Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year :D

I'm not a New Year Resolution maker.  All those years as a student, and now as a homeschool mom have forever enshrined September as the month of new beginnings.  In fact, last year's goal still works for me ;D

But, inspired by Deborah, I'm thinking about some changes for next Christmas.  Because I'm all over the idea of planning ahead to emphasize the good and beat back the crazy.  So next year...

1.  I want to have all my shopping/crafting done before Thanksgiving Stop laughing!  It could happen.  In fact, it did happen.  Once.  Back in 1998, when I was expecting Tate (born in November).  I had all my presents prepared before he was born.  Of course, there were fewer of us, but... it could happen.  It can happen.

2.  Instead of Christmas cards, I'll send a Thanksgiving letter.  Okay, yes I do realize that it's quite possible I'm just exporting the crazy to November, instead of December, but this is still workable.  I think.  (Right?)  And wouldn't that be nice?  A thankful letter / early Christmas card?  I like this idea. :D

3.  I am purging more of my decorations.  Because we just have So. Much. Stuff.  And I love decorating for Christmas, but it's all too much.  And even if it's nice stuff, it can still be too much stuff.  More branches and pine cones and candles, and less knick knacks.

4.  New Advent Devotions.  We may get one more year out of the ones we've been using, but the boys are out-growing them.  Ideas?  Feel free to suggest :D

5.  More hospitality.  We like having people over, to share the season with us.  And it didn't work out much this year.  Planning farther ahead would probably help.  ;D

6.  We will get the boys three gifts each.  That's plenty.  One writer explains it like this. The three gifts of Christmas were gold, frankincense, and myrrh, so each of those can be a symbol.  The gold gift is something they really want - like Legos, or toy soldiers.  The frankincense gift is something they need - clothing, or an electric razor.  And the myrrh gift is something to nurture their spirit.  That's harder and requires more thought and insight.  Maybe a book, a magazine subscription, a CD.  Something like that.  Something that helps them grow in their character and/or faith.  Something that reflects their unique personality.

7.  Maybe, just maybe, we'll finally make a gingerbread house.  This one, really, is up to Kerry.  Being married to an architect and all, you'd think we'd have come up with some stellar gingerbread houses, but not so much.  (In fact, not one yet.)  If he's interested, great.  If not... no worries.

So there.  That's seven.  That's plenty, right?

How about you?  What are your favorite traditions?  What will you change next year?


lani said...

I will increase my prayer time and fasting periods

happy new year

melanie said...

October 1 used to be my "Buy/order Christmas gifts NOW" habit, but this year the last Amazon order came on the 23rd I think. :o Not so cool, but it was better on the "Where do I put all this stuff until Christmas" - or New Years in the case of so many books - dilemma ;-) So, I say GO FOR IT! At least here, the weather is usually much better - and it might even be pleasant if you can pace yourself and not have to do it in a 12-hour marathon. Just think how many tambourines will be available in November!

AND we did a Thanksgiving Letter... once? It was great, but I don't think I've managed it since. I'm doing well to get anything in the mail before Christmas (btdt in January)

I don't think you are shifting the chaos to November if you pace yourself (and stay within the budget)... and are able to relax and ENJOY December when everyone else wants to fellowship over Christmas goodies.

Oh, and I still love your 1/2010 motto =)

Yikes, long comment! :-\
Happy new year!
(I think 2011 might have me blogging less :-( but I'll try not to be so verbose here)

Doug Hibbard said...

We picked up a summary book that uses various Bonhoeffer quotes entitled "God is in the Manger" this year. Didn't use with family, as it was a bit beyond our kids.

Amazon had it.


The dB family said...

Perfect! I'm reading your list going, "yes, yes, yes!" I had all my shopping done and even wrapped once before December too. Squirt was due the middle of December. No way was I hunting for or wrapping gifts post partum. It was a great Christmas season. Perhaps this year I will manage it.

Happy New Year to you, Kerry, and the boys!


RogersUIO said...

I absolutely love the idea and explanation behind 3 gifts for each child! I'm printing this out and sticking it....somewhere! Thanks for sharing!

leah said...

I really like the idea of a Thanksgiving letter- doing Christmas cards really stresses me out (just so many things going on at that time of year)! We do Santa in our house (at least, for a little while until Matt wises up), and Santa only brings three gifts- it helps to tame the ridiculous levels of greed that can run wild in the mind of a five year old!

Post when you get good devotions for older kids: we're still using things for little guys. Nolan's barely out of the board book stage, Matt is moving into the elementary level things... but it won't be long before they are (gulp) "big kids!"

Cutzi said...

Re: Christmas gifts. Somebody shared with us that they buy 1.Something to wear 2.Something to do and 3.Something to read. Kind of goes along with what you were saying as well. We tried it this year - it was a little hard to stick to but I like the idea.

Some friends gifted us this Advent book this year and we really enjoyed it. It would definitely work for older children too. We liked it so much we're considering buying the whole Bible.

Cathy M. said...

I like several of your goals so much I may borrow them. I used to make gingerbread houses every year when the children were small. It's just not really fun without little ones. On new years day, I'd give them hammers and they'd smash them and eat whatever they wanted.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I'm going bigger with the exterior lights next year.

After reading yours, I feel a little silly about mine. But that's my honest answer!

Choate Family said...

We did the "three gift" (book, clothes, toy) thing growing up and loved it! And I'm all for slowing down in December (except for the Messiah sing-along, of course) and enjoying relationships.