Christmas

Our Focus on Christmas

Our Focus on Christmas

Our Focus on Christmas

Drive down the street you’ll see the lights. Walking to store there’s lights and all the presents waiting to be bought. You feel the pressure of one more gift to buy one more thing to bake or buy one more gift to wrap. But what is our focus on Christmas?

Not Perfect

This is the time to focus on Christ birth. all the other things are our superfluous. They’re all extra. Yes, they’re nice and yes I have to go to my children’s choir and Orchestra performances. But, they’re not the main event. The main event is Jesus. Don’t let everything else overshadow that. I can’t let myself overshadow that and it’s so easy to do. This is the first year I have had energy in years. And I want everything to be perfect. But it’s not because I’m not. And it’s much better to do less and have a kind pleasant mom to be around then for everything to be perfect and for me to be yelling. It’s better to have fewer presents and they have money for everything else that we need. It’s even better to have lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy foods have Christmas cookies and candy. Even though they taste so good. But the main focus needs to be Jesus. how do we make him the focus.?

Cut out the Excess

By cutting some of the things we think are so necessary. yes, we need to buy presents for our children but how many do they need? yes, we have concerts and orchestras. We have parties and things to do. But do they honor Christ?

My Favorites

I love all the extra things that come with Christmas. You can ask my children it’s my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations, I love buying and watching people open presents I specifically for them And I love baking and making cookies and making special food that we only have once a year. But I can get so wrapped up and doing all the extra things I forget the focus of Christmas is Christ. If I get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I forget the people around me I am not honoring Christ. if I get cranky trying to get everything done I am not honoring  Jesus. If I am putting the things first, the decorating the presents, the activities my focus is wrong.

Focus on Jesus

So how do we keep our Focus this Christmas on Christ birth?  Measure your activities against the question Does this honor him?  Are my actions and attitudes Christ-like? Are we showing kindness? And are we showing love?

 

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Enjoy the Christmas Season Without Stress

 

Enjoy the Christmas Season Without Stress

December is here now and that means all the fun of Christmas and sometimes it means all the stress of Christmas too.  There are a million things to do and of course, just one more present to buy. All we want to do is enjoy the Christmas season without stress and it seems all there is to do is rush rush rush.  Is it possible?

Slow Down

First slow down grab a cup of tea or coffee, a pad of paper and a pencil and sit down.  Write done all your must-dos. The places that you have to be, any children’s concerts, work parties, or neighborhood bashes. Pencil these into your calendar. Now you’ll see the days that you have left that you can do things that you want to. We always have certain family traditions that I will always want to put in my calendar.

Traditions

Second, make a list of your family traditions. do you go caroling? do you look at lights? Do you have a picnic under the Christmas tree? What are the things that you absolutely cannot do without? pencil this on your calendar these are just in this important as any other thing that you have to do.

 

Now for the things that we have to fit in. Make a list of each selection of things that you need to get done yet.

Shopping

Christmas shopping- do what you can online. You can get many of the same deals if not better online and you can go in from store to store and you save a lot of time. Make your list for whoever you have to by 4 and have an idea of what you want. I always try and start early but if I can’t then at least if I have an idea what they want I can look online for it in different places. I love Krazy Coupon Lady and money-saving Mom for their wonderful deals that they always seem to find.

Baking

Baking-  make a list of all the different kinds of cookies that you have to make. Make a list of all the different kinds of candies. I also include anything that I can make ahead for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I put them in foil containers and put them in the oven from the freezer with the directions on top. That way I’m a little bit ahead and enjoy my guess more. I also try and make up a few dishes to put in ahead for company entertaining. and a few dishes for really busy nights when I don’t have time for anything else. I love doing several crockpot meals in bags and put them in the freezer ahead of time and you can find a bunch of those here.

Extras

Misc-  now what else do you need to put in there you might have a list that I don’t think of. If so write it all down then you don’t need to worry about what you’re forgetting you have everything written down right now.

Eliminate

Now I want you to go back over your list. Cross out what’s what’s not absolutely necessary. I know I always put way more kinds of cookies on there than I actually need to make. I put way more of everything on my list that I actually need to do. so go back over and cross part of them out you’ll know how many you need to cross out. if you don’t you may end up eating Christmas cookies for a very long time. do the same with each one of your other lists what can you cross out. Some of the things that we think that we really need to do or go to or make or buy aren’t really necessary. I know they feel like it, they feel like it to me too. But you enjoy the Christmas season without stress means a lot of these things need to be cut. Be ruthless in cutting. Mary Poppins said, “enough is as good as a feast.” Do you have enough?

Enjoy

I want you to enjoy Christmas. I want you to enjoy Christmas without stress. Look at your list now with things crossed out. Now Planet time to do each thing. If your group like things together it will take a lot less time. Set up one time each week to do your online shopping. Set a time up to do several different cookie doughs you can make one after another in the same Bowl if you make the least flavored ones first and the chocolate ones last left.  when you make one meal double it and put one in the freezer.

 

What do you do to enjoy Christmas without stress? please share your tips.

 

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A Small Budget Christmas

A Small Budget Christmas

Christmas is a big celebration.  everywhere you see big presents, lots of decorations, lots of things to do. A lot of these things have big dollar signs.  is it possible to have a big celebration with very little dollars yes of course it is? We’ve done it many times, it does take a little more work and you have to be a little more creative but you can have a small budget Christmas.

Presents

Presents are the first thing people think of when they think of small budgets. I really want to make a great Christmas present that doesn’t look cheap. A lot of it is in the presentation. And being creative. One Christmas when my husband and I didn’t have very much money and we were spending it all on our kids and I still wanted to get him a Christmas present. I came up with a vitamin a day gift idea. I went to the pharmacy,  this was before Amazon and I bought a large bottle of empty capsules. I went home and made up a list of why I loved him and put them inside each capsule. It took a lot more time than money definitely. And I made up a little label on the front that said to take one each day. It told him all the different ways that I loved him. I usually give him some kind of creative gift every year which cost the least money, take the most time, and he likes the best. You can do the same with your children.  I have made dolls, felt food, Play-Doh, slime, and many other homemade items. Even if your crafting abilities are very small there are still some things that you can make. Baked goods are always a hit with neighbors family and friends they don’t cost very much just a little bit of effort and it shows people that you care.

Decorations

You don’t have to go all out on decorations either. A simple tree is fine. One year we had most of our decorations were cookie cutters tied up with strings and put on the tree because I didn’t have very many of them because they have gotten broke. Homemade paper chains can be beautiful and simple. Pioneers used to string popcorn and berries. Fairies would not be cheap but the popcorn Sherwood plus you get a snack at the same time.

Food

The food. This can cost an enormous amount or you can really watch your prices on this. you can get a turkey for $0.59 a pound and have leftovers. You can get ham for $0.99 a pound and still have leftovers. Mashed potatoes are cheap, dry bread for stuffing and vegetables are always economical. This time of year there are tons of sales on baking products. Last week I got frosting for $0.50 a can in flower for a dollar for 5 lb. you can make cookies without all the nuts and chocolate for a reasonable price. Just make one kind of cookie that’s a little bit extra special word has an extra ingredient in it and make the other couple kinds that are planar like sugar cookies or gingerbread. Decorate them sparingly to save costs.

Presence

It is possible to have a small budget Christmas. Your presence means more to most people including your children then presents.  get creative, there are so many websites with inexpensive gifts to make. you can watch YouTube videos on dollar towards store presents. what’s the sales flyer 4 great buys on your Christmas turkey? What other ideas do you have for a small budget Christmas?

 

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Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour

Here is a small part of my Christmas home tour. Here is our tree. I have been teasing the kids and telling them it’s Italian because it leans. It is definitely time for a new tree but that’s in the budget for next year. I only paid $5 for it at a yard sale at least 6 years ago soI’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth. I like all the metallics and whites on the tree. Lots of gold and ribbons. The children each have a small tree in their rooms that they can decorate how they want. My daughter found emoji poop lights on the girl’s tree. I made the ruffled tree skirt. I am saving putting gifts under it until after a party Saturday.

You walk under the garland in when you walk into the living room. I would love just peace in the home so peace on earth is a huge dream. I have 2 small wreaths on the double doors that lead to my son’s room.

This is in our entryway. I love the grinch printable and the stockings.

I have our nativity scene on the shelf above our television. The pot with poinsettia was a cookie jar that says believe but I broke the lid. Now it holds the flowers. I love the sparkly canvas.

My little village scene is on this shelf. Reminding us it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

 

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Wrapping Station

Wrapping Station

Getting ready for the holidays includes a wrapping station. While I am envious of this wrapping station, I don’t have the room for that.  I have an under the bed box that I keep ready to wrap every gift.

Wrap Early and Often

Since it’s close and easy to get to I can wrap as I buy gifts. I try to wrap them the same day but at least within the week. With everything in one place and easy to get to I don’t have to procrastinate as it’s not a big deal to just get it done. I wrap, write it down and put it up. I do add the bows later if I have to stack it in the closet. No wrapping on Christmas Eve.

Makin’ a List

While you’re wrapping don’t forget to make your list. Put a label or tag on your gift, or just write it on there. In my list, I write down who it’s for, what I got them and where it’s located. I don’t know how many times I found a gift late because I forgot it, or who it was for because I was sure I would remember. LOL, Then I would have to peek in the corner of the gift to remember who it was for. So write it down.

My Wrapping Station

While this is pretty simple, it works for me. I have all the rolls of wrapping paper to one side.  Rolls of ribbon and baskets of bows and ribbon. A stack of tissue paper with gift bags and gift boxes on top. They help keep the paper flat. And a small box with tape and scissors.  While I love to look at the beautifully wrapped gifts on Pinterest and Youtube, that’s just not my life. I had to come to the conclusion that it’s okay. Maybe later in life.

So what’s your wrapping style? Do you have any great tips for wrapping gifts?

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