The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I absolutely love Christmas – the chatter about Hallmark Christmas movies, beautiful lights that glisten on every street corner, peppermint hot chocolate, children who are giddy and filled with anticipation, tacky Christmas sweaters, and Christmas carols blasting on the radio that speak of peace, joy, and the birth of our Savior that changed everything. 

It seems like it was just yesterday my siblings and I were grabbing our sleeping bags and camping out in the same room on Christmas Eve.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I tried to go to bed early on Christmas Eve, giddy and overzealous for 4:00 AM to arrive (that’s a perfectly normal and acceptable time to wake when you have 5 excited kids plus parents who get up before the crack of dawn every single day).

It seems as though it was just yesterday my siblings sent me out of the room to see if Santa came and the door was booby trapped and made roaring sounds the second I tried to open it (putting that one in my parenting memory file — definitely have to do that!).

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we put cookies out for Santa, put on Christmas jammies, and begged our parents to let us open just ONE gift on Christmas Eve? And, if they said no, we just shook the gifts when they left the room (sorry, Mom).

I truly love the memories of Christmas with a house full of siblings. At the time, I thought the excitement was for the presents – but I see now that the excitement and anticipation stemmed from the memories that were being made and were etched into my heart and mind forever.

I remember the year all the siblings got scooters and took them out immediately for a spin in the driveway.

I remember mom’s breakfast casserole we ate every Christmas morning (hint, hint).

I remember sipping homemade hot cocoa while we played with our new goodies.

I remember the not-so-glamorous pictures and videos dad would take as we all gathered together in the living room. Crazy hair – don’t care!

The memories you make with your kids is not based on how expensive “things” are … but the time and love that you pour into them and into your family as a whole; it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

What fond memories.

iPods, iPads, and iWhatevers change, but memories, love, and laughter never go out of style or become obsolete. Embrace that this Christmas. Embrace sentimental gifts. Embrace the corny family Christmas pajamas. Embrace baking a birthday cake for Jesus and singing “Happy Birthday” on Christmas morning. Embrace talking about the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus.
  • Play the new PIE IN THE FACE game as a family. Laugh a lot.
  • Watch old family videos and laugh at your hideous style. Laugh even more! Was that outfit EVER really in?
  • Make up your own game as a family and play it!
  • Have Christmas song dance parties.
  • Bake Christmas cookies together! Use lots of icing.
  • True joy does not stem from a price tag, but a heart of genuine care, compassion, and a desire to cherish moments together and truly BE IN THAT MOMENT.
  • True joy is the realization that God has blessed us beyond measure.
  • True joy is the relization that Jesus is THE reason we celebrate CHRISTmas.
  • He should be at the center of our celebrations because it is Him that we are celebrating! He is the ultimate example of loving others and showing true, genuine, heartfelt compassion. I think of John 3:16 over and over again. He loved us THAT much.

Right now, I am giddy all over again. I am so excited for FAMILY this holiday season as our little family is growing and we will have two kids in just 3 months. Our son is at such a fun age right now – it just makes the holidays so fun. Don’t take this time for granted. I’m excited to start traditions like my family did with us. I hope my kids remember them forever and ever.

Love your family like you’ve never loved before – that’s a gift that keeps on giving and will be remembered forever.

You can download my free Christmas resource here, “Refocused Hearts: Overcoming Anxiety at the Holidays.

Here is a page from the workbook that you can use to plan some fun activities that will stay etched in your heart forever: 

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