBe and CeCe Winans Christmas album was a staple of our Christmas season. As a musical family, we never go a day without music, we are either singing it, playing it, recording it, or enjoying it together.
What I appreciated about our Christmases growing up, was the cultural exposure that my sisters and I received, and that our parents made us privy to. For instance, bundled up in our winter hats, gloves, scarves, and coats, we would travel to Washington, D.C. to see the National Christmas Tree. Hand in hand, we would walk around to see each state's tree, and how they differed from one another. With the biting nip of a D.C. winter's air, we would sip hot chocolate, firmly grasping the cups to warm the tips of our fingers. There were those special occasions too, when we would get all dressed up to go to the theatre, to see The Nutcracker or see our church's annual Christmas play production. The getting dressed up part, as a little girl, I think was one of my favorite parts.
At home, even before opening presents, as our family tradition went, we would pray together, and then there would be a Bible study after the reading of the birth of Jesus in scripture. Keeping Jesus at the center of everything was of utmost importance. There was also an aspect of our Christmas season that was devoted to giving, I can remember packing up clothes to give away, or collecting canned goods to give to the homeless. Participating in works of charity at home or in our community, seemed to always make the holidays more meaningful.
In my adulthood, the excitement of the Christmas season is still there, however my expressions of love have changed over the years. What I look forward to the most is spending quiet time with the Lord in the stillness of the early morning, having the opportunity to give more to the ones whom I love, spending quality time with my family in more simple ways like a movie night with hot chocolate, wrapped up in blankets sitting next to a crackling fire, and being more active in my community, partnering with charities and brands who desire to give to those in need. Those are the moments that I have learned to cherish.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.