Planning for the Holidays

Target and other big stores have been in the news lately because of outrage from some over these stores decisions to open on Thanksgiving night. Holidays are getting crowded out for the sake of revenue. Christmas decorations were in many stores before Halloween was over. I've seen people post a picture on facebook of a sign from Macy's stating that they won't put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, saying they believe in the importance of focusing on one holiday at a time.

We all know how stressful the holidays can be. Activities abound--not to mention all the money to be spent. If you've been around this blog before, you know that as a family we try and make space for holidays--and to keep them focused. I confess that Advent often sneaks up on me...so I'm trying to think ahead now (it helps that others at church are doing the same).

So, I'm hoping to get away in the next day or two to look for some family devotions for Advent. We try and do most of our shopping ahead of time (like in July when the toy sales happen). We also don't do many presents. The kids get one on St. Nicholas Day and one on Christmas morning. We try and make the season about giving (we try and do a couple boxes for Operation Christmas Child). We try to keep Advent in its place and not rush Christmas, but keep its twelve days.

It doesn't make sense to rush from a season of thanksgiving into a season of making lists of gifts we must have. Real gratitude should be seasoned with an outpouring of charity. And in the midst of it all is a season of waiting...waiting for the Christ Child to return as King (which we celebrate this week on Christ the King Sunday).

I encourage you to not let the holiday run you ragged, but to enter into the holidays with purpose. May the be a blessing as they were intended to be.

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