Sunday, December 6, 2009


Its no big secret that I LOVE Christmas!

I go a little crazy decorating the house and look forward to the day the radio stations start playing Christmas music. I program all the "Christmas stations" on my presets and put Christmas CDs in the player for when they stations play commercials

I Love:
-bundling up in coats and hats and mittens because of the chill in the air
- the snow on everything & sledding (now that I live where it snows)
- driving around seeing all the houses with lights
- the Christmas decorations in all the stores
- caroling
- baking cookies and pies and breads for the holiday parties
- the Advent church services
- decorating the tree
- watching Christmas movies bundled up by a fire
-& the way everyone seems to smile at strangers (well for the most part)

Then there are all the things that I HATE about the holiday season.

- The stress & GREEDINESS
- the Black Friday Sales where people stand in line for hours and then push and shove to get the best deals
- the desire to buy MORE and MORE stuff that we don't need - just because its a good price.
- the feeling that you have to get something for everyone that just ads up to stacks and stacks of presents under the tree!
(You shouldn't have more presents than you do tree!)
- Then spending hours trying to figure out how to politely write thank you notes for all the things you didn't want & now have to figure out where then came from & stand in line to return.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we "shouldn't" buy presents for our families and friends. But it seems that the PRESENTS have become the meaning of Christmas.

I will be out with my kids and the big question from everyone we meet is -
"What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"
During the holidays, are kids are "taught" to be greedy!
I know its only natural to want things, but I struggle with how to teach my kids to be givers instead of being so selfish all the time.

A few weeks ago,(by request) we were going thru the ads from the Sunday paper and circling what we wanted and Gryphyn was being super greedy to the point of throwing a fit when I declined some of his requests to circle. I knew then that I was encouraging his greediness. But didn't know what to do.

The next morning, while eating breakfast, he picks up the ads and starts with the "I want ...." So, I tried to turn things around, I asked Gryphyn what he wanted to get for his brother Vahn for Christmas and he says "umm maybe a magazine" and goes on pointing out the toys that "he" wanted for himself. So I took the ads away and we had a talk about giving to others and and asked him if he thought Vahn would like to have a magazine. I explained that it was selfish to give something cheap so that we can buy more expensive things for ourselves. I'm not sure how much sunk into his little 4 year old brain. But I decided then that we were doing things different this year.

The Men and I are going to make all our presents that we give away and I've asked everyone to not buy them a bunch of toys and stuff they don't need. I would love to do some sort of service type project with them but I think they may be a bit young for that still (at 2 & 4).

I want to spend more time together as a family, focus on Jesus, HIS story and to GIVE in what ever way we can.

I came across the following video on a blog I follow. It is primarily for a project that supplies clean water to those who don't have it but I LOVE the wording and meaning of the video. Christmas IS about Christ's birth -celebrating him - teaching THAT to our children.

I hope it touches you like it did me:


Ingram Family said...

I loved your post and SO agree with it! I have become such a scrooge over the years, and get sick when I hear people talking about all the stuff they are buying for Christmas presents. I think all your ideas are great and just wanted to throw one out there for you also. We have been doing this for about 3 years and it has worked awesome. We get the kids 4 presents....Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Plus we always give jammies on Chrismas eve. It really keeps the price down and helps to keep the buying under control. Just thought I would share!

The Zinn family said...

I also love this blog. I agree with Christina, the 4 things idea is great, and it checks your heart too. One cool thing we do every year is Operation Christmas child. It is cool because we spend the day shopping for another child that is the same gender and age as Ainslee, Jamie and Sonny. It makes them think of another person and they have to keep jealousy in check. They get to pick out toys they would like, but then give them away.
We also have this huge change jar that we started putting all our change into. We found a scripture about giving and labeled the jar. Our kids get so excited about finding money and putting it in the jar. They say "I found more money for the kids mom!!!"
Oh and I made a rule that my kids are not allowed to tell me what they want for Christmas. We don't do santa, so that takes a lot of pressure off. They are allowed to talk about how they want to bless others, and only tell us ideas of what they want when asked. God bless and Merry Christmas!!!!!

Drake, Rachel and Olivia said...

Nice post Jolene! You know, we are taking Olivia to a few local nursing homes on Christmas day to hand out cookies and homemade ornaments that Olivia will be making for them. Its a little thing but I think they are never too young, its just a matter of finding the right activity. You are right on with what you are saying!

Stacey said...

I love YOU!!! That video was profound. Thank You.... Hey every 6 months I make my kids go through their toys and put them in a bin to give away. We only keep the educational toys they are still using and any favorites all the rest go in a bin and then we take them to the shelter or a battered womens shelter or a childrens shelter. It might be a good idea and your kids are definitely not too young!