Saturday, December 3, 2011

And the Stockings Were Hung

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care  on the iron thingee I bought from Kirkland's because I don't have a chimney...

Sometimes our lives are not storybook or fairytale material. They may start out that way, but usually change somewhere in the middle of the first sentence.

Over the years, I have learned that we each have our own story. Different characters, different setting, different plot. But it's our story. And it's the one God wrote for us.

December is a great time to refocus and get back to the basics. Spend quality time with your family. Cherish them. Love them.

Let them know how special they are and what they mean to you. Don't just buy gifts, give yourself.

One of the ways I like to give to my children is to fill their stockings with personalized, fun, and sweet surprises. I think it takes really knowing someone and what they like to make it special. If you're not careful this can get expensive, but it doesn't have to. The dollar stores have something for everyone!
Examples are:
  • fuzzy socks in favorite colors or designs
  • favorite candy, gum or mints
  • hand-written coupons to be redeemed for their favorite things (favorite dinner or dessert, chocolate chip pancakes, movie night, game time, get-out-of-a-chore...although I wouldn't do too many of these lol, 2 hours in their favorite bookstore, a foot or scalp massage (my kids love these, too), popcorn on the stove instead of microwave, a ringtone for their phone or single song download from itunes, etc)
  • puzzle books or magazines
  • movies (I got some on black Friday for $1.96!)
  • cards or other small games
  • lipstick or nail polish
  • homemade cookies
  • items from the travel size bins (toothpaste, hairspray, body wash, body spray, hand sanitizer in favorite scents, etc)
  • a new toothbrush and flavored floss
  • favorite character bandaids
  • a new ornament for next year
  • ear buds
  • craft supplies (beads or string for making bracelets, scrapbooking items, paints, glitter, etc)
  • key chain or mini-flashlight
  • inexpensive bracelet or necklace
  • car scents
  • mini-devotional
  • $5.00 gift cards from Sonic, McDonalds, Starbucks or Blockbuster
  • and I could go on and on and on...the possibilities really are endless. Use your imagination and get creative. :)
This year, in addition to the material gifts, I am going to add a hand-written letter to my spouse's and each of my children's stockings. I want to encourage them, build them up and let them know how much I love them and believe in them. I am going to remind them of promises from God's Word that apply to where each of them are at this point in their lives. Will you try it, too?

And just as we love to give gifts to our children, even more so does our Father love to give gifts to us (Matthew 7:11). All those years ago, He gave a gift that is unending...His Son and the reason we celebrate.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

What are some special things you do for Christmas or plan to do this year?

7 friends had this to say:

Recovering Church Lady said...

My two sons are grown now and one is married and the other has a serious girlfriend, so no little kids at Christmas can get kinda sad so far but to keep it fun we are all getting 5 items for one another's stockings!

Shelly said...

What a great idea! :)

Cooking Up Faith said...

Love all of these ideas!! GREAT post!! I like the idea of writing my famiy letters. I'd love you to stop by for Walk with Us Wednesday Link Up and share one of your faith posts with us! :)

Arlee Bird said...

This is a good message for those of us with families and all of us for that matter. The Christmas season is a time when we can get so caught up in earthly pursuits and the stress of what has become fulfilling empty obligations to each other.

We need to stop and reevaluate things in our lives and in the world around us. I pray that I'll be able to have some cherished time with family who are geographically so far away from me.

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Funmilayo said...

I plan to hang out with family :)

Anonymous said...

nice post! thanks for sharing... blessings...soraya

ღ soraya ღ said...

nice post...thanks for sharing...happy holidays..blessings...soraya