I'm trying to make it look like Christmas around here, in case you were wondering :)
We are very excited about the Christmas season in our house this year. We have decided to make this a "Memory Christmas."
Like many of us, I am so struck by the commercialization of our Christmas season, and like many of us, I have bought into it since my children have been born.
This year, it seems almost sinful to indulge ourselves in our every whim. I was at the Mall yesterday, and it was crazy how much *stuff* people are buying.
When did we get to the "here's a very expensive present, see how much I love you?" part of our lives?
Christmas is a happy, yet melancholy time for me, as I'm reminded of all the people who will do without; of all the children who will not feel joy during this season, and of all the parents who's hearts will be broken because they cannot provide for their kids on Christmas morning.
And yet, in the end, very, very few of my best Christmas memories have anything to do with gifts. Even my children could not recall what their gifts have been with great accuracy -- some stand out for Dakotah, but not many.
So...this year, we are building our family a Christmas to remember. And one of the ways we are going to do that is to take the concentration off gifts.
Its not easy to do; some people whom I've told about this plan raise an eyebrow at me, and think I should be able to pull off my "game plan" AND fill my tree with gifts for my children.
I don't think so. They are well provided for; we have many luxuries, and if we get passed the "what I want for Christmas" thing, we will find great joy in each other.
This year, our gift to our children will be the gift of time and love. We will trade the "Christmas rush" in for time spent with them. We will make homemade Christmas cards, and decorations for the tree, and go out in the woods and chop that tree right down, just the 4 of us. We will bake and give to neighors, teachers, and friends. We will adopt a family, and grocery shop for them for a week, and provide gifts to their children. We will sing Christmas songs and look at lights.
And along the way, we will talk about our favourite Christmas memories. Wayne and I will tell stories of our childhood Christmases, and tell our children over and over and over again how much we adore them.
We will remind them of Our Saviour, who was born during this season, and how grateful we are to Him for everything.
And...we will document our entire journey, with pictures, stories, etc., that we will put into a big family scrapbook.
Yes, there will be stockings filled, and a few presents under the tree Christmas morning, but the most special gift of all will be that scrapbook that we have made together...a precious, precious keepsake of this wonderful time in our lives.