This time of year is so magical and so overwhelming at the same time. I love the widespread Christmas spirit yet I’m also strangely burdened by it. I find myself often feeling torn between 2 extremes … I want to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list but the finances required are overwhelming. I want to attend every party and event, but it takes a toll on our young family. I want to… but….
Does anyone relate?
Thank God for His Word!
Psalm 119:36-37 has become my meditating thought these days:
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
I hate to admit it but my days are often spent in pursuit of selfish gain and worthless things. And the list can be long this time of year… a well decorated house, a yummy Holiday dinner, the perfect Christmas card, and on and on. As I feel the weight of those worthless things bearing down on me, God reminds me of this verse. Oh how I want Him to incline my heart to His testimonies! May I not be too busy to see His work all around me… in the hearts of my kids, in the love of friends and strangers, in the beautiful families on those Christmas cards we receive. Oh Lord, turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things that crush the life out of me. Your ways give life. Thank you Lord!
I put together a little list of daily activities to help our family countdown to Christmas. So far, it has been super fun and has helped our kids remember others, not just themselves. After all the fun we’ve had in just the first 5 days, I wanted to share it with you. I sewed some grocery sacks together (yes, you can sew paper), wrote our activities on little scraps on paper, and taped them all to the paper in a Christmas tree pattern (clearly, I was unwilling to spend any money on this – ha!) . Each day we flip up a card to read that day’s activity. (I geared the activities toward the ages of our kids – 5, 3, and 1. Adjust accordingly to fit your family.)
Here’s our display…
Here’s our list…
- Deliver lollipops to friends and strangers. (This ended up being hilarious. I gave both boys big bags of lollipops to distribute as they pleased. D took them to his Sunday School class, stepped one foot in the door and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Hey guys! I brought lollipops for everyone!” I’m sure his teachers were filled with love for me. 😉 C took his lollipops to Costco for distribution. He rode around in the cart, saying, “Free lollipops here!”)
- Set up the Christmas nativity. (I personally love how they did this. Jesus is in the middle and all the people are as close to Him as they can possibly get – shoulder to shoulder. Can you see the little baby at the bottom of the pic?)
- Buy a Kroger card and give it to someone in the store. ( We prayed that God would show us who to give it to before we went in to the store. We walked around the store a few times until they spotted an elderly lady who was the one they chose. She was precious and gave the boys big hugs.)
- Have hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.
- Do a service for someone in the family.
- Cut out paper snowflakes.
- Visit the Living Nativity.
- Go to the Church Christmas Program.
- Get donuts and take them to the Fire Station.
- Make Grinch Punch.
- Make Reindeer Cookies.
- Deliver Cookies to a friend or neighbor.
- Watch a Christmas movie.
- Eat at a drive thru restaurant and pay for the people behind us.
- Snowball fight with socks.
- Donate toys and clothes.
- Go Christmas shopping for dad and siblings.
- Wrap presents and put them under the tree.
- Get Christmas books from the library.
- Send a Christmas card to far away family.
- Deliver gum to all the people who give us gum (my kids are gum hogs).
- Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
- Have dinner with someone special.
- Make Christmas pancakes.
- Eat birthday cake for Jesus!
I hope that you and yours have a wonderful time expecting our Savior’s birthday!