Too many steps.
So little time.
|Homemade Christmas Crack to give to our neighbors.|
Saltines. Butter. Brown Sugar. Chocolate Chips. Refrigerated and Broken Apart.
And we are so very, very blessed...
I want us to remember that.
|Daily Advent readings...|
Trying SO hard to keep the focus on Jesus and not stuff....
I want them to be remembered.
The crazy right along with the sweet.
And the frazzled and frail right along with the Epic and the awesome.
Because that's what life really is anyway, right? A nice potluck mixture of it all....
|My Christmas Gift to ME. Happy Homemade by a friend from church.|
Every year, I struggle with Christmas.
I love giving gifts to my kids, but I hate - like really, really hate - our culture of "gimme."
I love celebrating and doing special things, but I want things to be simple, and I want them to be savored. I want us to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus, and I want them to be thankful -- no matter what they find or don't find under the tree on Christmas morning.
|Peppermint Patties for our neighbors and my Marmie.|
Birthdays for me are so much more simple. That's the day you were born, so we celebrate YOU! Let's make it big, let's make it loud, and let's make it all about you! Christmas is the day that Jesus was born, and yet it's hard to focus all of the celebrating on Him when there are gifts upon gifts to be unwrapped with name tags other than "Jesus" on them. Sometimes it's hard to silence the cynic within me. It's such a weird message we're sending. And I get it - "Jesus gave us the greatest gift when He gave Himself as a baby....so let's remember and respond by giving gifts to each other in return." But...sometimes, that just falls a little flat with me.
|Christmas breakfast traditions. I love tradition.|
And maybe someday we will.
But, for now, we just try to keep things simple. And I try to get the boys as involved in the spirit of gift giving and Advent waiting as much as possible. We made little treats and cards for all of our neighbors, we made lots of homemade presents for each other and for others, and the boys went shopping intentionally for each other as opposed to merely looking for gifts that they themselves would like to have.
|Christmas morning Christmas story reading.|
(Kaden wrote everyone a super sweet little card with fun little illustrations)...
I love the child-like wonder.
I love doing things for my children that bring them joy.
And I love being intentional. With our money. With our time. And with this Holiday. Balance is good.
And while there were days when the boys were flopping over in their chairs with boredom during our Advent readings...and while there were times that we were Christmas shopping for a sibling but we were more focused on what we were hoping to get for ourselves for gifts....
I still hope - and believe - that little tidbits of truth were sinking in.
I can see with each year, a growing maturity - a growing sense of joy in giving a gift as opposed to just receiving. I see them catching onto our theme of "Happy Homemade" and simple pleasures. I heard thank-you's before there needed to be reminders, and there were many unsolicited hugs of thankfulness.
|I have no words for this picture. None...|
And my family makes me happy.
The love my boys have for their sister and for each other is one of the greatest gifts for this Mama's heart to see. My husband of 15 years - still my most favorite person - and still the Hero of my Heart makes me super happy. Jesus coming down - wrapping Himself in human flesh - and loving me always and forever no matter what really makes me happy. These are my greatest gifts. All things that no amount of money could ever buy. We are indeed blessed beyond measure...pressed down and filled to overflowing.
The gifts under the tree were just a bonus...