Tuesday, November 17, 2009

V is for Values

What do I really value about the Christmas season? Such a good question. Ultimately, the things we value the most make us who we are, but sometimes these get lost in the chaos that the holidays can bring. I feel this way a lot. I want our Christmas season to be meaningful but sometimes I think I spend so much time trying to cram in "meaningfulness" that it actually ends up getting lost.

First and foremost, Jesus is the reason for the season. How do we keep Him the main focus?

Secondly, it is truly a time for family and relaxation (I mean it is a time off school, relatively little commitments)

tradition - I want the kids to have a sense of tradition - some things we do every year that are important to them. This isn't to mean that traditions can't change - why do it for the sake of doing it if it doesn't mean anything to anyone? And as we hear or discover new things, to be open to trying new things that may end up being traditions too.

Togetherness - we are fortunate to have both sides of extended family near by and even more awesome is that in the last several years, they have all come together for the major holidays so time juggling is less of an issue. The gifts are less important then the sharing of time together.

When family from afar can join - all the better.

Gratitude - I want our family to always have a spirit of gratitude. We are SO blessed and no matter how crummy a day we've had, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

Giving - Along with gratitude, I want our family to have a spirit of giving. To realize how much we do have and how we can share and be a blessing to others. There are so many out there less fortunate then us and we have in abundance. We need not store up treasures here on earth.

As the kids get older I look forward to being able to work together with those that are less fortunate to help give them a blessed holiday as well.

How do we do these things?

We need to be clear in our expectations and our goals. Decide what our priorities are and what expectations are actually realistic. How much can we handle?

We need to be organized and have a plan. Last year went really well. I followed a lot of Flylady's prompts for getting ready for Christmas and I also took a lot of advice from Organized Christmas.com. Great resources. My Christmas control journal has been a HUGE help to keeping me focused.

We need to be clear in our communication about what comes into the house gift-wise. Often we give the wrong message to the kids and we want to be changing our focus from the gifts towards family and together time.

We need to set goals for the future. A lot of what I would like to do isn't practical for the kids at this age. Too much for such a short amount of time. But maybe in a few years.

And finally - making sure that the foundation for the season is already laid and built upon every day. Christmas isn't just about December. Jesus is the reason for not just this season but for every day. Making this an everyday thing will go a long way to keeping the focus right at Christmas too.

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