We are finally decorated for Christmas! Well, except for a little tweaking and the continual redecorating that the littles are always busy with. I officially banished the storage tubs from the living room and sent them back to the attic yesterday – and it now feels so much nicer! I have promised myself that next year I will get the decorating done in one week, so that I don’t have to live with the boxes for half of the season – it drags me down so to see all of the clutter!
I am planning to post each day until Christmas on what we are doing each day as we make our way to Christmas Day. I’m calling it “THE TWELVE DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS”. I will be including a Scripture verse or passage each day to think about, as well as recipes, family fun ideas and whatever other craziness might be going on! ( like the fact that there have already been 3 tantrums thrown this morning – and no, not by me, although I think I may be next!) I hope you are encouraged by these posts and maybe you’ll pick up a new idea for your family this year!
This day finds us watching Christmas movies (as usual), and doing some shopping to start with. I am taking Laura shopping for her Secret Santa present as well as for a gift exchange for a party she is going to on Saturday. About five years ago, we started having the children draw names for Secret Santa each year. It was starting to get ridiculous with everyone giving to everyone – especially when most of them can’t afford to buy their own, and Mom and Dad are footing the bill! Now, they draw names each year and buy a special present for one of their siblings. They have been known to make something or wrap up gifts from their own belongings for the other siblings, too, which is fine – but they only buy something for one of them. I take them shopping separately, so that they can keep their identity a secret until Christmas morning. We have just about finished buying all of them this year, so we will be able to wrap them and start putting them under the tree. (They have to go out together to keep the secret identities safe!)
Dinner tonight will be a family favorite – Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets, rice and steamed vegetables. Ryan and Matthew are both off work today, so I picked tonight to cook this – it’s one of their favorites. We will probably end up baking something yummy for dessert, although I won’t know what it is until later! Maybe brownies or Christmas M&M candy cookies. I have been telling Matthew that I would bake the annual Christmas Cherry cookies this week, but that probably won’t happen with me out shopping this afternoon.
After dinner, Jeff and I are going to run out for ice cream and the chance to finish talking about the rest of the gifts that we will be giving this year. We would stay at home and do this, but we wouldn’t be allowed to finish a sentence here!
Later in the evening, I will hopefully be working on either cross-stitching Michael’s stocking (deadline coming quickly!) or finishing making the Christmas cards that I started last night. These are both high priority items, which will make it hard to decide which to do, but probably circumstances (as usual) will dictate which I can do, if either!
A good Scripture to keep in our thoughts at this time of the year is Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Whenever I am stressed out, it is
usually always because I am trying to do things my own way and in my own strength. God has not called us to this, but rather to REST in Him, allowing Him to be in control of our lives and trusting Him to work everything out for our good and His glory. Christmas is no exception – I tend to get caught up in the “I want to make everything perfect” syndrome, and forget that focusing on Him is all it takes to make it perfect. If all of the other trimmings that I love so much went away, I would still have Him and it would still be perfect. I am praying that He would remind me (and you, too!) throughout my day to rest in Him and to stop and meditate on His greatest gift – the gift of His Son.