Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season + Giveaway

It is hard to believe that we are just a few days from the biggest celebration of the year. But what is the point of it all? How did you spend the past 6 weeks preparing? Did you snap at the kids, get very little sleep, spend hours on amazon.com searching for gifts, wake up at 3am to hit sales on Black Friday?
I am not against any of these things, but this year I said the same thing to each of those old traditions I have had for years...


No, I will not fret about gifts!
No, I will not worry if my kids know I love them because I bought them the right things.
No, I will not get up early and deal with grumpy people in order to get the best deal.
No, I will not feel like shopping is the theme of December and do it daily!
No, I don't need to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars in order to show my family that I love them.

You know what happened?

I got peace instead! I still found deals! We had God's favor as we went shopping, praying beforehand that we would find the right things and not have to stress. My husband and I hit Toys R us one evening for an hour, then we went out to dinner and enjoyed couple time because what we wanted to buy...they had...and it was on sale...so it was easy. We stayed out late just simply because we wanted to and the stores were open and we were arm in arm shopping in relaxed fashion!

I have already baked cookies twice this holiday season. In the next few days I will be making gingersnaps, bourbon street pecan pie, Marshmallow salad, ham, green bean casserole, and I am sure many other requested family favorites!

But even at the grocery store when people glare at me because I am taking too long to park...I smile and my older son says, "It is just a parking spot lady, smile! It is Christmas". We both realize together that so many people put the Chaos in Christmas. There wasn't chaos when Jesus was born. The wisemen weren't fretting over what to get Baby Jesus for fear that he would not be satisfied. (Please note that the wise men came by the time he was 2 years old, so they weren't there that night!) Did you know that the shepherds were outcasts? They were considered unclean and were unable to enter the temples. They were the outcasts of society but yet they were the ones that were told and included on the biggest thing happening! A savior is born and they got firsthand news and were the ones to go see him and tell others!

This year we did new things...
We volunteered at a shelter for Thanksgiving.
We caroled at an independent living home for the elderly.
We bought gifts for 5 boys and gave them away for their parents to give them something on Christmas day.
We also have a Christmas Jar that we will find a home for on someone's porch on Christmas Day. (you can read about the Christmas Jar here)

It just occurred to me after reading a short piece from the website...
I am going to giveaway a copy of the book Christmas Jars.
I will end the giveaway on Monday, December 28th.

This book meant the world to me, a former co-worker referred me to it when we ran into each other in a parking lot 8 months ago. I checked it out from the library and quickly started my own Christmas Jar. I am more like the first family in it, not a lot to add this year, but everything counts when you give from your heart!

In the true spirit of giving, I think giving away this book will give you a warm cozy that you will enjoy sharing with others!

Rules for entering:
1. Leave one comment of what you are doing different this year, something that means a lot to you, or just simply a heart warming thought to share with us.

2. Refer someone and post their website for another entry.

3. Follow my blog for another entry. If you already follow my blog, leave a separate post stating you do.

**Your chances to win are up to you, you can invite as many people as you would like to this giveaway! :)

I will post the winner on Monday.
Merry Christmas!