Welcome Christmas

Christmas has been knocking at our door. The kids put together shoe boxes full of gifts for children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. You still have this weekend to put together your box!

occ

Now we’re looking through Gospel for Asia’s Gift catalog, trying to decide if we’ll gift a pair of bunnies or a goat. The children will make cookies and goodies to “sell” (ask for donations) to benefit a family in India. They love this! I love that one hundred percent of our contributions to GFA go to the mission field!  

As far as our own Christmas here at home, we’re scaling back financially. Hubby is with a great start-up company this year…start-up being the operative word. It’s really just getting started, so we’ve tightened the purse strings. I can’t tell you what we bought for the kids (because my oldest reads this), but I can tell you they’ll love it! And I got it at a great discount. Hubby and I will buy one small gift for one another, and the children and I will make gifts for family and friends.

I really, really wanted to re-do our whole Christmas decor thing this year. Homemade is looking like a great new theme–paper chains from scrapbook paper in our stash, colored-in Jesse Tree ornaments, pine cones from the nearby park. I think we can get pretty creative without breaking the bank.  I’ll just look at it as a sort of challenge. Maybe a “Natural Christmas” theme. Really, paper is from wood, and wax crayons are…where is wax from? That sounds like a unit study to me!

So, I’m curious–how are you honing your Christmas focus this year?

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5 responses to “Welcome Christmas

  1. We have never done HUGE Christmas’ (like the ones I remember as a kid) but we are definitely scaling back none the less this year. I plan to make presents for the kids and (like every year) they will get one present from Santa… Hearth Song has these really fun puppets and I will make a doorway puppet theater. Usually I fill their stocking with new art supplies.
    I am hoping that the grandparents will chip in together to get Regan the American Girl Doll she wants and Lulu a Bitty Baby. I will probably get them each a new pair of PJ’s to open and wear Christmas Eve too.

  2. this year we are trying our best to do a homemade or handmade christmas. an additional challenge comes into play here because we are moving right before christmas…but i hear a little ditty somewhere, “something they want, something they need, some kind of toy and something to read”. we try to stick with that.

  3. Advent begins on November 30th, and that’s where our Christmas celebrations begin. We light the candle and read our devotions together each night – which is different from our once-a-week family devotion time.

    I’m SUPER glad you posted the GFA video, because last year we got the catalog and had planned on giving, but I had an accident on Dec 3rd that left me in the hospital for 5 days, 2 operations, etc. (and I DO mean ETC!!) and our holiday season took on a whole different look, and GFA (like most everything else) was neglected. I’m going to print out the catalog and bring the video to our devotion time this week and we’ll make our gift decision then. THANK YOU.

    Each of our children pick and “Angel” from the tree at church, which supports Angel Tree Prison Ministries – that’s our tradition no matter what accidents may come our way! (Last year a wonderful woman at church helped us accomplish it by taking the girls shopping for their Angels and we were able to reimburse her.)

    I just talked to my sister-in-law in Oregon and we are scaling back in a huge way – as far as effort is concerned, but not necessarily cost. We’re each going to send (for each person) one small gift, a gift card, & Christmas card in a little stocking. Much easier on us all!

    As far as our immediate family, gifts will be scaled back to some degree. Each child gets one larger gift from Santa, a couple of small gifts from mom & dad, and one small gift from each sibling. The Engineer is practically impossible to buy for because he truly doesn’t want much. However, I always have plenty ideas to GIVE to The Engineer for myself!!

    About 5 years ago I made a HUGE Christmas decision to NOT cook a big meal that day. We do Thanksgiving up B-I-G, but I was sad about not being able to actually PLAY with the kids, helping them unpack their plastic molded gifts, find batteries, assemble toys, etc., so I said “This year I’m not cooking” and EVERYONE was willingly accommodating! So now I Christmas meals look like
    * Homemade cinnamon rolls & frosting for breakfast
    * You’re on your own” for lunch – Leftovers (cinnamon rolls AGAIN!, cereal, sandwich, whatever (No one wants to eat at the same time anyhow – their too busy with new treasures!)
    * Dinner is just like any other night – Maybe homemade soup, or chicken & rice, or spaghetti, or … you get the idea.
    This “I’m not cooking” has been one of the BEST holiday decisions I’ve ever made!!

  4. I know just what you’re talking about with OCC. Our church is a relay center and we are collecting boxes all next week. Other churches bring theirs to us. Our goal for our church membership alone is 1000 shoeboxes. Awesome ministry. Last year our boxes went to India and the pastor there made a video of the children receiving their boxes. He sent a copy to our pastor and we watched it at church. It was awesome! Did you know that the kids only get the one shoebox? Once they have received one, they can never get another. It’s a one-time thing. That way, more children can receive them. I am glad to know your family is participating. That’s really awesome!

  5. we went with all the kids to fill our boxes this weekend. it was crazy. i think next time we may split it up to a boys night and then a girls’ night to have less chaos. but we did it and we will finish filling them for church on sunday. it makes me cry every time they show the videos at church.

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