Archives For christmas

One of the joys of the Christmas season is giving. I love to watch as my loved ones open a gift that I picked especially for them. It can warm the heart. I think I am a giver by nature. I love to offer what I can to people, whether it’s time, advice, encouragement, an extra hand to carry the load or a simple gift. It’s just in my DNA…but…sometimes I give, give, give and my tank runs low and I have to stop and just receive.

Let’s be honest. We like to give, but sometimes it’s better, if not necessary, to receive. If we are not careful, we can run our emotional, physical or relational tanks so low that we don’t have anything left to give. So, my Christmas challenge to you is this…

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Downsizing Christmas

Eric Baumann  —  December 20, 2011 — 16 Comments

One of the holiday traditions that my boys look forward to is the Toys-R-Us catalog that comes in the mail or newspaper. This is the opportunity that they have to dream big and circle all the things they want for Christmas. They go crazy as they search for the coolest toys and make their picks for Santa. I have to admit that I think I have just as much fun surfing through the pages as they do trying to find a gift that would benefit “the whole family”…or that I could play with too.

This year though, we put a twist on it. This year, we decided that we were going to downsize our gift giving…well actually our receiving. We explained that each member of the family was only going to get three gifts when they woke up for Christmas morning. We want our focus on Christmas not to be about all the toys we can rack up, but rather about three important things that should make Christmas special.

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The holidays are a perfect time to begin new traditions. It gives us parents the opportunity to be a little more intentional with our kids with the extra time we get to spend with them. Whether you have vacation time that needs to be taken, or your kids are on…what do they call it now…Winter Break [if you’re wondering whatever happened to Christmas Break, that’s a topic for another time]. This time of year brings with it extra hours that can be capitalized on to strengthen relationships if we choose to be wise in how we spend it. If we choose to just slow down and stop trying to catch the next best thing [or uh gingerbread man…I had to tie in the title somehow].

Three years ago I started a tradition that with my oldest son. Every Christmas we buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits from the store, and we try our best to make the coolest and slickest house on the market. We lay out all the candy, trying hard not to eat it so there is some left for house, and we piece together the walls and roof with icing that makes it all stick. It is one of the highlights of the year…for both of us.

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