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  1. Very good suggestions. I realized this year how much I had lost the Spirit of Christmas, that I just drift through the season. I am single and alone so that is very easy to do. I had decided to come up with ways to bring back the joy of Christmas. Thank you for the suggestions.

  2. I love the idea of having a mission statement for the holidays! We are just starting out on our journey as believers in our family, so I feel like it might take us a couple of years to even create a mission statement. I want to be totally sanctified like NOW! But I am starting to realize that God gives me grace, so I need to also! I am looking forward to weeding out the distractions and adding in the good over time. Luckily for us, some of our extended family is feeling the same nudges from the Holy Spirit!

    We have done shoeboxes in the past, but I never knew about the gift catalog. My kids will love it- and it will help put the perspective back in the right place. Thanks for your suggestions!

  3. My favorite intentional tradition we do is that the first gift we open on Christmas morning is a family gift to Jesus. We pick some spiritual discipline to work on, a Bible study to complete, or a sacrifice of time or resources for the upcoming year, etc. and we wrap a symbol of it and for under the tree. Even though our kids have been too young to “get” it before now, it has been a great thing already for our family. I have come to really appreciate the process of carefully and prayerfully considering, in the weeks prior to Christmas, what the Creator of the universe might want of and from us in the next year. I can’t wait until the kids are old enough to join my husband and me in our discussions of what to give the Giver of all good gifts!

  4. Thank you so much for writing what you have. I now see why my mum “gave santa the boot” all those years ago – I mean I always knew that reason why in my head but now I understand and know in my heart and soul. Since I got married I had all these ‘ideals’ for what I wanted Christmas to be – creating my own family traditions. Well they never happened the first year, nor the second etc etc. I totally agree that when we create all these plans and then we they don’t happen we become ‘depressed’ and also when we have traditions and then if they don’t happen it ‘feels like it’s not Christmas’. I can definitely say that was me the first Christmas of being married and even potentially the second and third. And now I read this and I know that the only traditions that matter are the ones centered around the reason for the season – Jesus. The last 5 years have been preparing me for reading this and arriving to the conclusion that I have today. “I don’t need traditions for it to be Christmas – all I need it to focus on and celebrate the reason for Christmas – nothing else matters”

  5. We are blessed beyond measure to have members of our extended family who are sensing the same promptings from the Holy Spirit as we are.

  6. Thank you so much for bringing this article to my attention since I think it is just incredible. It is precisely what I had been looking forward to finding, and I genuinely hope that you will continue to contribute content of such high quality in the years to come.

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