Saturday, November 29, 2008

Preparing for Christmas

Greetings to all! I pray that everyone is doing well. I thank all for the emails and comments wishing me well. Simplifying my life through cutting back on other non-material things in my life is having the desired affect in my health. Our family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. My Beloved worked along side me in the kitchen. As I did the cooking, he did the cleaning up. It is something that he is wanting to do each year on the holidays. We want the children to learn to take part as they are able so that it becomes a family activity. At 2 1/2 yrs old, Abbie is already old enough that she can do little tasks to help in both the food preparation and setting the table. To her, washing the plastic dishes, spoons and forks is still a playing activity. I wash the items first to be sure they are clean, then I let her "wash " them. It both keeps her happily occupied while teaching her a skill that will be a blessing later. She is also learning to take part in the household tasks.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is past, Christmas preparations are going into a more focused effort. We keep our celebration simple. Our main focus is on the birth of our Lord. We intend for our children to grow up not focusing on the holiday tree, decorations, and expecting a pile of gifts waiting for them on Christmas morning. In our home, we will have a small tree on a table decorated with ornaments that are homemade. I am making stockings from fleece for each family member. Right now, the children each have a purchased gift. I am working on making the remaining gifts. They are simple things, a toy and clothing type items.

During the next few weeks, I will be helping Abbie to make little gifts for her Daddy, brother, and Grandparents. This will become a tradition. We want the children to learn that just as Christ gave of Himself for us, we should give of ourselves (time, talents) to others.

Another way you can teach children to give to others as Christ gave to us is to find a charity that you can help especially during this season. Find one that is age appropriate for your children so that they can also participate. This year, my Beloved has signed our family up to be bell ringers for the Salvation Army. At 2 yrs old, Abbie will enjoy ringing the bell. I am working on teaching her to say "Merry Christmas" which I am sure she will do very well at. We will all be there as a family doing this. Now that Abbie is getting older, I am planning to make little blankets that she can help to tie instead of quilting. We will work on them through the upcoming year for donating next year. It will be another way to give of ourselves through the year to help others. Another idea is to make a little craft of some kind for the troops. We are considering making little angels to send with a note thanking them for their service and letting them know that we are keeping them in prayer.

Along with our family devotions which we have several times throughout each week, we are hoping to keep this holiday season in a way that focuses on the Lord and gives glory to Him. I pray that the Lord's blessings be with you and your family as you celebrate this blessed season.