We will have to have a new family ornament next year. :)
I love putting up the Christmas tree. I love all the special ornaments. We have several that "have special meaning." Each year I do struggle, though. I do not want to be conformed to the world. I know Christmas is one of those times that Christians tend to struggle with that. We say we love Christmas because it's about Christ's birth, but then stay so busy that there's no mention of Him.
I love what some of my friends do like read Luke 2 to their children everyday leading up to Christmas. By Christmas they pretty much have it memorized. Each year I try to think of new ways to stay Christ focused, but it is difficult. Mainly because I fail at being consistent.
This year we have some different ideas for gifts. I will have to fill you in later about those. :) We are not buying gifts for anyone this year. (except a couple for our children) This has come about for many reasons. First, we can't afford it. We refuse to go in debt to buy presents. Martie quit UPS this year, and we realized when doing our budget if we cut out on gift giving (birthdays and Christmas) we could afford it. I know that sounds awfully harsh. We look at it like this, we would rather have daddy home at night tucking the children in, no more rushing family devotion time, more time to serve others than him working to pay for more unnecessary "stuff."
Don't get me wrong we are not cold hearted, just being real. We live in a world today that insists we "keep up with the Jones'." We REFUSE to buy into that. Children here in America have way too much stuff. We don't want our children growing up to think that our love for them is measured by the stuff we buy them. I don't think gifts are bad. We love receiving gifts and giving them. However if it requires us to go in debt, we won't do it. I guess in all this rambling all I'm saying is there is a balance.
We are still trying to figure out that balance. Hopefully one day, one year, I will have it all figured out and we will have developed our own family traditions. (and I will be consistent) :)
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and you truly take the time to reflect on the reason for this season.