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Christmas? Bring it on.

The Thanksgiving leftovers are all eaten and the thankfulness is all gone.  It's time for the season of greed, which creeps up closer and closer every year.  I really prefer some time between the thankfulness and the greed, but with stores enticing buyers with fabulous sales earlier and earlier every year, eventually Thanksgiving will be eclipsed altogether and we'll be left with nothing but the greed.  It's sad, isn't it? 

And don't think it doesn't affect me too.  I wavered all week last week about Black Friday shopping or not.  I love me a good bargain, and really I'm a dream for a store.  Not only do I love a good bargain, I've also got a fair amount of the impulse shopper in me, so while I'm on the good bargain high, I will certainly find thirty not so great bargains that I simply must have as well.  Hair beader?  Gotta have it.  23 different flavors of lip gloss which one nameless child will find and probably use as glue to stick artwork to the wall?  Definitely need it.

I think for the first time in my life, I am actually seeing this about myself and am REALLY trying to make a list, get what I need, and not be tempted.  Yesterday I went to one of my favorite stores with a very short list of things to buy.  Although it was tempting, I actually left with the things on my list and only the things on my list.  Success.  I do suspect it had a little bit to do with the three children with me and yucky weather and a growling stomach, but hey, whatever it takes, right?

I was serious when I said a week or so ago that I want it to be different this year.  We are debt free and I wish to remain that way.  We have a lot of stuff (which is getting pared down - Woot!!) and we really do not need to bring a lot more STUFF into this house.  The little one is now five and my plan today while the girls are doing their schoolwork and he is at school is to continue to sort through his toys and find new homes for the remaining baby and little boy toys that are hiding out in his dresser.

I am about 75% done with the Christmas shopping.  As always, there are several gifts that I am very excited to give this year.  I really do enjoy shopping and trying to find something special for the people I love.  I love knowing what my children want and finding it for them, and I love surprising them as well.  I love Christmas!

We are going to be reading a series of Advent or Jesse Tree devotions this year.  We did this several years ago and then kind of let if fall by the wayside the last few years.  I don't know why - we all loved it.  I love that it gives us a focus, to see the Lord's prophesy in motion, to take some quiet moments with the children to let them know that trees and presents are fun - and there's nothing wrong with them - but to see that there is more to the story.  So much more.  I want this to become a tradition for us, not just a "hey, let's do that devotion thing again this year!" but a deep desire to enjoy the season and to reflect on the deeper meanings.  If you are looking for that too with your family, here are two fabulous helps  - with devotions and plans and ornaments.  I don't know about you, but I'm BUSY this time of year.  We don't stop school, and December is always full of extra activities, so anything that makes planning easy on me is a good thing.

My blogging friend Maggie has this Advent devotional guide:  Celebrating the Season - An Advent Study

And then there is this one also, by Ann Voskamp:   A Jesus Advent Celebration

I'm sure there are hundreds more out there too, but these two are both fabulous.

So, Christmas?  Bring it on.  I'm ready.  Let's do it a little differently this year and REALLY celebrate Christmas. 
 

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