I couldn't believe it. On November 1st, the radio stations started playing Christmas music. Now I love Christmas music but really! Can't we at least wait until after Thanksgiving?
And the stores are decked out in red and green cheer and the television is advertising the latest and greatest new...whatever. The malls are crowded already with people wanting to 'get their shopping over with'. I'm tried already of the hype.
My husband and I tried one year to not do gifts in an attempt to bring the focus of the holiday back to the reality of what it means, but the kids and the extended family about had a cow. So we do gifts and a tree and the decorations and the music and all the other things that are supposed to make the holiday season bright.
And it does, but there's so much more to Christmas and I wanted to share with you this wonderful book I found that has helped me to keep our family unit focused on the true meaning of Christmas. The title is The 25 Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer. The book provides a enjoyable and user friendly way to count down the days proceeding December 25, the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every page of the book gives practical advice on the more mundane aspect of the season, such as, when to mail out Christmas cards, when to mail packages, recipes for cookies, tips on decorating the tree and the house, etc... But what I love the most about this book is every day also reforces why we celebrate the coming event with songs and scripture and family connectedness. From this book I discovered the beauty of advent (I'd heard the term before but had no idea what it was).
From the time my children were old enough to understand, I have told them that we give gifts to others as an expression of love just as God gave us the enormous gift of His son. And now I have a tool to help us remember the true meaning of this season.