Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas - Decorations and Traditions

So, having been absent again for a little while I thought I would put up some pictures of our Christmas decorations for this year, since it is Christmas and everything that goes along with it, that has kept me from this blog!

The tree. (Ignore the laundry basket underneath!)

My mantle

Again, ignore the big bare space in the middle. I do have plans, well did have plans to put a big white frame with white ornaments hanging from it up there, but it just hasn’t happened! The frame is over near the tree waiting to be painted, and the decorations are in my spare room waiting to be hung! By the time I get to it I’ll have one day to enjoy how it looks and then it will be time to put all the decorations away! On the bright side, next year it will be like I have “new” decorations for the mantle…haha!

I just went to a cheapo shop for the baubles in the glass jars on the mantle. I have more tiny ones in a vase elsewhere around the house. I think they look really cute, and no one would know that they cost like 3 bucks for 20! Who doesn’t love a bargain?

I feel like this year I have been so much more flat out getting organised than last year. The days are just flying past and I have been packing so much into each day preparing for Christmas day.

Despite all the busyness of this season, I have found myself to be more contemplative than last year. I don’t know if it’s because I have been thinking more and more about having children, or if I’m just at a different place in my walk with the Lord, but I have been trying to centre my thoughts on what this season is really all about.

I have struggled this year with the idea of receiving and giving lots of things that I don’t really need, that others don’t really need. Christmas for the masses has become about stuff, not about the Saviour.

Do children who last year screamed “where’s my next present” really need more toys, toys that will simply be thrown onto the pile in the playroom? Do adults with houses full of things they never use really need to have loads of money spent on them? Do I really need to receive new things when I have so much already?

And if I don’t change this year, how will I teach my own children, when we have them, what this season is really all about?

So this year, a step in the right direction, the start of some new family traditions. I don’t how they will look in the years to come, how we will mould them, and shape them and add to them, but here they are for this year.

Reading the Christmas story together from the Bible, first thing Christmas morning. What better way to start the day of Christmas than by reading about why we celebrate.

Gifts of Compassion. Want to give a gift that will be used and really appreciated? Well you can, and make a difference in someone’s life at the same time! Best bit (I mean a part from the fact that you are being God’s hands and feet!) you don’t have to face the crazy Christmas crowds to do your shopping, it can all be done online here. Why not really bless someone this year?!

In the past I have been involved in Operation Christmas Child which is all about giving gifts to children who would otherwise not have anything. This is a lot of fun!

Something I want to do next year (I was too late getting onto it for this year) is a fabulous appeal in our town called Adopt a Family. Through the local newspaper, people can register to adopt a family for Christmas, who might otherwise go without. Once you have registered you are then paired up with a family (not in person, just by being given ages, gender, and some other basic details). You are then asked to purchase a gift for each family member, as well as make up a food hamper.

I have also been starting to think about how we can really incorporate Jesus in to the lead up to Christmas. I downloaded from Ann Voskamp her Jesse Tree Devotional for Advent. She writes so beautifully, and I just loved this idea.

The other thing that I am thinking of doing is the Elf on the Shelf! I think it is a really fun way to add some whimsy to the Christmas season. Yes, I want to keep Christ at the centre (like always!), but I think there is room to allow some fantasy to be a part of the celebrations, it’s all about finding the right balance for you. I think the Elf of the Shelf is a cute way to do it!

So there it is, some of my thoughts on Christmas and traditions, and my half-finished Christmas decorations!

Have a lovely evening!


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