There is a season for everything and Christmas certainly deserves its own. It is also a time of year when everyone seems to quite literally lose their minds and add about a million activities and endless chores to their calendars. For many people it is a time of over-doing it, over-stressing and simply over-spending. That doesn’t sound like the best way to celebrate the joyful birth of our Saviour Jesus. And it is our responsibility to tone it down and make sure our children see the holiday for what it is meant to be, rather than what it has become. It is certainly our job to provide our children with traditions and activities that will help them to remember the details about the birth of Jesus and claim Christmas as part of their Christian heritage.
I want the story of Christmas to be engraved on our kids hearts, just as clearly as when they see a rainbow they remember that God promised there would never be another flood. The key to avoiding the commercial chaos is to plot and plan your Christmas and to be intentional about what you as a family will be doing. That way when something comes up that isn’t part of your plan you can choose to ignore it or find a space to squeeze it in. Seriously if it isn’t on our plan it isn’t going to get done. Now some people see Christmas preparations as a chore, things that have to be done, but really if you choose them wisely they can be great ways for your family to learn and serve. I like to get most of the distractions of Christmas preparations out of the way before December, so that we can spend December having fun… intentional spontaneity and having time for our family traditions is important to us, not to mention having time for heaps of visitors – even more than our usual crowd.
In order to be intentional about our Christmas we have a “To Do List…” That you can read about in detail on our Christmas Page, where you can find heaps and heaps of Christmas help if you follow the link:
Here’s a quick summary of the steps and what to look our for:
- Step 1: Operation Christmas Box.
- Step 2: Christmas Cards.
- Step 3: Plotting and Planning Gifts.
- Step 4: Creating Gifts.
- Step 5: Gift Wrapping.
- Step 6: Calendar Planning.
- Step 7: The Advent Calendar.
- Step 8: The New Year Party.
We always begin our Christmas preparations with our Christmas boxes… they put us in the mood for Christmas and get us thinking about giving… and they set the scene for our upcoming preparations.
We like sending Christmas cards, and now that the kids are older it is going to be fun to prepare them… not just artwork but a short letter inside them.
Before you even think about buying or making gifts you are going to need a gifting policy in place… this will save you thousands as Christmas day gets closer and the advertising gets more intense. This is one of our few family meetings of the year where we have every one’s attention… who are we going to gift and what would they like.
While we make most of our gifts we do have standards… And we have a great gift guide packed with ideas and heaps of gifts we have made before – that have worked:
The art of creating gift wrap is such fun and is usually and afternoon of splashy paint – no one around here complains about it at all!!!
We have a couple of traditions that we like to fix into our calendar and we take care to fix lots of “nothing” time as well, because something always crops up that you would rather not have been too busy for.
And the Se7en + 1th Step:
Now just because I have a list doesn’t mean I get around to everything and in fact if I miss a few key points on the list – well at least I had a plan. Christmas is not about perfection, it isn’t even about us… Christmas is all about remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Finally, just to help you with your Christmas preparations I have a packet of Christmas Cards to give away to one lucky reader. All you have to do is take a look at our Christmas Page… And if you have a question about getting organized for Christmas then go ahead and ask away. I will answer them all a little nearer the time.
As usual I have to thank CBD, our GiveAway book suppliers for another great prize.
The GiveAway works in the usual way, comment before the end of this coming Sunday, 20 November 2011, and we will draw and publish the winner next week! – I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.
Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and get commenting!!!