I’ve found I’m repeating many posts from the end of last year, but I like that! I love traditions. I like that I’m able to prove this to myself. We are making these traditions for our family, and making them important!
We have continued our Four Gifts with our children throughout the year. The four gifts are giving only for presents, each with a theme; one thing you wear, one thing you read, one thing you want and one for someone in need. For Charlotte’s birthday party we asked guests to replace presents for her with diapers and wipes to be donated to the local food shelf. She was still completely spoiled with beautiful presents, but we also donated over 500 diapers! For Josiah’s birthday, I was able to take the afternoon off of work and spent time taking my boy out to lunch, to the park, to pick out pumpkins and have his pictures taken with just mom and Jo. Quality time is always such a gift!
For Christmas we are again continuing. Each child is getting pajamas and an outfit. We will be going to visit our local holiday lights celebration and making a donation of food goods to give to those in need. Poor Eli is getting the short end, his “want” gift is a deposit into his savings account to get it started. Josiah will be getting a new bike. Charlotte is getting a regift, but it’s a good one. She is getting doll furniture of a dresser, bunk beds and a high chair. The special part of these are that they were not only mine when I was little, but my mom’s too! They’ve been repainted and cleaned up and I’m excited to pass them on! They already hold so many memories, I can’t wait for Charlotte (and the boys) to make many more with them.
We did our “read” a little differently this year. Starting on December 1, I had wrapped up 25 books. Most were books we already had, a few were new. Each night the kids get to pick out a present, we open it up and read the book. Josiah has figured out that they are all books, but still gets very excited. Charlotte just loves books no matter what so it’s all fun for her. Eli doesn’t care, but someday he will! It’s been fun to watch their excitement and joy with something so simple.
Christmas time is much more than presents. It’s a little bit about treats you eat, and loved ones being close. But it’s mostly about an infant king, born in a stable, to bring us the greatest gift, eternal life. How do you keep focus on the reason for this season, when the world around you wants to put your priorities elsewhere?