Several years ago I attended a Hearts at Home Conference. I had heard great things about it and decided I was going to go! It was a good day. I was refreshed and inspired and ready to go back home to be my husbands wife and my children's mom. I have decided that one of my goals for the next year is to attend again.
Jill Savage is the amazing woman who started this ministry in search of some "co-workers" to walk alongside of in the profession of Motherhood. It has grown and blossomed into Hearts at Home and moms from all over the world can attend one of these amazing conferences, read her books, follow her blog and even "attend" a conference on line.
For the next 25 days on her blog, Jill is having a 25 Days of Giveaways. (I love giveaways.) Jill will begin a Christmas discussion where her blog readers can enter several different ways. One of them being commenting on her blog and another by blogging about what she's talking about. She will have a new item to giveaway each day that stands alone. Each time you enter you are entered into the Grand Prize drawing which is a FREE Hearts at Home Conference Registration. What an AMAZING opportunity!!! In addition, if you follow, you'll be sure to get inspired by what other moms/families are doing in their lives to be a blessing to their families. So, check it out if you are interested and leave me a comment if you decide to follow her blog.
Day 1: Family Christmas Traditions
I love to do things to create memories during the holidays. At Christmas there are several different things that have become Tradition.
For the past several years we have had our own Advent Wreath. Each night during Advent before bed we light the candle(s) for that week and talk about what they mean and then share either a Christmas Devotion, Christmas story or read some scripture. Over the years we've done a lot of different things but ultimately it's about taking just a few minutes to focus and celebrate and remember the real reason we celebrate the holiday. On Christmas morning before we do anything else, we light all of the candles and the much anticipated Christ Candle in the center and let the candles burn down.
Every year for 10 + years my best friend and I have gotten together for a day of baking!!! It's always so much fun and I look forward to it every year. We make a big ole' mess, bake a lot of goodies and at the end of day/night we share what we've each made and end up with lots of cookies that we then share and bless others with.
Like most communities we have families who are in need and there are Angel Trees located all over town including our Church. I use to take one angel per child that I had. The past 2 years we decided that we wanted to adopt an entire family. Anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE to shop. But when I'm out buying shoes for a mom and dad who need them and coats and hats for kids who need them, I actually enjoy shopping. We involve our kids and tell them what we are buying and why. They help shop, wrap and then deliver the gifts so they can be given anonymously to the families. We live in a small community but choose to not know who we are helping. On Christmas morning I am filled with that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that there is a family near by who we've blessed and helped to have some things that they needed and to have some gifts for their children. Money is a little different this year than it has been the past couple of years. We aren't going to be able to do as much as we have done in the past, but we have money set aside specifically to bless another family or two this Christmas as well.
We have also made it a tradition to stay home as our small family on Christmas day. We have established this boundary and our families have respected it. After the candles have been lit we take pictures of the kids with their stockings that their Great-Grandma made for each of them. Then we open gifts. After the gifts have been open they dive in with daddy while I go and make Monkey Bread for breakfast. Then we enjoy the rest of the day just relaxing and enjoying each other. I don't make a fancy meal. We don't even get out of our jammies for the entire day. It's just a day to be and enjoy one another.
It is taking me a while to get into the spirit of the holiday this year. The tree isn't even up yet and probably won't be for another week or so. The commercialism of the holiday gets to me more and more every year and the fact that their are people who celebrate the holiday without giving one thought to the fact that it is meant to celebrate the greatest gift we've ever been given makes me sad. I know why we celebrate and I work hard to keep Christ the center of home at Christmas and all year round. Taking some time to remember what we as a family do to celebrate Christmas has helped put me in the mood a little more and it excites me that my baking day is coming up in a week and a half! Maybe I should add the Christmas CD's back into the rotation to help me as I bless the home today. <3