Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Shopping - Bring it On

Yes, we love Advent....the four weeks before 25 Dec when we celebrate the advent of God into history, into our daily lives, and into our future.  IF you're interested in our Christmas saga, feel free to click All Things Advent in the sidebar (btw this is listed year round on the "musings" page under holiday musings"). Here you will find all sorts of activities, traditions, curriculum ideas..... We shamelessly use every bit of this season to point our children to Christ.

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....

Other Shopping Catalogs we've used....Samaritan's Purse,  Compassion International, and Harvest of Hope. I'm sure there are many more wonderful options. I'm sure there are options in your local area. We currently live outside of America, therefore, our focus is  Misawa and Asia. 

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Linda said...

Awesome ideas, DeEtta, as usual!

Jen said...

This is kind of our plan this year. Focus on Christ on the 25th. Open presents for us (so far I have been so unmotivated to even think about those) on NYE.

We are working on what we will do on the 25th to celebrate Jesus.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Thanks, Linda. It was lovely for us last year, Jen. We really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

yesterday I was at the grocery store when "I'll be home for Christmas" came ofer the speakers and I cried.... thinking of one foster grandchild who left her home yesterday to come to our home to wait to head back to a home in our family network. Out of one place and into a secure place..... great but still ironic during this season. Of course when she came yesterday I had to cry while those bringing her were here and etc. At least they all can say I care.
Folks, do pray for all of this....... this kid is loved by our family and so here goes........... love/prayers - Mom

Cynthia said...

We ordered a number of our Christmas presents from The Apparent Project which provides $$ for Haitian families. We were able to purchase some special gifts for teachers, etc., while providing much needed income to Haitian families.