I have a question for you.  Do you remember 10 Christmas gifts that you received as a child.  Can you name them quickly?  I can’t.  If I took time I could come up with it like a wallet that I got from a relative with my name spelled wrong (Debra instead of Deborah).  We sometimes get so caught up in all this shopping that we totally lost sight.  I know this is so over talked about but we decided to challenge ourselves to a more meaningful Christmas this year and it’s the way to go for us.

Now I love this time of year.  I love the food, presents (yes, I do like to receive as well as give), the church services, getting together with friends, decorating (6 large storage containers of decorations and lights), baking cookies, etc.  We don’t go too crazy like with a Santa on a motorcycle -sorry if you own one of those, we just spent more $$ then we should have and it had times of becoming a little more stressed then it needed.

So what did we do?  We focused on keeping it more simple.  We used smells (yummy citrus and cinnamon) to accent the season.  We donated lots of items we just really don’t need -both Christmas stuff and other stuff.  We (me) purchased gifts early and kept it within a budget as I like to buy for everyone.  For the presents that needed to be mailed they are wrapped and gone.  We got the house decorated this weekend.  The kids presents are done.  So what’s this about.  Well by keeping things pretty simple (by our standards) we have allowed ourselves enough time to enjoy the point.  To have devotions with our kids. To give to a needy family during the 12 days of Christmas.  To enjoy the baking with my children and not rushing through it.  And most importantly to get the point of the story..Christ being born FOR US!

Here’s the benefit we have seen so far.  There have been 6 boxes of stuff to the Goodwill and a few more to go.  There was no extra Christmas debt.  Kids have a good stash of presents under the tree that were bought during the year.  I am less stressed.  I am looking forward to the next 24 days to enjoy making crafts and cooking with my children.  We are going to use our advent materials and not find them a week before Christmas.  I am so loving it!!!  This is one of the best Christmases ever.

Take time to enjoy what matters most.  I bet your kids won’t be able to talk about all those gifts 20 years from now.  I think I know what they will remember and bet you do to.

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