Archive - November 2015

How I Sleep In On Christmas Morning: with a free printable

I honestly don’t mind getting up early with my kids on Christmas morning. I enjoy watching their excitement. But sometimes, like when there is illness in the family, or you have a new baby, or are expecting a new baby the week after Christmas, you just need to rest.

That doesn’t mean the kids have to miss out on Christmas morning fun.

Notice the title of the post did NOT say, “How I got my kids to sleep in on Christmas morning. It also did NOT say, “How I sleep till noon on Christmas morning.”

But, I did manage to get a few extra winks compared to other Christmas mornings.

I started this tradition two years ago and I plan to keep it going this year. I think adds another element of fun to the morning as well as the benefit of a few more minutes of rest.

I don’t recommend this if all of your children are preschool age. At least one of your children needs to old enough to read and play with younger siblings for a little while.

Two years ago my husband was hospitalized a few weeks before Christmas for a blood infection. He was sent home after a few days, but he had to make daily trips to the hospital to receive IV antibiotics. Yes, that included Christmas day.

(This time of year, health care workers, E.M.S, and police work just as hard as they do the rest of the year. Often without being thanked. Consider doing something nice for those serving in your community.)

At the time our youngest was just shy of a year old and still getting up several times a night. Sleep was a precious commodity. I knew my husband needed as much rest as possible, so I devised a plan.

I started with food.

I knew that we would have to leave for the hospital soon after all the gifts were unwrapped that morning, and wanted my kids to have eaten before we left. That was my main reason for doing this.

I picked up some cinnamon rolls from the bakery, and Christmas party ware. I stashed some eggnog in the fridge and set up the coffee pot to have hot water ready for making hot chocolate. I threw in some special holiday marshmallows for good measure.

Obviously if your kids aren’t old enough to handle hot beverages on their own you would skip that. You could add juice boxes instead, or have individual chocolate milks on hand. You could include Danish or muffins instead of cinnamon rolls, whatever your kids favorites are.

Next I threw in a game.

Two years ago it was Farkle. Last year I picked twister. Not sure yet about this year.

It really doesn’t matter what the game is. It could be one they’ve played at a friend’s house and have been asking for, or it could be one they haven’t seen before. It just needs to something that they can all play. Or someone gets left out of the fun.

If your kids are close in age and have the same interests, you could include something besides a game. A LEGO set or beading kit. You could also include individual treat bags with a few party favor type trinkets in them.

Then it was time to wrap it all up.

 I found a big box that everything would fit in, and wrapped it in such a way that they could just open the box without unwrapping it. I don’t remember why I wanted to do it that way, it certainly isn’t necessary.

If I had been thinking far enough ahead I would have found a box with a lid and wrapped the box and lid separately. But I didn’t think of that in time so I had to do the hard way.

I have no tips on doing it the hard way other than: don’t do it. Find a box with a lid. Basically what I did was fold the two sort sides of the box inside and tape them down. Then I wrapped the two long sides while they were folded out so they would be movable.

You could also just wrap it normally.

I used the fanciest paper I could find, and added the biggest bow I could find. I wanted this present to stand out. I wanted it to look like it was special.

One more thing.

I wanted to make sure my kids knew to open this box right away, but I wanted to a special way to say it.

In our house Santa Clause is a fictional character. We do talk about Santa, but everyone knows he’s pretend. We want our celebration to be about the birth of Christ, so Santa takes a back seat. But he’s not banned.

Since I wanted this to fun as well as practical, I made this present from “Santa.” I had “Santa” leave this little poem on the box explaining what to do, and added another reminder of what Christmas is about. There is a printable version below, or you can create your own.

It’s Christmas morning and Mom and Dad are late!
But don’t worry; I’ve worked it out.
Have some breakfast and play a game while you wait.
That’s the way to stop your pout!
Inside this box is all you need.
Open up NOW to start the fun!
Keep this in mind while you play
Christmas isn’t about what you get
There’s a better reason for this day!
I hope you wont forget…

“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Of course we could have just ordered them not to disturb us until a certain time, and they would have obeyed, but I wanted to make it fun. There was the whole getting breakfast out of the way thing too.

Has your family started any new traditions? I would love to hear about them.

Get your printable poem here.

I’m linking up with Home For The Holidays, and From House to Home

Christmas Poem (1)

Giving Thanks In Dificult Seasons

Right now it seems like the whole world is spinning out of control. Almost every day we hear a new report that shatters our hearts. Our television and computer screens are filled with images of devastation and despair.

And it’s not just the outside world that’s falling apart. Many of us are experiencing things that have our lives turned upside down.

Maybe it’s a doctors report that wasn’t what we’d hoped. Or a bill that’s come due and you don’t know how to pay. Maybe you didn’t do as well on that test as you expected. Or you feel like all of your friends have turned on you. It might be that you’re watching a marriage fall apart.

The difficult seasons will always be with us. As long as we walk this earth times of trial will always follow us. There will always be days that make us feel like there is nothing to be thankful for.

work-to-become-1

 

But we’re not supposed to listen to our feelings. They lie to us all the time. And the devil lies too. He likes it when Christians feel depressed and defeated.

But even as we throw up our hands and say, “come lord Jesus,” there is always something to be thankful for.

The very air we breathe, every step we take, and the faces of our loved ones are all miracles.

Whatever we have it’s more than we deserve. We deserve death and hell, but we have eternal life through the blood of Christ.

The greatest miracle of all is our salvation. If we have nothing else to be thankful for, we should always be thankful God for the grace that led His Only Begotten Son to the cross.

As Christians, though, we’re not only supposed to be thankful when things are going our way. It’s not just the good things that God calls us to be thankful for.Give Thanks

We’re to be thankful for everything.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ 

Yes, that means the bad stuff too.

There was a man in my parent’s church who would say, “Praise the Lord,” about literally everything. Leaky pipes? “Praise the Lord!” Dead car battery, “Praise the Lord!”

When we’re down and discouraged, and we feel like we have nothing to be thankful for, the devil will come and tell us to listen to those feelings. But we can stop those feelings in their tracks if we simply tell God how good He is.

When David was discouraged, he did just that.

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.                       1 Samuel 30:6

God is always worthy of praise no matter what comes our way.

Besides that, every situation and circumstance is an opportunity to let others see Christ in us. Every trial we go through is an opportunity to serve God in a new way. More still, it’s an opportunity for God to do a work in us. 

The past few years have been a difficult season for us. But even through the difficulty we’ve seen God work in ways that we never would have noticed or appreciated before.

While I still don’t know if I can say that I’m thankful that this season has come, I am thankful for the lessons I’m learning along the way.

One of those lessons has been simply to be more thankful.

I’m more thankful for quiet moments with my husband, and time with my children. I’m thankful for normal days. I’m thankful for every day, even the bad ones, because there’s hope and opportunity in every day.

The more I see the news from around the world, the more I feel compelled to embrace a season of thankfulness.

While I’m seeing my newsfeed fill up with images of Christmas trees and stockings, I’m holding off hauling out the holly for just a few more days.

Cause I think we need a little Thanksgiving. We need to remember to be thankful for that Savior we’re preparing to celebrate. Any true celebration begins with a heart of thankfulness. So I’m choosing to view this Thanksgiving as an introduction to Christmas. The set up if you will.

I’m realizing that the key to focusing our hearts on Christ at Christmas might just be to focus on thankfulness at Thanksgiving.

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