Thursday, September 16, 2010

100 days and counting.....

We are well under way with our Christmas planning. Well somewhat. So far I have managed to...
  1. Put myself in the fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas spirit.
  2. Avoided a whole lot of everyday living by making a new blog... WELCOME!
  3. Made a list of everyone I need to send a card too or make a gift for.
  4. Filled in some of my advent list
  5. Cleaned off my front porch
  6. Organized a notebook for Christmas planning
  7. Spent time pondering the true meaning of Christmas
Did you get the last one? Well if you didnt. Let me state why I am planning 100 days in advance of Christmas. I want to have more time for Jesus. I want to awake everyday during advent and spend time in his prescence. I want to center our homeschooling around the Christmas story during the month of December. I want to center our lives around that. I want more of him more than I want a perfect Christmas. Honestly we are simple folk. I long ago minimized my stress over Christmas & chose to worship Christ instead of  commercialization which is why Im wanting to give back. I want to share that with others. Thats you.  I want you to know there is more to Christmas than gift buying, gift wrapping & gift giving. I want you to share it with your kids. I want you to take it into your heart and live it out in your daily lives and if that means you put all the planning aside and just plainly let him in well then do it. Do it now so that when Christmas comes around than you will understand why it is we celebrate Christ birth. You will understand the greatest gift ever given. You see "Christmas began in the heart of God, but it is only complete when it reaches the heart of man." (author unknown)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Never to early...

In the past few years I have found some new traditions to add to our families Christmas plans.

We do "Advent" with gusto, doing daily activites that are fun or charitable. The kids have learned that advent is a time of excitement & joy which is the purpose for which it was made. We are living expectact lives waiting for the day that our saviour returns. However in the meantime we are living with the joy that comes from knowing he is already more than enough right now.

We do secret Santa drive bys on St. Nicholas day leaving goodies behind & laughing our heads off as we try not to get caught. We also get an early visit from Santa's elves while we are out doing the secret santa thing. Amazingly the kids always come home to their stocking filled with Christmas goodies in exchange for the letters they wrote. Of course it is always filled again on Christmas morning.

We read scripture almost daily. We do camp outs by the Christmas tree. We go looking at Christmas lights in our p.j.s with hot cocoa to keep us warm. We celebrate the first day of winter by driving up to Sharps ridge, watching the sunrise while toasting in the risen sun & son with o.j. We go caroling with friends. We do winter hikes while it snows. We make birthday cards for Jesus & tape them to our windows Christmas eve. We enjoy each other fully. In fact the kids are more excited about the season than they are Christmas morning which was what I wanted all along.

Of course all this takes a little planning as any mom out there knows. For me I have just replaced most of the gift shopping with gifts of memory instead. Still it takes a little work, but I make sure to go to the source of my joy everyday to keep things in perspective. That is the number one thing when planning a wonderful Christmas. The number two thing is organization. Keep things simple & well organized. Typically well organized is not in my vocabulary, but this year I have found a wonderful site, Organized Christmas, to start my Christmas planning. By the way, yes I know its August, but the key to simplifying is avoiding procrastination. Typically being rushed to finish something just leads to being stressed which I prefer to avoid if at all possible. Yesterday I managed to put together a holiday grand plan notebook thanks to the printables they have on the website. Now Im off to go to enjoy the last of the summer fun, because nothing says Christmas planning like sitting poolside. Merry Christmas Planning!