Gratitude by God’s Grace

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Ever wonder how someone’s Christmas really went?

Past the smiles,
and activities shared?

Past the baking, wrapping,
and trimming the tree?

I love Christmas.

The twinkling lights, the cinnamon & peppermint scented decor,
festive activities, tree decorating, and gift giving.

My husband.  Not so much.  He’s a no fuss nor fluff kind.of.guy.
Really not fond of the whole gift thing in general.
He likes useful and bonding type things,
not things you would ‘open’,
but things one would use…

such as…

snowboarding with the boys.
bowling with the family.
game night.

I gave up a Christmas tradition this year (technically last year),
one I adored….
to go on dates with each individual child to let them buy gifts for one another,
then go out to eat at a place of their choice.
While we would be out,
we would include a random act of kindness somewhere in our evening.
*loved* sharing that joy with our kids.

I felt out of sync and unprepared by skipping this step in our festivities.
Yet our budget didn’t allow for such things…

So I had to get creative with our giving with a purpose.
We did the Operation Christmas Child in November, so that was checked off the list.
We wrote letters to our Compassion Children.
Beyond that we didn’t have much,
but we gave what we had.
We blessed a family of 6 kids, whose dad recently stepped out of the picture, with a group gift box; joining with several other folks generosity.
We gave out Christmas cards and fudge to random people.

I had wanted to start a new tradition (that we tried to begin last year),
by giving each child 3 gifts, much like the Wisemen did for baby Jesus.

I would like you to know that my kids do not ask for things.
They do not create a Christmas wish list.
They are fairly content.
All the more reason to want to bless them this season.
but, we fell short.
A sweet neighbor subtly helped a bit, both by casually offering a gift or two,
and by letting me work with her so that I could get stocking stuffers.
(humbled & blessed at the same time!)

Some kids had 3 gifts, some had 2.
They all were gracious and kind, and patiently watched each individual sibling open a gift as they were slowly passed out.  The rest of the day was spent together; laughing, playing, learning a new game, watching a new movie, goofing off, eating, and basically just enjoying one anothers company.

I felt like my heart could burst with gratitude!

What beautiful children I have!

They know we don’t have much,

but what we will always have

is each other!

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2 thoughts on “Gratitude by God’s Grace

  1. Thanks for sharing. So glad your Christmas was BLESSED (maybe not in material ways as the world would judge, but in relationships).

    Idea for next year: Have the children draw names so that they only need to buy for one person. Our children have drawn names for many years, and they LOVE it!

    We have had many, many years where our children only got one or two presents, and they have always been so very gracious about it. We have never had them write “Wish Lists”. No. We have taught them to focus on what they can GIVE, and to be thankful for anything that they might receive. We, too, pass out gifts slowly and everyone watches while each person opens each individual gift. No rush. No hurry for the next present. Just quiet thankfulness for each and every gift given and received.

    Love your decorated Gingerbread Men.

    Love & Hugs to you, Sweet Friend!

    Laurel 🙂

  2. I loved this post! Y’all hit the nail on the head. Christmas is about HIM, the ultimate Giver. You have a lovely family, full of life…yes, you are blessed.

    I, too, am thankful my kids don’t ask for anything either and that they are appreciative of what they receive. (side note: my husband has had gifts thrown at him from his step-kids from his previous marriage…how sad! We wanted to make sure our kids never felt it was about the gifts and who got the better or more expensive ones.)

    We have been blessed, but I know things will be tight in these coming months.

    I love your gingerbread men! I can’t believe I didn’t think of gingerbread men, especially since I love gingerbread.

    Praying for a prosperous New Year and His blessings upon your family.

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