The countdown is on. There are only 6 days til Christmas! One of those days is Christmas Eve, so for me that really means 5 days.
Is your shopping finished? Are your presents wrapped and under the tree? Is your food ready in the fridge or frozen in the freezer? Is the house company ready or are your suitcases packed? I have to answer most of these questions with, "no".
We have tried really hard this year to simplify. It sounds so sweet to say but it is difficult to do. We decided to get each of the children just one gift. We didn't send Christmas cards or put up the outside lights. I've cut the baking down and I've streamlined the gift-giving list. All of these things have been hard for me, but good. I love to light up the outside of the house with tons of Christmas, but this year we've kept it simple with one primitive snowman and a Christmas pillow in the rocking chair on the porch. I love to buy the kids lots of presents but we have chosen to give them one thing that we know they will love, and enjoy, and use, and have resisted the urge to buy more. I'm not baking as much as I usually do. Don't get me wrong...I'm baking, it's just not my normal amount. I've eliminated some gift buying, not because I'm Scrooge but because there was just some buying that was not necessary. The hardest thing for me has been not sending Christmas cards. I wake up each morning ready to change my mind on that decision. I have sent Christmas cards every single year for the last 20 years. It's hard for me to take a year off but when we discussed simplifying and spending less this year the decision was made. A simple tradition of sending cards can easily turn into an expenditure of $50. We decided to put that money elsewhere.
I wanted to make sure during this Christmas season we spent a lot of time reading the Bible together as a family. I wanted to make sure we kept up our traditions like making gingerbread houses and fudge and buying Christmas presents for someone in need, someone we don't know. I hoped we could enjoy more time together playing games and crafting and less times waiting in lines, fighting crowds and being bombarded with stuff we don't need. I think on that to-do list I can answer, "yes".
Now we're down to the last 5 days. Overnight company will be coming so I want to scrub down every inch of the house. I'm in charge of what my family (and company) will be eating so I want to make some yummy food. (I've frozen what I've made so far but oh is it hard to keep my men out of the goodies!) I have a few people I still need to shop for and several gifts to wrap. I'm planning to get some of these things done today. While I'm making my list and checking it twice I'm going to be mindful of what Christmas means. God, in the form of human flesh, lowered Himself to come to earth and save me! It's a truth that makes my heart overflow with joy! I'll get these "to-dos" checked off my list today while singing Christmas songs with the kids (at the top of our lungs) and I'll not forget what Jesus did for me! I will remind my kids also, lest they get caught up in too much of the hustle and bustle of buying and getting and lose sight of Jesus. And I will thank Him...not only the next five or six days, but all of my days!
I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season and your family!