Disney Bliss

Just returned this Tuesday from Disney World and all I can say is…WOW! Highlights (in no particular order):
-Cinderella Castle with the gorgeous icicle lights (it was dripping in diamonds)
-The Very Merry Christmas Party parade
-Osborne lights (A-MA-ZING)
-Candlelight Processional…goosebumps from the music (and the cold) and Steven Curtis Chapman did the best job as celebrity narrator!
-Riding Splash Mountain in 40 degree temps three times in a row and managing not to get soaked (I think the kids will remember this one more so than anything else)
-Watching the kids fight Darth Vader in Jedi Training Academy
-Wishes (and that song makes me cry every time, darn it!)
-Meeting up with the Moms Panel crew at Magic Kingdom
-Spending family time with ZERO interruptions/distractions!
So now I have literally thousands of photos to go through…but I will post some soon, I promise!

Get Your Snoopy Dance On

So I saw this Facebook challenge over the weekend: “Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on FB until Monday, Dec. 6th. Join the fight against child abuse and copy & paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same!” So, what would/did you post–honestly? Surely your mind went to some favorite cartoon, whether you choose to admit it or not. (Begrudgingly, I should have put a smurf up there but that brings back all sorts of horrific memories from 4th grade when Papa Smurf was thrown into a mud puddle by a mean boy and stayed for weeks until he could be retrieved. OK, I’ve said too much). And while there are numerous Disney characters that I loved growing up, my cartoon had to be Snoopy. In full on Snoopy dance. Cause that’s how I roll. I see the Snoopy dance as the quintessential expression of unbridled joy, excitement and fun. There are even some friends of mine who share my Snoopy affinity. Just sayin’ 😉

Many things this holiday season put me in Snoopy dance mode: decorating the house, trimming the tree, hot cocoa and s’mores, caroling, and, oh yeah, our trip to Disney World this week. Christmas spirit is ON at the Boswell house. But just as important is teaching my kids to give back, help others less fortunate, and focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Better said, put Christ in Christmas. So we donate to Operation Christmas Child, buy gifts for our sponsored Angel Tree child (which the kids LOVED), and serve at the Carpenter’s Table, our local food pantry (check it out at  www.thecarpenterstable.org) But is it enough? I struggle with the push and pull of Christmas: of wanting to give thoughtful, generous gifts to my family and friends but worrying about how my focus on that shifts me from what I should be celebrating: the miracle of the Messiah’s birth. Shopping for gifts, you can easily get sucked into the vortex of the commercial-driven madness, the quest for the ever elusive “perfect” gift. It’s a conundrum, to be sure. So I’ve decided that it’s all about BALANCE. To joyfully give and teach my kiddos the same. To meditate and pray. To share time with loved ones. And anything that can point me to the manger, to Bethlehem, to Jesus. Now THAT deserves a Snoopy dance!

So what do YOU do to for Christmas to maintain balance? I’d love to hear from you–


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