Christmas Exchange 2012

My camera was on some strange setting and took very bad photos, so excuse the fuzziness. It is not your eyes, it is my low quality photos! I am posting them anyway…just be prepared to blink a lot!

I love to host my annual cookie and ornament exchange. I started hosting this in our home in Byhalia in 2005. 8 years later it is now with new friends in Jonesboro. I sure miss my old friends, but the party most go on! This party seriously puts me in the Christmas spirit. I know once it is over I am all jingle bells and no shot gun shells!

I used to prepare my snacks, but no more! I have no time. I was home alone preparing last night and thinking about the first few parties I had and how it would be a strectch to afford the stuff for the hot wassail and red neck caviar. I found my self smiling thinking about sweet memories in my kitchen in Byhalia and how my party as evolved. It was an act of love and sacrifice to throw those parties in our early married days. Thankfully we have a little more jingle in our pocket now and I can buy the premade veggie tray and meat tray in the fridge section of the store and not sweat thinking about the expense of the wassail. I still always make my wassail and red neck caviar. It is a staple to my party.

These sweet girls make my heart happy. They are some of my first friends in Jonesboro , some of my newest friends from church and some of my coworkers. I love the mix.

Cookies galore. This year we had really fabulous cookies. We all took loads home. I know the husbands are happy to see my friends come home after this party. I know my husband is always excited to see the sugary loot.

These sassy girls posing in front of the alpine trees in the dining room. They are a hot mess. Sarah is new to my circle this year and I am so pleased about it. She make me laugh a lot.

I hopped in for a festive photo with Emily. She and I have become great friends since my last exchange party. She came last year and I barely knew her. I met her at church. We are now great buddies. She is a blessing to me this year. I lost an old dear friend this year to unneeded drama and gained a precious bond with this sweet girl a week later. I know it was God and I love him for it!

We always have a little dirty Santa with our ornaments. It was funny this year because most of the girls fought for the ornaments they brought and many went home with theirs! I love when the dirty Santa game gets dirty!  I got a cute candy cane ornament that came from my sassy Newcomers friend, Amanda. Then, Mama Sue left her glittery nutcracker ornament for me in my kitchen on purpose…so I got 2. Mama Sue is the best. I have known her since I was 4 years old. She was my neighbor and my mama’s good friend in Fort Smith.  I love that I now live in Jonesboro with her, serve on the Pregnancy Resource board with her and go to church with her. Such a funny world. She still sees me as that little girl across the street and sometimes that is a real comfort in my new hometown.

The way God sees to bless me with such precious friends is quiet undeserving. I never really felt like I had a lot of friends while growing up but I am making up for it as a grown up. God saved the best for my prime and I am most thankful for it. I am already looking forward to Christmas Exchange 2013 and the new faces that may appear.


Published by Abby Lee

Celebrating and decorating with purpose is my favorite thing to do. When I am not filling a tree with ornaments or throwing a birthday party for my golden doodle, I am being mom to a super cool tween son, the wife to a fine blue eyed man and selling real estate. I call northeast Arkansas home and when I am not loving on my people or celebrating in our space, I am using words to express myself here or on my podcast. Be sure to follow me! I am the co-author of a blog called Life with My Sister and have a podcast called Abby As-Is. You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

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