Christmas doesn't come in packages store bought & dressed in boxes & bows. Our JOY is captured right here in these moments as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of the King of Kings.
We begin our Christmas preparation earlier than most every year. Our Christmas tradition is to do most all of our holiday shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving. My parents so graciously bless my sister & I each year with a 3 day shopping trip to Atlanta. We do love shopping but not with the black Friday crowd. Instead, we enjoy the leisure pace, uncrowded stores, & stocked shelves. We return just in time for mama to cook our Thanksgiving feast. It's always delish! She can do anything~shop, cook, decorate, you name it! She's the best! She goes at everything 100%! Anyhow, I really love getting all of that out of the way so that we can enjoy the season together with the true meaning of Christmas in mind.
First up, decorating! The days following Thanksgiving were made for decorating right? We turn up the Christmas music, deck out the Christmas PJs, & get busy! All 3 of our kid bedrooms have a tree & decorations. We put up a tree in our kitchhen as well as our main tree in our den. This year my oldest girls really did those. I am so proud of what beautiful decorators they are becoming. I dressed the mantle & several other surfaces. Most everything in sight gets garland, lights, & bows. My mama has surely rubbed off on us! Then, on December 1st we head out to:
Each year we seek out a nativity production to enjoy with our kiddos. This year we chose The Journey. This was the absolute BEST way to begin our CHRISTmas season on December 1st. It's literally a Walk Through Bethlehem experience. You "live" as a person back in Bible days, sail across the Sea of Galilee, & journey through Bethlehem. You interact with the villagers & are led to the birth of baby Jesus. We have visited several of these in GA but this has by far surpassed them all!
This year my heart has been set on reaching out further than just to my little crew. God has answered our prayers & blessed our businesses more than ever before. Yet, we have more things than we can ever use. I do want my children to have a special CHRISTmas. I want them to go to bed with all the special memories we've made & wake up to exciting new gifts, but I also want them to be a blessing to others. We have begun picking up a few kids that have shown an interest in attending church. It is easy to turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the less fortunate in our area, but we've seen 1st hand that you don't have to look very far to find them. Children don't ask to be born into families where no one holds a job or into neighborhoods where drugs & crime abound. They get cold & hungry. They have wants & needs just like any of us would. This CHRISTmas I want my family to look beyond ourselves, to feel for others, to reach out & help. We have been shopping, baking, & planning to be a blessing to them this CHRISTmas! After all, that's what Christ was born for!