Our week with Give1Save1 was a huge success. We raised...because of you all... $1,110.73. I stand amazed at the generosity of our dear friends and new friends whom we have never met from all over America. I felt more encouraged and supported this last week then I have in the other 65 weeks of this journey. I want to thank you all personally and face to face but since some of you live as far away as Maryland I am not sure that is possible. If you still want to give a little our donate button is at the top of my side bar. I am so very thankful for you and you gift this season. God will surely bless you. Since our week with Give1Save1 is over, they are now featuring a new family. This family has a really special story. I feel moved and in awe again what God can do in someones life when they just say YES. They currently have 5 Kids and are hoping to add 1-3 more boys from Uganda! If you have a dollar (which I know you do *wink wink*) give a dollar. One dollar goes a LONG way. I know because I watched your dollars add up quickly over the last week.
Meet the Alexanders
With Christmas drawing near... like 5 days away...ahhh!!! I have been thinking a lot about Christmas. This is the first year that one of our kids really truly believes in a Santa. I think Santa is fun and he is a little extra in our holiday season instead of the main focal point. I have been in several conversations with friends lately about what Christmas traditions they have set for their families and what all they do and do not participate in. I love hearing how everyone believes and how everyones traditions are filled with fun and togetherness and Jesus. I thought I would share some of our traditions here. I would like to hear some of your as well. I love to hear everyones because it gives me really great, new and fresh ideas for the next years to come.
A few years ago... I want to say it was Parkers 2nd Christmas... We decided to take on the Three present tradition with our kids. We give three gifts to our children just as the three wise men brought three gifts to Jesus. This little tradition that we have adopted has helped keep the focus on Christ and has helped the back account from terrifying us at each glance. The first I heard of the tradition was from a little online magazine. I wish I could remember what it was so that I can give them credit. I am so sorry that I can't. But the idea of the three gifts was something like this...
Gold Gift - the BIG item they have been begging, dreaming and
nagging longing for.
Myrrh Gift - clothing or something for their body
Frankincense - Something for their spiritual growth like a bible or a devotional.
I would like to say that we have followed this little guideline but we haven't. It seems hard since they are so young. This is somethings that we may adopt when they are older. We will see. But what we do do is three gifts. Sometimes there are two boxes with one of the three gifts but that is because it is a "set". You get the picture. My kids are still thrilled every Christmas morning. They are completely satisfied with just three presents each to open. They know no different. Some say it is sad because Christmas is about giving and I am robbing them of a fun Christmas. I agree that Christmas is absolutely about giving but I disagree that I am not robbing them a a good Christmas. My kids have way more then they need. I gift them out of love. I don't want to gift them out of necessity. This picture below describes some American views of necessity during the Christmas season perfectly versus real everyday life necessity of millions.
This is my own personal conviction. Please don't take it as your own unless you feel led. I just feel like my kids get anything they want every day. While thousands go with out clean water or food everyday and they die of normal colds or things like diarrhea. My kids will be completely fine with just 3 presents on Christmas day. Plus with the three presents it gives us a symbolic way to incorporate Jesus into our Christmas morning.
We also have a little Santa fun. We do reindeer food on Christmas Eve in our lawn and Santa comes and brings the boys a gift. It has been in the past one big gift that they share (i.e a train table one year, an art easel the next). Also Santa helps Mom and Dad fill their stockings with little treats. In my eyes it is harmless fun fantasy that my 3 and 5 yr old believe in and have for the last few years. They probably won't believe next year because kids are smart and they figure things out. I won't fight it when they do figure it out. I will just laugh and fess up that, Yes Mommy and Daddy played the role of Santa and that one day if they choose too they will be able to do the same for their kids just as their grandparents did for us.
This year I found a Veggie Tales movie about St. Nicholas that my kids LOVE. We seriously have watched it maybe 1,300 times since December 1st. If you have little ones I encourage you to get it for your littles. It tells the story of St. Nicholas and puts a really strong emphasis on Jesus and how we give because Christ gave. Seriously check it out. It is sweet. I thought I would share the little video from the end of the movie with you. I love the song, it really moved me.
Silence My music to hear the song ;)
So many of you have given your Christmas away to us in order to help bring Emme home. You have displayed what Christmas is about. I have never been on this end before. I feel really blessed and thankful for you all.
Back to Christmas Traditions... I am curious as to what some of your traditions are. I'd love for you to leave a comment telling me what your Christmas looks like. I love new ideas.