Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Countdown

I think every year I hear from many and say myself, "I love this time of year.  There is so much to do and things to enjoy but it always seems to go way too fast and begins to feel like a blur." In the ideal world life just slows way down and you savor this season making memories with your family.  In our real world life started off with us running as Eric had a lot of traveling and the girls were in the Nutcracker. 


As I looked ahead and saw activities, programs, parties and just life it began to feel busy and yet I know taking a day at a time and enjoying something as a family or if Eric was gone with the kids was doable.  I just needed to be purposeful with our time.  There are a ton of great ideas out there on the world wide web that I love to gather and use or change a bit to work for us.  One easy and cute idea was to turn our Thankful Tree into a Christmas countdown tree.  That was easy enough and the kids are loving adding bulbs each day! 

There are also so many cute Countdown to Christmas ideas out there.  I grabbed these cute little bags from Hobby Lobby that had little cards that fit right inside.  I punched some circles, glued them on, put numbers on and we were ready to countdown.  I have tried to make the activities on the card something that encourages family time.  The kids can't wait to open the next day's card and find out what we have planned.  Sometimes it is as easy as making a snowflake, reading Christmas books together on the couch or family movie night.  Sometimes it is a fun surprise or a family outing.  I hope during the business of the season, the business of having Eric on the road and the business that comes with four kids we can have some accountability with our little envelopes and enjoy some fun family focused time building memories this Christmas season.  

Have you heard of this? 

I hadn't heard of it either until this year.  When the catalogs start rolling in by the handful at the end of November, the commercials start on TV and people begin asking my kids what is on their Christmas list Christmas can so quickly become self focused.  I love Christmas and finding the perfect gifts for my kids even though they really don't need anything.  So finding the balance of enjoying the process of giving and receiving is something I hope we can do as a family.  When I read on Courtney's blog about Lighting up the Community with Christ's love and she had these great printables to use I knew it was something I thought would be a way to keep the focus off of ourselves and on others this Christmas season.  I love Courtney's heart as she put this together and is encouraging other families to participate.  She says, 

For this year, I wanted my kids to SEE and WATCH and DO what scripture says.
I wanted them to feel the JOY and even the uncomfortable moments of stepping out in fear and trusting.

We’re going to spend HOURS and DAYS out in the community anyway, why not just tote a bag full of stuff and be praying and ready for how God is going to intersect us with a life or opportunity to LIGHT EM UP! 

My heart echo's her words.  I want my kids to experience giving of themselves this Christmas season.  The kids are loving it already.  It has been fun to hear them think about different ideas of things we can do.  After one thing we did Emma got teary and said, "Mom it feels so much better in my heart to do something for someone than to get a present myself!" I am praying that this can be one way my kids will 
see, feel and experience the true meaning of Christmas.  I have a feeling this may be one of our family December traditions.  I will share about some our experiences and thoughts from the kids at the end of the month!  Go to Courtney's blog and check it out! 


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