Christmas musings…

Our pastors are working through a sermon series talking about the Advent Conspiracy.  Its four tenets are Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All.  Our family was honored to get to light the Advent candle on the week the topic was ‘Spend Less’.  So how’d we do, on Spend less in particular, or the Advent Conspiracy overall?

Tonight I headed to CVS to get stocking stuffers for my 3.  Some $70 later (at least it included tape), my kids stockings will have a bit of candy and several things they’ll otherwise need for our family trip later this year.  Counting it as a partial success – $70 seems like a good bit to spend on what I think of as relative inconsequentials, but everything in there is something that I think they’ll use for a particular need.  (Or eat, in the case of the smattering of candy.  On the plus side, I bypassed the normal ridiculously large candy bar / candy box as a Christmas present – my kids do not need an infusion of sugar.)

Present-wise, I think we as usual overdid it.  We worked to keep a running list (Google Docs!) so my hubby and I didn’t lose track, but it’s still too easy to keep finding neat things.  I did attempt to front-load with low-dollar items: each of the girls are getting mugs that I think they’ll enjoy both receiving and drinking from, mornings after mornings.  Each are getting knee high socks.    (I’m pretty sure neither are specifically aware of this website, and either way, even if they know mug and socks, I still think they’ll enjoy their particular mug and socks surprises..  )  These are things that speak to particular interests of theirs at low dollars.  My son didn’t get a mug or knee-high socks, but got his own corollary of things that are low budget, but have sentimental impact. At the end of the list, though, we get to the bigger dollar items.  Nothing ridiculous for any of them individually.  We did splurge on an item that I budget across the three of them – think they’ll be surprised, AND it solves a problem we’ve seen in our house.  By having one of these allocated to the kids, I’ll get my bedroom back, I think.  THAT I find very valuable – it’s basically a Christmas present to me and my hubby!

We did give more – of time, at least.  Haven’t tallied up funds.  But the point of give more is actually time.  We used time as a present more this year: GroupOns for activities with a young friend.  Concert or theatre tickets with either the promise of a companion or of a babysitter.  These, we hope, will be memorable for the recipients, moreso that a typical , well, maybe she needs one of these presents.

Worship fully..  ugh.  My advent worship is bursty.  I revisit my advent calendar and work to catch up, reading through 3-5 days of devotionals at a time.  SO reflective.  It’s better than it’s been in previous years, and I’ve tried to highlight aspects to my kids, but….

Love all…  my ENTJ is working on that…



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