11.23.2008

Have you found my Christmas spirit?


If you are anything like me, you are starting to think about Christmas. Target's aisles show they have bypassed Thanksgiving again this year with Halloween deco's clearanced to make room for the Jolly Red Elf and his team of marketing genius'. I'm not going to dog all the hub-bub. This is not by any means a "Bah Humbug!" post. Rather, I'm looking for creative Christmas ideas, traditions and holiday cheer.

I spent a little time today wandering through a toy wonderland. Shelves stocked to the hilt with Legos, Wii, X-Box, Playstation, Star Wars, Spiderman, and more. Add counters full of crafts, a library filled with books, and another section of shelves full of most every DVD made and I was in wonder. Everything my family could desire was there for the taking. Where was I? Walking through my home.

We have bought into the consumer Christmas (and lifestyle) for years. Our kids tendancy to need every item they see on TV or print has only been promoted by my spending habits and those of my kinfolk (remember gang, there's 3 fingers pointing back at me, no offence, love ya!). My kiddos have everything they could ever want and then some. They've likely lost more toys and parts of toys than most of us ever owned! The boys are 5 and 7 and my house is filled to the rafters.

I want to take a deep breath before I say this...

2 in, 4 out...

Maybe it's time for a new tradition. Christmas focused on Christ instead of accumulating mass.

With that in mind, I'm on the hunt for ideas, teaching points, tips, and more. How can I teach my kids the true message of Christ in Christmas without the consumer clutter that we've grown acustomed to? Help me out in the comments.

Also, a few links that I've found so far (not sure of how good these ideas are, but a start)...

  • Advent Conspiracy - be sure to watch their video below
  • Buy Nothing Christmas
  • From The Frugal Life: Our family totals 26 and this is a lot of gifts. Several years ago we drew names and each person had to make the gift for the name drawn. This has worked well. Very unusual gifts arrive. Homemade bird feeders, picture albums of a person's life and the most interesting one was last year. A young fisherman received a "worm farm." It was made in a large plastic container. Wrapping the gifts is also a challenge. We sit down in a circle and each gift is opened one at a time. Try it, it works and lowers the cost.
  • Mom's Who Think

So what are your ideas? How can we demonstrate and share Christ's love with our family and the world?