A friend posted this on FB - and it sums up what we experienced last year: "When old traditions have run their course, find joy in the new."
Last year we dedicated December 25th, Christmas Day, as Jesus' Day. We celebrated ONLY His birthday that day. We ate a birthday cake, sang songs, played pin the star on the stable and "opened" His gifts. It was a blessed day.
We had a family gift exchange on 1 January. This worked great for us as all our children were home on 1 Jan. It allowed our focus to be where we wanted it on 25 Dec, and it also puts us in rhythm with our host country - which celebrates New Year's in a big way with gift giving and fireworks. LOL We liked this. It was the "next step" in our Christmas Celebration Odyssey. Psssttt....some of the men types around here note it also allows them to shopping the day after Christmas for family gifts. ::snort::
When I mentioned being "behind" in Christmas Preps due to our recent travels, many encouraged me it's not about the decorations etc...but that isn't what I was thinking.
Last year we printed four catalogs and gave the children a daily shopping budget. They poured over the catalogs to find the BEST deals for their shopping $. These were special catalogs....catalogs to buy rabbits, chickens, cows, bikes, lights, water, food, Bibles, tracts for those in poverty stricken countries. These are some of the gifts we gave to Jesus on Christmas Day. I felt bad that I didn't' have those ready to go 2 weeks ago.....but yesterday.....I chose to print one catalog. We went with Gospel For Asia because 100% of our gift budget will go to gifts - no money saved for admin or publicity at all. We like that. You can check out the video in the sidebar if you are interested or here for many more videos. We plan to watch these as a family throughout the rest of Advent.
Catalog printed and ready for family shopping....We all mark what we want to buy and put in one big order on 25 Dec.
I'm sure some decorations will go up....we are American after all. ::snort:: We like the excitement, lights and nativities.....but the focus of our year will be this bit of shopping and giving to Him. This year I, personally, am looking for gifts to provide an income for a family.....and it was fun to hear discussions last night about the various merits of pigs, chickens, goats, rickshaws, sewing machines or water buffaloes.
Finally, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here....
Living all of life before the face of God...