Lights Before Christmashere) and they looked so neat! When we were able to locate them at a store, it was no wonder why we'd never seen them around before--besides being new, they were extremely expensive. We first found them at Bronner's, a Christmas store located in the tourist town of Frankenmuth, MI, and they wanted around $140 for a string of 5, and add-on strings were about $120. Needless to say, they won't be hanging from our eaves anytime soon! Oddly enough, our downtown sidewalk trees are decorated with them this year...even though the city couldn't afford to have the leaf pick-up program again this year. Ah, politics.
The day after our Christmas program, we had our second annual McKinnis volunteer Christmas party. Yes, it was a busy weekend, because all three of these events took place last Friday-Sunday! It was held at the McKinnis house this year, and probably for the years to come. We had fires going in the fireplace and woodstove, and it was quite cozy again, as a winter storm was dropping snow outside. We had a gift exchange and carry-in lunch, with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, lasagna, ham, cranberry relish, fruits, and a full table of desserts. Yum! The gift exchange, which was a white elephant exchange, had all sorts of neat gifts. I left with a gift basket of homemade goodies--caramels, applesauce, and cranberry-orange bread. Very festive! It was a good time, and I look forward to starting the new year of programs in early March.
With Christmas always come New Year's Eve/Day. I always wonder what the new year will bring--will it be good, bad, sad, exciting? These past few years have been trying, but I feel confident in saying that it will be better this year! But really, it all comes down to our perspective and the faith we have in our God. We don't know what the new year, or future will hold, but God does. Jeremiah 29:11 urges us to trust in God regarding our futures: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." No matter what happens, we should count it all joy, because the Lord is in control of every situation. What a comfort that will always be to me!