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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A True Christmas




As I witness the swirling bustle of crowds in the shopping centers as people merrily going about their way buying gifts for their loved ones I can't help but think what a joyous time of year this is for so many, and on the same note, I know there are so many who find this time of year depressing and look upon it as the worst time of the year.

I want to present to you what a true Christmas is. It is not about the gifts. REPEAT. It is NOT about the gifts. It is celebrating the day of the Savior who has come into the world to forgive man of his sins and so that he may escape the fiery flames of hell for those who believe in Him and confess Him as their Lord.

So many parents feel guilty that they will not be able to provide gifts this year.

I say DON'T FEEL GUILTY.

But instead realize what you HAVE given your children. You have helped to give them life. You have given them yourself as a loving and available parent. You have given them a warm home and three meals a day all year round not just one day of the year, not just when the world dictates a day of giving.You give them clothing and an education.

And remember that the ultimate gift you can give your children is the gift of salvation by teaching them about the Lord--this is a gift that will last for eternity.

And of course, any good parent will still want try to provide gifts for their children. Consider looking around your home for gifts you might not notice. Is there extra fabric you can give to a daughter for a sewing project as a gift? For a younger daughter, if you had extra material maybe you could sew doll accessories, doll bedding, doll dresses, doll purses? A small baby doll for her doll?


During the Great Depression, mothers made use at Christmas time anything they had available to make gifts for their children. They would use large printed flour sacks to make pretty dresses and would even find old skirts they could not wear anymore and make a smaller skirt of the material for a daughter. Nothing went to waste. Children appreciated what they got back then and did not complain because they understood the times.


Just because the people back then had less, they actually had so much more.They appreciated each other and the simple things that were given to them. They did not live from one materialistic venture to the next. Family was important to them and just enjoying the simple things in life. They were excited to receive an orange and a quarter as a gift, and that was it. The Great Depression had given them the priceless gift of gratitude. I sometimes wonder how better off our generation would be if they learned the same gratitude as this past generation. This is why I feel it is so important to keep to focus not on getting gifts and Christmas (even though we do share gifts), but on serving. There are so many ways to do this as I have shared in the past.

But back to gift giving, if you have an older daughter, what if you gave her an heirloom piece of jewelry from you or her grandmother that you have been holding on to? Little boys could get homemade play dough or homemade puppets from socks. Older sons might like a documented scrapbook made of photos of himself as a keepsake, or something they have been eying that belongs to Dad. Children could share their art with each other. You could write a special letter telling someone what they mean to you and frame it with a picture of you both as a meaningful gift. These are all things you could do with what you already have at home and would not cost anything. Here is also a great site loaded with ideas.

In our home, our children like all the special things we like to do before Christmas. Drinking cocoa, playing in the snow, watching Christmas movies, opening the Advent calendar as we count down the days, coloring Christmas pictures, making crafts, singing carols, making ornaments, visiting with friends and family, baking for others, acting in Christmas plays and dressing up as nativity characters. We find ways to serve and give to others who are in need. We spend time with eachother which is important instead of throwing a few gifts at eachother and going our separate ways. All of this usually doesn't cost a lot of money but is rich in memories, and isn't that what memory making is all about?

All in all, be sure to keep your focus on Christ and others. Don't let advertisers dictate to you what your Christmas should look like but keep it simple and Christ focused. I truly hope all of you have a meaningful Christmas and are able to focus upon the true celebration and what it is all about!



Merry Christmas!







19 comments:

Rachel and Family said...

How true. What a great post.

Katheryn said...

This is a wonderful reminder. Whether this has been done in families year after year, or the first time of a buy nothing Christmas. It is such a refreshing way to truly shine for Christ and remember the Christ in CHRISTmas. We are not a buy nothing family, but we do make many home made goodies and purchase 3 gifts for each child as a reminder that the wise men bought Jesus 3 gifts. Thank you for this post and the encouragement it offers along with the ideas.

The Watts Family said...

Wonderful Post, filled with so many suggestions and so very encouraging. Retailers do a wonderful job of telling us how our families should look at the holidays. It is not hard for anyone to feel discouraged when held up to retail standards even those who have so much to be grateful for can feel sure they are missing something thanks to all the many commercials on T.V. as well that tell us all so. Thanks for posting this important message and for all the wonderful ideas as well. ~Merry Christmas & Blessings Heather

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

This was a beautiful post and so true about how our material possessions abound these days compared to generations before.

I posted some classy yet thrifty and homemade Christmas ideas here if anyone is interested:

http://womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/2009/12/thrifty-thursday-inexpensive-christmas.html

Courtney

Pauline said...

An inspiring and uplifting post. thank you for sharing :o)
Happy Christmas to you too.

Saminda said...

Thank you June, what a wonderful, wonderful post. :) Bless you and yours this Christmas, and enjoy that snow! xo

Amber said...

I love this post, it warmed my heart. This year, we have simplified our gifts and it has actually been wonderful putting more thought and effort (not money) into what we give. I watched "Little Women" the other day and was reminded of how we can find such simple pleasures in eachother's company, as well as in the little things that we so often take for granted. Again, thank you for this post.

Amber

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

We've been doing simple Christmas for a couple of years now. It is sooo much better. So freeing! No guilt!

We celebrate Yeshua like it is "Christmas" everyday!

Praise the LORD!

Guess what? I FINALLY got a home to nest in! God is soooooooooo good! He has blessed us beyond what we could have thought.

Love,
Janet

HomesteadMommy said...

Wonderful post! So very true. It can be so hard on families when they can't buy gifts or the amount they are used to. But that's really not what this time is about.
Kim
www.homestead-acres.com/blog

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

Hi Janet,

That is great news! Sounds like you are enjoying your new home and getting all settled in. Have a great Christmas!

Many blessings...

Abounding Treasures said...

So very true ...

Rhonda Devine said...

A great post, June~well said:)

Kristy Quinn said...

Very beautiful and true!

CIELO said...

Beautiful blog and photographs.... I'm glad I've found you! May you and yours have a joyful and blessed Christmas

Cielo

Jasmine said...

June, this is a great post. I'm encouraged as I just visited a site where they believe Christmas is a pagan holiday.

I didn't have much to give to my children this year, but it is not in the gifts, and our family knows this. They are content, and your suggestions are wonderful.

Kelly's Ideas said...

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours.

Love,
kelly

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Lovely post and a great reminder! Hope you had a simply beautiful and blessed Christmas!

debbie said...

DEAR MRS. JUNE FUENTES,
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POST. IT IS SO VERY TRUE, IF YOU GAVE A CHILD AN ORANGE AND A QUARTER TODAY, THEY WOULD BE IN UTTER SHOCK AND START TEXTING THEIR FRIENDS ABOUT THE JOKE THEIR MOTHER PULLED ON THEM.
YOU ARE A RARE BEAUTY.
WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A BELATED MERRY CHRISTMAS.
ANGEL HUGS
DEBBIE

Erin said...

So true. I am 26 years old, live in Australia and feel completely out of place as part of a 'me' generation. One girl at work put a picture of the prada handbag she wanted on the fridge so her husband wouldn't get the gift wrong - she was genuinely upset when he got her a prada purse instead. Another was overjoyed when her husband got her a gorgeous eternity ring - which she went to the jeweler alone and picked out, got sized, and gave her husband the details to pick it up and pay for it. My husband and I are blessed to both have good paying jobs, but with total honesty I said to my husband that for Christmas I wanted to spend time with our families, and as for gifts, we made eachother something - I made my husband a quilt and he made a gorgeous bench which we sit on in our back yard together with a cup of tea and play backgammon. I actually got paid out at work for our gifts, but I dont care - what a shame our society cant be more like days of old!