Nov 30, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I have a goal every year for the Christmas season - it's always to slow down and enjoy the season, take the time to reflect on my heavenly Father and the incredible gift of His Son. With so many other things fighting for my attention this can be SO hard sometimes!!! So, leading up to Christmas I'm going to share with you some things that I've found that we will be doing this year and I hope you and your family will join us in making some new, Christ centered traditions! I read an article in Home Life Magazine that dealt with this very thing and wanted to share it with you.

Have a Mary Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

Kelsey was 6 when she sat down at the table and created a homemade Christmas card for me. "Mary Christmas, Mommy," the card read. Beneath the words was a drawing of a Christmas tree, a cross, and Kelsey and me holding hands. I stared and stared at that card because the message was more profound than my little daughter could've known.

Mary Christmas?

The picture came to mind of the Bible story about two sisters - Mary and Martha. Luke 10 tells the story of Jesus paying a visit to these women. Martha raced around the house doing the work, tending to the preparations and missing out on the Visitor in her midst. Mary, though, sat at the feet of Jesus and reveled in His presence.

Martha was busy, but Mary was blessed.

At that point, I was pretty used ot having a "Martha" Christmas. Racing around the house to put up the perfect decorations, racing through the mall to look for the perfect gifts, overbuying because I would forget what I'd already stored in my Christmas closet, and missing out on so many simple moments.

The image brings to mind one of the saddest Christmas news items ever. It happened in a New York Walmart the day after Thanksgiving 2008. A large crowd had gathered outside the store, anxious for Black Friday bargains. At 5 am the throng of frenzied shoppers exploded into the store, trampling to death a temporary employee who had unlocked the doors. A man died because of Christmas greed.

The horrific incident reiterated the message of Kelsey's simple Christmas card once again. I recommitted myself to creating a Christmas experience marked by the simplicity of sitting at the feet of the newborn King. I came up with three ways I can do this - three ways all of us might truly have a Mary Christmas."

I will be sharing Karen's 3 ways and some of my own ideas between now and Christmas. Feel free to share ways that you and your family slow down and focus on Christ during the holiday. Praying that you all have a Mary Christmas this year!!!

Nov 18, 2013

Especially for the Kid's Table

I LOVE this idea for a little decoration for the children's table (or for everyone that's coming to dinner). I got the idea from - head over there for the tutorial on how to make these. I know your kids will love them! :)

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Nov 17, 2013

Countdown to Thanksgiving

I just came across a Thanksgiving idea that I absolutely LOVE and had to share with you. Thanks to Jen at tatertotsandjello for this incredible idea. This Thanksgiving countdown banner has slips of paper in each of the pockets. Jen's added little notes of things to do with the family throughout the month of November on each of those slips of paper - some things are just for fun and others are to serve their community. Visit her blog for more details and all the instructions on how to make this. LOVE it!

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Nov 5, 2013

Giving Thanks

November is the perfect month to teach your children about Gratitude. I'm sure you know that even as adults sometimes we can focus on what's going wrong instead of focusing on our blessings. Start a list of what your family members are thankful for and add to it every day this month. This is a great dinner time activity while you're all gathered around the table together. Is that a dream for your family, are you constantly running your kids from place to place and you're lucky to have dinner? Then put a list in the family vehicle and add to it every day while you're running the kids to their different events. It's so important to teach our children to be thankful for everything, especially in our "entitlement" society. I made this gratitude placemat for our family through Heritage Makers. These come with a UV coating on them, so you can write on them with dry erase markers (you can do the same thing if you laminate placemats that you and the kids make). The kids can just write something on their placemat that they're thankful for.

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