Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Keeping It Simple

The Christmas season is definitely one of my most favorite times of the year. I enjoy spending time with friends and family. Having church Christmas parties. Watching parades. Decorating the house.

I love winter, so all the snowmen that come out during this time of year are right up my alley, too!

Plus.... my birthday is five days before Christmas and Isaiah is a New Year's baby!

Lots to see and do during this time.

It'd be real easy to get caught up in things. The commercialism of the season. The Santa Claus, the stockings, the decorations, the Christmas parties.

I've said it many times- this year has been a year of growth and changes for my family and it seemed that Christmas would be no exception. We've long since ditched the concept of Santa Claus, but we would hang up stockings and laugh about it- knowing that there really wasn't a Santa. One of the biggest areas that we felt God was wanting us to change was with our decorations and some of our traditions. This will be the first year that you won't find a stocking at our house. Instead, we've decided to do a book exchange.  

This would have been the first year that we didn't put up a Christmas tree, too, but that has changed. We are still getting a tree, although it may be the last year for it. The hubby and I are still praying about it. We had already told the kids we wouldn't be having one when some big changes occurred in our personal lives. Since the kids had continuously made comments about the tree we felt that we needed to be careful and not change things up TOO much with them. It's something that both the hubby and I agreed on, but I can tell you this- we won't be going out and finding the biggest tree we can find- like usual. Instead, we're looking at a modest tree- 5-6 feet. Something that isn't too grand that our focus IS taken off the real reason of celebrating.
 Another change in simplifying our way of living- keeping up with the changes that we've felt led to have- is that we exchanged names within our household. And set a price limit. Nope, there won't be any high dollar gifts exchanged between the 6 of us. It's actually kind of exciting. I get to buy for Isaiah for the book exchange and my hubby for the Christmas present! By doing this name exchange we were able to a) keep our costs down which ended up being a blessing due to the unforeseen, b) not buy JUST to buy, and c) keep things simple.

It's been my experience that the more distracted we become, the less meaning the holiday has. By keeping our own gift giving to a minimum we prevent this distraction and instead we can focus on others. We also don't end up with more "stuff".

I definitely see this as just the beginning, but it's fine. I'm ready to see what other changes God has in store for us in 2013!

This wasn't intended to bash any person or the way they choose to celebrate. This was only intended as a way to share what my family is doing this year.

How will you be celebrating this Christmas season?



Beloved said...

We also lived through a season of trials as a family. While we've always done our best to celebrate a simple, Christ-centered Christmas, we are so thankful and blessed to be together under the circumstances that keeping Christmas simple won't be difficult this year. Out of adversity certainly comes strength, and I thank God for His abiding Grace, which makes it all possible.
Peace and good to you and your family this blessed season. I am so glad I found you at Deep Roots at Home.

Becky said...

Many years ago, when our children were small, we were struck with the amount of 'stuff' that the kids got for much that the day felt overwhelming. We decided then to set a limit on gifts. In subsequent years, each child received three gifts from mom and dad: gold - something for spiritual growth(book, worship cd, etc); frankincense - something educational; and myrrh - something for fun. Our time together Christmas morning is a time of worship. Between rounds of opening/sharing gifts we sing carols, and read prophecy/fulfilment scriptures (lighting a candle for each scripture read).
Our family has also had much change this year and I was inclined to skip the tree, but my kids still at home (young adults) so wanted to enjoy decorating together, so I guess that is happening this weekend. I am glad that the (grown) kids find joy in togetherness and in the Season.
This year, as many have been in the past, will be one of homemade love. :-)

Shari said...

I love the idea of drawing names for a family gift exchange! Great way to involve the children!


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