Well, sorry I haven't been around much this month. Our trip to the mainland for Christmas has kept me quite busy. We did not get to visit family last year at this time, and we have truly enjoyed being with them this holiday season.
This time of year can be so hectic. People scurrying all around, the traffic, the last-minute shopping frenzies. It is easy to lose sight of what is most important. There were lots of things I intended to post this month and never got around to...I've been too busy doing what really matters-spending time with loved ones.
Like anyone else, I've shopped. I've wrapped. I've attended parties. But we have made a real effort in our home lately, to just look at Christmas... and be amazed. Amazed at the wonder and the simplicity. The reason we celebrate. An act of love. A lowly birth. An innocent baby. A Savior is born.
When you celebrate Christmas this week, I pray that in the midst of the surrounding frenzy, you will slow down, take a deep breath, and simply worship the King.
These tips are coming a bit late, but here are a few ideas for keeping it simple this year:
1. Help your kids make homemade goodies to give as gifts. An easy, healthier option are these Candied Pecans.
2. Incorporate traditions like reading the nativity story or singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
3. Get bundled up and go Christmas Caroling! Remember that??
4. If you haven't already...don't break the bank! Draw names from a hat and do a gift exchange. Or get together with other moms and dads and have a toy exchange. Gather gently used toys that your kids have outgrown and swap them out with other families. Toys don't have to always be brand new.
5. Forgo expensive gifts and do a White Elephant exchange instead. Those gifts are always the most memorable!
6. Save on wrapping paper and gift-tags...reuse bags from last year or get creative by using newspaper, magazines, or grocery bags to wrap with. Or my personal favorite, give gifts a personal touch by wrapping them up in one of your child's many masterpieces.
7. Okay, this may be controversial, but here goes...re-gift! I see absolutely nothing wrong with taking something that, let's say, isn't you...and passing it along to someone who would truly enjoy it. And if it's just hideous? Well, then, recycle it!
8. Give. Give to a needy family, or the Red Cross, or the Salvation Army...or any number of other causes. You will be the one who receives the gift.
9. Enjoy one another. Love one another.