Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Things First on Dec.1st

This Christmas season is a bit different for many of us this year.

{our living room Christmas tree}

We are scaling back, cutting our budgets for purchasing gifts, and using what we already have to decorate. Oh, we still want to have plenty of Christmas Cheer and make lots of fun family memories! However, the economic downturn is making a difference in how we celebrate Christmas.

But this bad economy has, believe it or not, given us a blessing! Yes! A wonderful thing has happened. Whether by choice or circumstance, our hearts are changing as a nation!

We have declared that It's Time to Put First Things First!!!
We are longing for the True Reason of the Season to be celebrated, and placed First in our hearts and lives!

So, today I'd like to share with you our most special family Christmas tradition:

"The Jesus Gift"

The "Jesus Gift" in our family is something that lets us keep Christ as the main focus of the CHRISTmas season!

A simple box is placed under the tree
(I found this one at Target this year! It looks like a wrapped gift, but the lid lifts off easily!)
that will hold our "heart gifts" to Jesus to Celebrate His GIFT to us -- coming to earth to be our Savior!

Throughout December family members can place things inside the box.

Some examples of things that your family could include would be:

A Child's Drawing
A Letter to God
A Heart Commitment (reading your Bible regularly, for example, to spend time with God)
Pictures of Items Donated to those In Need
Name of an Organization You Will Help
Name of a Person Your Family Will Commit to Pray For for 2010

Then, on Christmas morning, be sure to Keep First Things First, and open The Jesus Gift together as you start your morning festivities!

This is not something that is done to say "how great are we?!". But something done quietly and prayerfully as a family so that you remember the reason for the celebrating!!

This Christmas, let's remember the real
Reason for the Season!

Share with us all in the comments below how your family Keeps First Things First for Christmas!


Darlene said...

What a wonderful Christmas family tradition! Love that because yes, he is the reason for the season!♥

Country Sweetie said...

Hi! Just found your blog! I'm in the Chicago area too & can certainly understand having to budget with living around here. I am already smitten with your blog and look forward to reading more!
Lara :o)

Rae said...

Stacey, I love your family's "Jesus Gift". It's such a wonderful visual reminder to not only the kids but to us adults alike. I think this is something I need to implement in my own home. Thank you!

Jennifer said...

What a precious idea! This is such a neat way to always remember what Christmas is really about! Thanks for sharing it!! :)

Jessica said...

I love this idea! How special for your family

Shell in your Pocket said...

That is a wonderful idea! Your tree is beautiful. Enjoy this season with your family!

sandy toe

LuLu said...

I just love this tradition, thank you so much for sharing it.
Your tree looks beautiful,

Jessica said...

What a fantastic idea!!!!!

Cherry Tree Lane said...

Um...I LOVE this idea! STEALING IT!!!

thank you!

My Vintage Modern Farmhouse... said...

Hi Stacey,

Welcome back. I love that idea. I know what you mean. I have felt that way for so many years now, I despise all the commercialism of Christmas. I desire a simple Christmas, even my Christmas decorating has gotten simpler.


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Stacey,
It is so great to see you are back,
we have missed you! Your tree is lovely, and you are so right about the gift God has given us. so many times people take for granted the finances they have and really are not good stewards but when we have to cut back we find out just how sufficient the Lord is and how creative we can really be!
We truly do need to learn in this country what comes first and that is our Lord and then our family and people in general. God loves people, not things!
Your tree is lovely and sure doesn't look scrimped on a bit!
That is a lovely idea you have with the box for all season. We have done that at times with our children, where we ask the Lord what He wants from us as a gift
and then wrap it up. Sometimes we start the morning with prayer sometimes we have read the Christmas story, we have done advent wreaths as well with scripture reading. We have had Happy birthday Jesus cakes, we always try to think of something to do. Mostly I play Christmas music all season long as a reminder and we go to Contatas and plays and watch heartwarming movies about christmas.
Hope you are enjoying your new home hon, and that you have a Very Merry Christmas!
Blessings, Nellie

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Beautiful Christmas tradition! We are trying to focus on Him more this month too. :) I live the idea of a Jesus Gift. I was so happy to see a new post of yours pop up this evening!! :)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Great tradition - wonderful reminder.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Very sweet ideas, my son would really get into that. Thank you!


Φιλιώ said...

Your blog is great ! Lovely Christmas decorations! Here is my Christmas tree.... http://theartfairy.blogspot.com/

Avalon76 said...

Oh, I absolutely love the Jesus Gift idea! Will definitely be doing this with my family this year.

Jennifer ^_^

Shannon said...

That is a great tradition! Your tree is beautiful too.

Leslie said...

We're right there with ya, sister! We have a strict Christmas gift budget this year but the great blessing has been that my mind has been on the Jesus of Christmas instead of the material gifts of Christmas.

Debbie said...

What a great idea you have, not only are putting God first at Christmas as he should be but also building a life long tradition for your children. Something that doesn't cost anything but is worth a fortune. Brillant. The silly economy has been rough but I agree it has given us cause to re-think our priorities. Happy Holidays!

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

That is a beautiful tradition and keeps the real meaning behind Christmas. I have always loved to give homemade gifts regardless of my finances...I just think it show's thought and love that is put behind the gift for that person. I hope all is well and have missed visiting your blog. We have been very busy trying to get settled after our move and all the re-modeling going on. Thank you for sharing such a great post! Hugs and love friend,


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This is a wonderful idea and I hope that it gets stolen all over blogland.

Audrey said...

Your tree is beautiful...and I love your family tradition of keeping the focus on the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas!!


daysofgrace said...

Love, love, love this idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Julie @ Joy's Hope said...

I lovey, love, love, love this!
Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant idea. Totally implementing it in my family this year and all years to come.