Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Shopping!

Today I am heading off to do my mom's Christmas shopping with her. We are notorious last-minute shoppers and love every minute of it! Although this very well may be the last year that we have such a long list of gifts to get because next year...everything is changing! Less for us and more for others! We're excited about focusing more on time spent together, especially now that everyone is moving up and out, and also on reaching out to others.

There are quite a few traditions we will be starting this year and next. Most I've picked up from blogs and comments on others' blogs!

This year: Before packing our stockings away, we will be writing down our hopes & prayers for the coming year on slips of paper and sliding them into our respective stockings (we are all welcome to contribute to each others stockings as well) . Next year, when we pull the stockings out, we will take time to read those hopes and see what has been accomplished and what God has done. We will also be saving each paper into a journal so we can see how our lives have changed from year to year.

Next year: Jesus will have his own stocking and we will take time to write out what we are giving HIM for Christmas. These will also be saved so we can see how we have grown.
(my inspiration)

Next year: We will be lighting advent calenders and reading a devotional every evening in anticipation of Christmas. I have found several great devotionals for various ages and am very excited!

I also love the idea of wrapping up 24 Christmas books and opening/reading one each day!

Next year: We really want to focus on what we can give to others as opposed to what we can get. There are so many opportunities that what we do will probably change from year to year, but each year we will gather together to make salt dough ornaments - as gifts, to decorate our trees - and amongst those ornaments will be one made to remind us, in the years to come, what "gifts" we gave away to others. (What it may look like)

Next year: Instead of buying gifts for each person - each family will put together one gift to be opened Christmas day. Each gift should contain an activity that can be done together, and must be able to include every single person. It can be as simple as watching a movie or playing a game and as complicated as a craft or baking. Whatever crazy activity gets thought up and wrapped -every one must be opened and done sometime during the day. It's going to be fun and encourage lots of quality time together and less stress about finding that perfect gift for the perfect price!

We will be doing stockings, but the filling will be shared by all. You can choose to buy a small item, unique to each person, or a general item that can be divided into each stocking (candy, gum, dollar store item...whatever). As each family arrives, they can take the time to quietly drop their contribution into each stocking - it will be fun to see what everyone comes up with!

What are some fun and/or unique traditions that you do?


Odie Langley said...

The most significant thing is to choose someone in our community that does not have any family and see that they are remembered. This year it is a little lady at a nearby rest home. We have already given her a Christmas package of items she needed and had it for their yearly party and was thrilled. This week my wife and I will be visiting her and spending some time with her to make it even more special.

Kristie said...

I LOVE the activity gift giving idea! I mentioned it to Rich...sounds like he likes the idea, but is having a hard time giving up what the family usually does, which they actually didn't do this year anyway. The problem is, to be able to do this we'd have to pick a day other than Christmas morning because everyone has somewhere else to be in the afternoon and there wouldn't be time to spend time as a family :-/ Rich REALLY doesn't want to give up Christmas morning at his grandma's...

I also like the idea of giving more to others, instead of ourselves when we really don't need it.