Monday, November 17, 2008

Take Christmas Back


I've got my button! A big thank you to Aaron for making it, and a huge thank you to all of you who offered to make it. There is very little I can do in the technical realm, and after about an hour of attempting it myself, I didn't have any problem admitting that this button fell into that category. If you would like to add it to your blog, Nathan made it available over there on the sidebar--and if you have trouble, as I'm sure I would, he can help you!

I am so encouraged by every one of you who commented when I introduced my Christmas challenge. The ideas you offered were fantastic, and I've already looked into several. I want to highlight a few of them right now. Someone suggested a children's nativity, and I love that idea. I know several that I have are hands-off to the girls, and I think it is great to have something tangible for Marianna to be able to look at, put her hands on, and picture in her head. My grandmother was able to find this wonderful children's nativity for Marianna's birthday. Marianna is thrilled about it, and can't wait til I let her tear it out of the box. Something else I loved was the link someone provided to a site that offered gift tags and stickers that say "Jesus is the gift." I thought that would be perfect especially for gifts that might be handed out to someone you don't know. I want everyone to know that the reason I have anything to give is not because I'm a good person--it's because of Jesus and what He has given to me! I also loved the suggestions to get involved in a soup kitchen or Ronald McDonald house, especially if you have older children who would be able to participate in something like this.

As I've been thinking on this December and what I hope to do, I keep going back to last December and how different it was. As I looked forward to that month a year ago, I had no idea what to expect, but I anticipated it with a strange mixture of joy and heaviness of spirit. And then Poppy was born, and every one of those 25 days leading up to Christmas was filled with her. Some of the saddest days of my life were last December, but Christmas brought with it something new. The birth of Jesus offers hope to those who are hurting in a way that those who are not cannot understand. It is to a lost and hurting world that Jesus entered, and it was for the purpose of saving it that he came. I don't want to lose hold of that.

This year I want to do what I can to celebrate Jesus' birth in a way that He would want, and I know that being His hands to those who need Him most is the way I can do it.

Keep the ideas coming! I'll be updating in the next few days with a few exciting possibilities.

7 comments:

Joanna said...

hey...

great challenge,angie! check this site out, if you haven't already...

www.adventconspiracy.org

Anonymous said...

Angie, I emailed you a few months back about my two granddaughters--one who grew in my daughter-in-law's heart and one who grew in her tummy. Anyway, I wanted to tell you of a new tradition I've started with my four grandchildren. We practice a little Christmas play of some sort (they're still young enough to enjoy the very "amateur" play, but old enough to read the scriptures that go with the Christmas story). We do that and I let them open one Christmas present. Then, I give them a letter I've written and some money for them to choose how to spend with the stipulation that it HAS to be spent on someone else. We call it "pay it forward" and they have to do something for someone else less fortunate. Angie, thanks so much for reminding all of us to "take Christmas back." lz7780@cox.net

Michelle said...

I love the button... already got it added on my site!! Thank you for all the neat ideas generated by your last post. I am so encouraged by how many people I hear talking this year about really focusing on giving with real value this Christmas. Your girls are adorable and Poppy Joy will always have a special place in my heart!

Mandi said...

Last year we started a new tradition of having a Jesus Tree in our foyer. I bought a table tree and made ornaments using
scrapbooking paper, a gold pen, and ribbon. Each ornament had a different name for Jesus (ex. Wonderful Counselor, Savior, etc.) with its scripture reference. For the 25 days leading up to Christmas, we would hang a new ornament each day and read the name and scripture verse. I LOVE this new tradition and can't wait to do it again this year!

Pauline said...

Angie,
I have added this to my blog and will join you in the challenge.
http://scrappinauntie.blogspot.com/

jbk said...

We have a Happy Birthday Jesus party at my church for the children. you can have children bring gifts for the angel tree in your neighborhood

Anonymous said...

Love your thoughts, Poppy is loved and thought of often.The girls are growing up fast and both are so cute.