Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holiday Celebrations

We are coming on that time of year. The HOLIDAYS. Time that is SUPPOSED to be all about thankfulness, family, celebrating God's Gift to us and reflecting on the joy of the season. The reality in the past for me has not exactly been that. Reality has been that I start off with those thoughts and ideas yet somewhere between preparing for the Thanksgiving meal and cleaning up the Christmas decorations all of that has been lost. OK, maybe not all lost but my focus, the main purpose of this time is somehow blurred. The message is minimalized and I am consumed with thought of what needs to be done. Shopping, baking, buying, sending, partying, and doing. I don't think that how we as a family have spent the holidays is really glorifying or pleasing to the Lord. Yes, there have been good moments, good deeds, good ideas followed through. But overall I get consumed and the message is minimalized.

I want this year to be different. Jamie's post got me thinking the other day. I want to be generous with what I have. I want to be thankful for what I have.I want my children to be grateful too. We may not have unlimited resources, but we do have something. So this year we are changing things up. I am not sure exactly what that will mean yet. Yesterday we talked about limiting our gift giving to each other to give to others more. I thought this would be met with cries and boo-hoos but each of the kids said 'you know, I really don't need anything, and there is nothing I have really been wanting'. BINGO! Why buy gifts just for gifts-sake? Just because it is what we are supposed to do? Yes, there will still be some sort of gift giving at our house Christmas morning but it will look different this year. I am thinking maybe we just do the stockings? I am not sure.

I would like my kids to think of ways to bless others this season. Things that they can think up and do. Maybe they will choose to make a Christmas Child box, maybe pick a child off the Angel Tree, maybe make scarfs for the mission, maybe give to the needy, maybe serve at the soup kitchen or deliver a meal for the sick or elderly? I would like Christmas morning to be spent talking about how we were able to be used by God and be a blessing to others instead of "What did you get?" Maybe I will buy coffee for the car behind me in the drive through. Maybe I will buy groceries for that family who is struggling. Maybe I will sit with a sick friend and pray with and for her. Maybe I will go visit my husband's grandma. Maybe I will make that phone call I have been putting off because I haven't had time. Or maybe I will make time to visit with some old friends.

I am not sure what the next couple months will look like exactly. But I am looking for different.


Wendi said...

I love love love this post. I have been stressing (imagine that) about Christmas and what to do this year also. I want to do something different this year also. Just not sure what it is yet.
Thanks for your post.

mholgate said...

Great post! Your thoughts and other posts that I've been reading lately have me thinking about our own family traditions and how we will spend the holidays this year.

Mel said...

OK...loved your dream land on the last post:O) I too often think of how to make the holidays more "self" less. Have not got it right yet...but am firm to sticking to a smaller budget for gifts this year and wanting to bless those who need hope:O) Thanks for the inspirational thoughts friend!!

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

You know I'm with you on this one...I want this year to be different too. Looking forward to hearing more.

Lori said...

hey jill,
just wanted to tell you that your blog-roll is not updating what's happening over at my blog.
it's stuck on like 4 posts-ago.(i always go to yours to see what's happening on other blogs and noticed that).
If you're so inclined...come on over.