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Why I’m Mentioning Christmas Today

by Cathy Baker

If you’ve attempted to balance simplicity with trying to create Christmas memories for the loved and lonely, maybe you’ve found (as I have) that it’s not as easy as it seems. We’re all wired differently, but for me, intentionality is the game changer. 

As mentioned in a 2008 Christmas post, we kept a Nesquik® Chocolate yellow box nearby when our boys were growing up. If they behaved, they got to pick one, sometimes two, activities from the box that afternoon. We never knew exactly what we’d be doing that evening but we were intentional about it—and our family created some meaningful memories as a result. 
 

The blue hand painted tray is a fave of mine.

Our boys are now adults with families of their own. Life changes, but wherever we find ourselves this year, it’s never too late to embrace the season in all its beauty and simplicity as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. 

In this same spirit, beginning Monday, December 1st, I’ll be posting one brief, simple way to infuse a meaningful moment into your day during this wondrous season. 

I’m excited about this journey! I hope you’ll make plans to join me.

[I know, I know. After this post
from a week ago, it may seem a bit odd that I’m writing about a new Christmas series when we’ve not yet celebrated Thanksgiving, but I’m
taking a blogging break next week. And December will be here before we
know it!] 

So from my home to yours, I pray you and yours will have a blessed Thanksgiving. 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 5, 6

Creating A Memorable Summer Vacation

When I saw these Butterfly Snacks on Facebook (compliments of Juggling With Kids) I couldn’t help but think of our own boy’s summer vaca’s. 

As an only child, I was happy slapping mud pies into tin plates on my grandmother’s back steps for my imaginary customers, so coming up with summer ideas for two little boys didn’t exactly come naturally.

But I wanted to create good memories for our boys so I sought reinforcement via Focus on the Family. I purchased 4 books that are now out of print but were priceless at the time.

Thankfully, the internet now offers a plethora of resources for moms like me. In addition to Juggling With Kids, here are some more to enjoy with your children/grandchildren:  

  • Thriving Family: A FREE summer activity calendar (takes only a moment to register)
  • Summer Ideas for Kids on Pinterest (awesome craft and food ideas)
  • 100 Summer Fun Ideas for Kids and Parents
  • Devo Kids, Summer Butterflies

Just like first impressions we’re given but one opportunity to create meaningful moments with our children. Let’s redeem the time!

DAY 5: CREATION

Creation beckons us to open or eyes to the wonders of God. Look for a place outside where all you can see is God’s creation. If you’re in an urban area, consider visiting a park and lying down under a tree where all you can see is its branches and slivers of sky above. Spend fifteen minutes simply sitting or resting in the place. Pay attention to the details-the textures, the colors, the intricate care with which God formed creation. Allow yourself to spontaneously respond to God in thanks and worship, celebrating the wonders of creation all around.

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