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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stripped down Christmas


Before I start, at last look there were 2 seats left for the Lightroom 101 class.  Only 2! 
If you wanted in, don't wait too long to register.  
Class starts January 6th and runs for 7 weeks.  
The details, including what past students have to say about the class,
 and link to register are here.

We've decided to do Christmas a bit differently this year.
Still Christmas.
Still Jesus's birthday.
Still Santa.
Still singing Christmas carols.
Still family and a celebration.
No decorations.
No tree.
Did I mention the sand?  The beach and the waves?  (Ya, that's likely gonna help break the fall.)

But here's the kicker
No presents.
Well, not exactly none.  But not many.

Rewind...

We don't do a lot of presents for Christmas anyway.  With this many kiddos, the gifts pile up to an embarrassing amount even when we don't buy that many.  Many years ago, we adopted the 3 present guide, each gift a representation of the 3 gifts baby Jesus got on his birth day.  Even though there are additional gifts from grandparents, we only give each child 3 gifts.  And although 3 gifts seems to be far less than the other kiddos in these parts, it's been a pretty much  non-issue with our children.  If they notice the difference between their booty and their friends, they've never made an issue of it.
It just is.

But this year, it's gonna be different.  Even less.  We talked with all the bigger kiddos and asked how they felt about not having any gifts this year.  Or rather we asked them how they felt about instead of recieving gifts for themselves, giving gifts to the children at an orphanage.  They didn't even hesitate.  They wanted no gifts.  They wanted to give.  Give.  Not receive.  It was easy and spontaneous for them to say it.  And it was one of my prouder mama moments.  We're still working out the details, and if you could say a little prayer for us that we be used to help "the least of these" in whatever way they most need, it would be much appreciated.

We figure the little ones will follow the big one's lead in the gift-less Christmas-palooza of 2013.  And truth be told, unbeknownst to them, we are surprising them with 3 gifts (one to represent each Wise Man and the gifts that Jesus received) but they will be joint gifts for everyone.  (Thank you so much to those who responded to my games recommendations on Facebook.  The games are already delivered and ready to be wrapped.  Seriously, you guys ROCK!)

I'm not sure this striped down Christmas is the right way to do it or even if it's recommended, but it's the right way for us... at least this year it is.

And I have to tell you, this non-shopping thing is amazingly refreshing and exhilarating.  I'm having fun thinking of the little things for Christmas.  Looking for the lyrics for Christmas carols and teaching the younger ones the words.  Finding some new Christmas books to read with them.  Just working at being more present in the holiday.  And it feels like a blessing.

So...
bunny trail...
I'm leaving you with a couple very stripped down Christmas-y photos.  With my photography students we're working on fun holiday photos, and rather than dig out some Christmas lights from buried boxes in the garage, it was easier to just go buy some.  A lot of Christmas is gonna stay buried in boxes this year.  Notice her lack of a Christmas outfit.  This is our stripped down Christmas this year.
And I think it's gonna be perfect!

4 comments:

  1. Oh what a great idea with the 3 gifts. I might just have to incorporate that into our family traditions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I heard this story this morning and thought you might enjoy it. http://iowapublicradio.org/post/reclaiming-holidays

    ReplyDelete
  3. That little Mimi.....is ........SCRUMPTIOUS! Seriously, could she get any cuter?

    ReplyDelete

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