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...

Settling In to Home

This week has "flown" by. ::snort:: 

We arrived home on Tuesday evening. 

Zander and I continue to wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. each morning. 

We've been unpacking, doing laundry, catching up on responsibilities and settling back into our lives. The kids have enjoyed the down time to play with friends a bit more. 

Mike went back to work Thursday.  We at least accomplished Math and Language Arts. 

I planned to go to MOPS and an onsen on Thursday - but alas my car keys are missing. If they show up stateside, please let me know. The key-chain has a band that says "Pray for China" on it and an Asia Region PWOC key-chain attached as well.  

Thursday night we enjoyed a chapel staff Christmas Party. We miss the B family who are deployed and stateside (member and family respectively), but rejoice in the addition of a new Navy chaplain family to our staff. 

Friday found Zander sick. We stayed home another day. 

Mike, Jared and Arielle went to base on Saturday. Jared and Arielle had human video practice. Michael was preparing for today.  The littles and I cuddled inside and played games and watched movies...and I slept. Evidently, I sleep walk. I let the rest of the family inside, and woke up 20 minutes later to ask when they'd gotten home.

The kids were excited for fat, fluffy snow flakes on Friday. Nothing stuck...that may change's certainly cold enough...maybe too cold...who knows?
Nolan & Stacia preform their famous BAREFOOT, WELCOME WINTER DANCE!

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