For our family, patiently waiting on God’s provision and sweet traditions have helped keep us focused. God has always provided in amazing ways. From a check left in our mailbox to “overstock” presents from other families, we have never lacked for a full tree. Sometimes the urge to “go and get” is strong. Then, I am reminded to "wait and see" what He will do. When God does the shopping, He never misses a thing and usually goes above and beyond my expectations. He faithfully shows Himself in ways I know my children will never forget. Praying for their gifts, and seeing God's answers, is an awesome gift in itself. Waiting on God is a lifelong discipline. If my children learn to trust His heart and believe beyond human resources that He will always be present in their time of need, that is a gift that will last way beyond any material possession.
Matthew 7:11 states,
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
Traditions have been another great way to preserve our core beliefs about the Christmas season. Some have remained year after year. Valuable practices, like reading the Christmas story, have been there since the beginning of our married life.
Opening stockings, after a big breakfast of homemade doughnuts, and watching White Christmas while we decorate are two of my older children’s favorites. We have held to a three present rule with a variation of one being a family gift on some occasions. This has helped to keep out the excess. Having a basket of Christmas books and reading one each night with family devotions is also a treasure of sweet cuddles. Cleaning out old toys to donate to Goodwill or The Salvation Army makes a frequent appearance as well as baking cookies for our neighbors and delivering them with a Christmas tract. Wrapping up a gift for Jesus, with a list of all we plan to give Him in the coming year, has to be one of my favorites. Below is a list of traditions that are part of the familiar scenes of a Rossiterville Christmas.
This may sound odd, but one of our traditions has been adding or trying something new each year. Sometimes, we fall in love with the idea, and it stays permanently. Others may just end up as a one-and-done time of memory making. On purpose, these as well as all the other traditions, do not revolve around spending much, if any, funds. Sticking with the idea of praying in each Christmas, our traditions should be able to be kept whether money is plentiful or scarce. Here is a list of things we have tried.
New or Tried Traditions
The Star in the Car is also a new one that I am going to try for our rides to school. A simple Dollar Tree star will visit our van each day. Whoever finds the star on their seat will give ways that we can seek Jesus, just as the Wisemen did so long ago. Our ride to school has become a time of prayer and devotion. The kids were just saying we needed a Christmas focus, so we are going to give it a try.
This Year's Door Decorating Contest
As I type this, I do not know what our Christmas will look like monetarily. However, I do know God will do what only He can in His time and in His amazing way. In the meantime, I know our Christmas will be packed with the things money cannot buy. Sweet prayers from little hearts to Jesus’ ears, and precious memories of family and time spent together, will definitely be a part.
We must keep swimming upstream and struggling to keep Jesus in the midst of this special season. When the last present is opened, and all the excitement is a distant memory, unwrapping the lessons learned in the struggle will live on in your life and in the lives of those you love. That is a Christmas gift worth more than money can ever buy!
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Do you want to build a snowman? Did you know you can make your own snow at home? All you need is some baking soda and hair conditioner. Seriously! I purchased a bottle of coconut-scented hair conditioner at the Dollar Tree. It not only made homemade snow, it made our homemade snow smell amazing!
Remember to look for white conditioner. I tried two different hair conditioners and both worked well. The only thing is, the first batch smelled great (I used strawberry conditioner) but it had a pink tint. Who wants pink snow? I'd suggest using white conditioner so that your homemade snow is white. There’s no business like snow business!
MATERIALS: You will need a bowl, baking soda, and white hair conditioner to make your homemade snow. To make the snow, mix 3 cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup of white hair conditioner. Instead of using a spoon, kneaded the mixture by hand. This will allow you to feel the texture of the snow. If you find that it’s too sticky, add more baking soda. If it feels too stiff, add more hair conditioner. You are looking for a fluffy feel that is still moldable.
BONUS: Add some silver glitter to give your homemade snow a frosty shimmer!
CLEANUP: For large outdoor play areas, use a plastic tablecloth under the snow’s container. For indoors, use a baking sheet or newspaper to help keep the area tidy.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas
This is a New York Times Bestseller and ECPA Award Winner with over 150,000 copies sold, and at this writing it is on sale at a discounted price over on Amazon!
Unwrap the Greatest Gift with your family this holiday season! With vivid, full-color illustrations, downloadable ornaments, and moving scenes from the Bible, this book is a gift your whole family can experience each day leading up to Christmas.
Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.
What's your favorite "Keep Christ in Christmas" tradition?
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