Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do you "DO" Christmas?

There's lots of talk around here about what traditions we want to start when our kiddos come home in 2011! For the past several Christmases (that's not a word!) at our house, it's just been Dan and I and we've made a commitment to spend more time together, spend more time in God's Word together, and spend more time talking about what we are thankful for.. and NOT buy gifts for each other. We simply don't need them. We simply don't want to spend money on things we don't need. And we simply can't stop thinking about all the kids out there that don't have a family this Christmas!

So, I'm struggling with something... struggling with knowing that joy should fill the season which ends up turning into standing in lines, to-do lists, and being stressed out. We've spent time in prayer each year asking God how He would have us do things different this year. Make memories this year. Not get caught up in consumerism this year. Has it worked... kinda, but we usually fail and are just as stressed as the rest of the world.

We have decided to MAKE (yes, like when we were kids) a lot of the gifts we are giving this year! (This is when my family rolls their eyes! :) you're in for a treat fam!). We feel like there will be much more meaning in doing so... We've also continued to limit the amount of things we commit to in order to spend time at home together... and plan to continue to do so with our kids!

So, tell us what your traditions are. Tell us how you've simplified Christmas. Tell us what you do to help your kids understand that Christmas is about Jesus... not about consumerism!

Oh, and watch this GREAT video! If you aren't convicted already, you will be after watching this! :)

4 comments:

  1. We buy gifts, but do not go overboard. We buy them plenty ahead of time, and usually give them before Thanksgiving is even here. The gifts are family gifts- so either books, games, puzzles, etc. that we can do together- spend that time!

    We also have other things we do- like add people to the manger scenes at different times- Mary & Joseph added later in the season, Jesus Christmas Day, and the wise men- on Epiphany. The kids get to help add them. We also have a manger set that is called what Jesus really wants for Christmas that our kids love to do over and over- a real reminder of what it is about- there is a mirror in the last "present" box in the set.

    We love to bake together, and yes make presents for family instead of buying. Our family seems to like it more! We also match our children's giving to whatever they want to give to- we love World Vision, Compassion, or other organizations where you can buy- chickens, goats, seeds, or help children that are caught in sex slavery. This is a real way to know about giving to those who really need.

    Love the video!!!

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  2. We're not buying gifts for our kids this year at Christmas! They're only one and they don't need anything. They'll have just had a birthday and presents from grandparents.

    Have you heard of the book Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper? I haven't read it, but I'd really like to as we start thinking about how to focus our children (and ourselves!) on Jesus at Christmas.

    And what a great video. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. It will definitally be a smaller Christmas this year. One neat idea that a supervisor of mine gave me one year was they would give their kids x amount of $ and they got to donate it to a charity of their choice.

    Hope all is well! Haven't talked to you in ages. I got your blog link off of Christie's blog. Get a hold of me sometime!

    Jodi

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  4. We do NO Christmas gifts with family on either side (except that Grandparents find that impossible to not buy something for the grandkids). But they do keep it to a minimum, with part of the gift being a donation to Samaritan's Purse - the kids choose where and what to donate.

    We also do Advent each night. We light a candle, read a Scripture, sing a Christmas song - and have an activity. Sometimes it's as simple as being silent at the table for 3 minutes (when talking about Zachariah not being able to speak for several months), or having a fire in the backyard and having s'mores - cuz surely shepherds had s'mores while watching their sheep! :) Other times we might call family to tell them we love them, bake and give it to a friend...we took several ideas from several different resources and put it in a picture album. Each page is something different and can easily be moved around for future years and the schedules we have each day.

    LOVE doing this with our boys - and they're only 3 1/2 and almost 2. Can't wait till they're older and can enjoy more and more.

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