A Stress-Free Christmas, Anyone? (Part 2)

I love Christmas. But when I was a child, we didn’t celebrate it.

It’s a long story….

But secretly, my family would wish we were celebrating Christmas like other families.

When I learned about the true meaning of Christmas, that is, when I realized that the pagan past may be redeemed when Christians make Jesus the reason for the celebrations, out went the old, and in went guilt-free celebrations.

How liberating that was!

Your Own Style Advent

I’m so excited for this year because we are starting an advent tradition! But first, let me tell you how the house looks like (pictures soon). The tree (our li’l Christmas tree) is now decorated. The Christmas books and magazines are out. The stockings are ready, some gifts are being made (yes, handmade artsy and crafts gifts) and the spirit of the season of love and sharing is slowly warming up in our frugal and tiny home.

Christmas in our house is pretty much like last year, except that this time around, I decided to print out 25 Bible verses for each day beginning December 1 to December 25. That’s the advent tradition our young family is trying this year.

It’s supposed to be very simple, actually. I got these bracelets which I bought from a local supplier called City Hope Community Art Jewels and printed verses which I then attached to them. Each bracelet has a number for reference.

Every night, before going to sleep, the plan is to play or sing a Christmas song, pick a bracelet with a verse, read the verse that corresponds to it (hubby will do this, with a little bit of sharing) and then we will pray. We will light up the Christmas tree and then kiss each other goodnight.

I hope we can do this, but if there are days we can’t, I will try not to feel cross! 

 

Btw, the bracelets will be given as simple tokens to some young people at church on the 24th of December. So they serve a double purpose! (Oops, I hope they’re not reading this.)

I Love Printable Calendars!

Last night, Pru has been talking to me about calendars so I printed a November and December Calendar just for her.

For printable calendars, you can check out this amazing and colorful blog by inkhappi.com. You can print your own December calendar by clicking here. If you want a calendar with Bible verses for the twenty five days of December, then go to encouragingmomsathome.com by clicking here. I printed both! The latter, however, was cut so I could put the verses per day on the bracelets.

Speaking of calendars, last month, I read Lucy & Tom’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes. The beautifully illustrated book was also a heartwarming tale about Lucy and Tom’s family celebrating the season with friends. I think I read it several times to my daughter already but she couldn’t get enough of the calendar Tom’s giving to Granny. It looks like this:


So I took one of Pru’s watercolor painted works, printed a 2018 calendar, cut it up into a certain size (three months for one page) and decorated it with washy tape. I put a green ribbon on top for hanging and voila!  These are our finished products! Yay!

Prepare Ye The Home!

In my last post, I talked about preparing the way. If you haven’t read that post, click here for Part 1. I also wrote about counter-culture Christmas, if you know what I mean, here.

In this post, I just want to share that I am forever thankful for the incarnated and sinless Christ (Heb. 4:15), who later became my lamb of sacrifice in the cross (John 1:29), and finally, the resurrected One who had gone on to heaven to sit at the right hand in the heavenlies (Eph. 1:19-21) as our High Priest forever (Heb. 7:17). Soon, we will have a second Christmas when Jesus returns not as a babe but appear in full glory (Titus 2:13).

That in a nutshell is the essence of Christmas for me, and personally, the only way we can prepare our home for an extravagant welcome party for Jesus. After all, GOD GAVE JESUS OUT OF LOVE and to FULFILL OLD TESTAMENT PROMISES TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE — He’s the most EXTRAVAGANT gift of all, and undeserved of course!

So during this season, we remember the Gospel. And we remember that without his birth, there could be no death, and without His death, there could be no resurrection life!

I am just grateful today that in my family, we can do things differently and meaningfully because in our home, Christ is welcome, Christmas or not.

Takeaway

Christmas need not be fancy in the home especially if you’re working on a small budget. But if you have cash to spare, you may use it to bless the less fortunate in your church and the community. Why not invite friends to dinner and garnish your conversations with the goodness of God through Jesus Christ?

 

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