One a Day: Slow the Season Down

 Posted by on November 16, 2010  6 Responses »
Nov 162010

Planning and Goal Setting Part 2

“We should make plans – counting on God to direct us.” Proverbs 16:9

What this season of thanksgiving…What if we thought about one person per day. One family member, one friend or one co-worker. All those on our ‘need to get a gift for’ list. Start now, before Thanksgiving, and think about one loved one per day between now and Christmas.

What if...instead of fretting over what that person might like. What you need to buy for them…

What spent a whole day praying for that loved one as you thought about what type gift they would like best?

I don’t know about you but when I start to think of everything that should be done, all that needs to be bought, fixed, wrapped, shipped, mailed, stamped, baked, bundled, put together, mixed up…I tend to get a little overwhelmed.

One loved one a day between now and Christmas.

Last year, after I read this post, I decided I would give a jar of thankfulness to my grandmother. Continue reading »

Holidays and Breaking the Rules

 Posted by on October 26, 2010  8 Responses »
Oct 262010

Oh I am such the rule follower. However, today I’m going to share about breaking the rules and doing things early. December is such a busy time, why not move a few of those ‘to-dos’ to November? I did all of the following early the last two years. What a blessing it was to really enjoy the process as well as be free in December.

Send cards early. We send Thanksgiving cards rather than Christmas cards. It really just gets greeting cards in the mail about a week early. We tell our friends and family how thankful we are for them! Cards are in the mail and you are on to cruising through the holidays. Continue reading »

Christmas resources

 Posted by on October 15, 2010  2 Responses »
Oct 152010

With Christmas coming up before we know it I thought I would link up some resources we have used or come across over the years that have helped us as a family focus on the true meaning of season.

We have always given our children three gifts at Christmas based on the example of the three gifts presented to Christ by the wise men.  My friend Tricia posted some neat thoughts about what each of those gifts might represent.

For many years, we have used these advent stories. I think this is our third time to read through this series. Each day the story ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the children anxious to read the next part the following evening. The first time we read the first book in the series with our children I will confess, I had to peek and see what happened. I could not wait until the next evening to find out.

We have never actually used the Jesse Tree, but I have read a lot about it. It looks like a great way to keep our focus on the true meaning of the Holiday. Rocks in My Dryer had a post about this today.

Well, that’s about it for now.  Leave a comment about your family traditions that help keep your family focused on the real meaning of the season.

Originally posted 2008

Christmas………how we celebrate

 Posted by on October 13, 2010  2 Responses »
Oct 132010

Post from 12/2009

We celebrate Christmas by solemnly and joyfully reflecting on the real reason for this Season. The reason is our Messiah ….. Emmanual……God with us!! We celebrate because of Christ, we celebrate HIM, we celebrate His Father, His beginning, His family tree, His heritage, His birth, His character, His love, His forgiveness, His purpose, His life, His words, His death, His blood, His resurrection and His second coming. We also celebrate who we are and what we have because of this one we call Saviour.

Read More

Three gifts for Christmas

 Posted by on October 12, 2010  20 Responses »
Oct 122010

The calendar flipped to October. Today, the days to Christmas widget on my desktop says 74 days. Time to panic?

Five children x how many presents????

Since early in our parenting, we have given three gifts to each of our children, just as the wise men brought three gifts to Jesus. Still, I could get overwhelmed with all the gift lists, the “I wants”. That is until I read about two simple solutions. Guidelines we adopted to keep the focus on Christ and the bank account from going bust.

A couple of readers sent in these ideas to a Wondertime magazine about two years ago:

*“Every Christmas our five children receive three gifts: one “gold” gift, the big item they are longing for; one “myrrh” gift, which is for their body, such as clothing; and one “frankincense” gift, for their spiritual growth.

It keeps spending down but also focuses on our celebration of Christmas and the gifts given to the Christ child. We send a portion of the money we’ve saved to charity.”

*“We do a few gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.”

The specifics these readers shared put additional meaning behind each gift. Also, there was less figuring out and thinking involved for us parents! For example, last year for their frankincense gift, the children each received a new Sing the Word CD from His Own Hand Music. We had been wanting to get the remaining CDs and Sing the Word just happened to be running a bundle package special. Four CDs plus a free download – equaling 5 gifts!!

Just think how often this reasoning will come up for discussion with your children. And how you will get to share the Christmas story. Tell of the wise men searching for the new born king. How they followed the star, found him and gave him those three gifts.

Narrow down the focus of your gift giving. Enjoy Christmas. Celebrate the true meaning.

You’ll be giving more and spending less. Then you can enjoy January too 🙂

You might also like our 10 Practical Christmas habits – frugal and meaningful.

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-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to high school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She contributes a blend of writing at parenting, homeschool and frugal living sites. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.