Huntersville United Methodist Church welcomes all moms and moms-to-be to join Mothers of Preschoolers International (MOPS).
Becoming a mom changes your relationships, day-to-day activities and priorities. MOPS offers a chance to experience it with other moms.
While moms enjoy a morning of inspiration, learning, rest and relaxation, children are cared for in a loving environment called Moppets. They are divided into age-appropriate groups and involved in planned activities such as games, stories, crafts, music and physical play.
Besides regular meetings, the group plans fun outings and activities for moms, including playgroups, movie nights, bunco nights, family picnics, baseball games, strawberry picking and more.
The MOPS group at Huntersville United Methodist believes it is important to help others, so it participates in local community service projects. Members can help out with Room in the Inn, Huntersville Oaks Nursing Home, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child and the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Santa Claus is coming
Don't miss your chance to visit with Santa when he stops in daily at Birkdale Village now through Dec. 24.
Santa will be there noon-6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and noon-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
You can see the holiday singing bears and witness snowfall, every hour on the hour, 6-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday in the fountain area at Birkdale Village.
Christmas' meaning to me
Each holiday season I vow to be more prepared, plan ahead, get organized and be more on top of all that comes with celebrating Christmas. But in order to meet the expectations I have set for myself each year, I find myself having to cut corners, compromise and downsize.
The towering 15-foot tree we once put up over the course of three days, which would glow like a Griswold Christmas Vacation tree, is now a 7-foot pre-lit tree with one-third the number of ornaments. The sprawling Christmas Village that once lived above my fireplace is now a fraction of its original size and has been moved to the top of our piano. (Apparently some of the local merchants in our miniature village have closed due to the economy.)
The Christmas cards I had intended to send out immediately after Thanksgiving have now been crossed off my to-do list for the sixth year in a row. That tradition will morph into a family blog, which we will post sometime on the 12th of never, as we say in our house.
The ambitious list of gifts has shrunk to necessities rather than desires, and the list of recipients is shorter than the year before and the year before that. Not just because of the economy, but also perhaps because I have become less popular and the circle of friends that was once a generous radius has become the size of a hula-hoop. On the bright side, that is better for my wallet.
Then there is the baking of the cookies, the planning of the fondue get-togethers, the shared meals. I do not speak kitchen well, so herein lies my biggest challenge of the season.
But with all the utter chaos, I pause to remember what Christmas is all about. It helps me feel better about my ineptness to keep up with the other moms who are done with their shopping, wrapping, decorating, Christmas card-sending, party planning, hosting and baking.
I will continue in my efforts to cross off everything on my holiday to-do list. But even if I fail at getting it all done, I can rest in the celebration of the real meaning of Christmas, which will touch my heart, rather than my bank account.