Tuesday, October 22, 2013

12 Goals of Christmas 2013

Less than 10 days until Halloween and this is what's on my mind.

The truth is, I know that the day after Halloween, all of our attention jumps to Christmas...and a little Thanksgiving in between.

I've been thinking a lot about what it is that I want the holidays to be for our family and I knew I had goals in mind, so while unloading the dishwasher during snack time, I was able to jot them down...in absolutely no particular order...

1. Made in USA- I would like for the majority of gifts we give this year to be made in America. This will be tricky with nieces and nephews, but I'm going to give it a shot.

2. Support Local. When I can, I'll shop locally and support small business. I'm sure I'll be shopping online as well, but want to try to stick to small shops.

3. Give to others and involve the kids. Courtney deFeo's Light Em Up is gearing up and is a wealth of tools and information to get this going for families. I want to join in and keep the kids right in the middle of it.

4. Jay and Lizzy will get 3 gifts and a stocking on Christmas morning. Forever and ever, Amen.

5. Ann Voskamp's book. Check. I ordered mine last night and it will arrive this afternoon. Thank you Amazon Prime. I've read wonderful things about this one and I'm sure it will be a useful tool to building a firm foundation about the real meaning of Christmas for our children. I think it will be a true compass for us parents, too.

6. Advent.
I want to practice it at home as well as church and for the whole family-something relevant to the kids. I already bought my candles when the Cokesbury store was closing. Now I just have to find them. :)

7. Wear our Christmas clothes, don't save them.
You know what "saving" Christmas clothes does for you? Helps you send awesome, fairly expensive clothes to consignment sales for pennies. This year the kids are going to wear the heck out of their Christmas clothes, I'd rather wear and enjoy them than send like new items off for others and have $7 to show for it.

8. Don't Judge.
I hate that we have the tendency to make so many comparisons between ourselves and others during the holidays. I'm not a fan of folks judging what we do and comparing it to what they do. So, I am trying to be part of the solution by not being part of the problem. I like what we're doing for our family and you like what you're doing for yours. It works for all of us to be happy with what is happening in our own lives. If we're happy with that we're less concerned with what others may be doing. "Don't judge lest ye be judged." Check.

9. Life...Be In It.
For those of us who grew up in Nashville, spending a huge chunk of summer Wave Country was a rite of passage. Well, I remember their cups said "Life...Be In It." and that's sort of the mantra I'm using for our everyday lately and the holidays will be no exception. I want to experience our experiences, not just plan them and move on to the next.

10. Jesus in ALL of it. 
Everything with meaning this Christmas should go back to the meaning of Christmas.

11. Ban Doubt.
Despite the list making, thoughtful early selections and purchases I always make, I always give in to the last minute "Have I bought enough for __________ ?????" doubt. It always ends with spending several hundred dollars the week before Christmas. Even thought I've made my list, crossed off every needed item, I give in to this weird doubt and get stressed about gifts at the last minute. I also do the same with food if we're hosting anything. At the last minute I double the menu then have leftovers for days and days. Its just not worth it and I am saying NO this year.

12. Give extra grace (this includes me).
I need to allow myself to let more things slide. Know that everyone gets busy during the holidays and things may not always turn out the way we hope. I'm sure I'll need extra grace this year so I want to make sure I'm giving extra grace whenever I get the chance.

Joseph and I have discussed these goals and are moving into the holidays with them in mind. I'm praying for a special holy season for our family and may need to keep this list taped to the fridge and bookmarked on our phones/iPad--but I think we're off to a good start and pray that 10 years from now all of this is our normal way of dong things and this list isn't necessary.

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