About Me

My photo
Hello and welcome to a small snapshot of what life's like inside my little corner of the world. I'm Shelly, I have a satisfying career and I'm shackled to my supurb husband. I'm the step-monster to his stylish son and together we have two stunningly beautiful daughters - Sugar and Spice, two stubborn dogs and a squawking bird. These are just some of the stories of my life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tis The Season

The Christmas extravaganza has begun.

Is it just me, or does it seem that the holiday season gets pushed out earlier and earlier each year? I swear, this year I saw Christmas decorations when I went to get my daughter's Halloween costumes!! Does that not seem like a bit much to you all?

Around this time every year, I start making a list of items that look like they would make good gifts. After making the list, I start doing the research and checking out the customer reviews on the products that I have chosen. If you are at all like us, we spend way too much money on all of these Christmas gifts to be flushing it down the toilet on defective products.

After making the list and checking it twice, I then go out and shop for the items that made the cut. Usually, this list is rather long; but this year I’ve decided to change the way we do Christmas. I mean seriously, if baby Jesus only got three gifts – and He is the reason for the season – can someone explain why we lavish our children with so many gifts and toys that they couldn’t possibly appreciate them all?

Nine times out of ten, only three out of the tons of gifts that they receive will get played with on a regular basis. The remaining items get tossed to the back of a closet, bottom of a toy box, or stuffed under a bed until an unsuspecting parental figure comes along to clean the room. And I’m sure that we all know what happens next in this little scenario and so, I digress…

This years Christmas shopping was done with my newest philosophy in mind: New House…New Rules

There were scores of circumstances surrounding our recent move and there were many talks between myself and God as to whether or not this was the right thing for my family. I am completely at peace with the decision that we made because, for once, I feel like I listened to His voice and let Him guide me to where He wants us to be. As a show of gratitude, I resolved to make more of an effort to become a stronger Christian role model for my family. What better way to show the sincerity of my dedication than to bring the Christmas season back to what it is really all about?!?!

This year, instead of making Christmas all about the children – which is not a bad thing, mind you – I am determined to make it more about Him. My children will each receive three gifts – one representing each gift given by the three wise men – and one Santa Claus item.

In changing the way that we celebrate this joyous occasion, it is my hope that my children will grow up to understand the true meaning of Christmas as opposed to the commercialization of what it has become. And, if I’m being completely honest, that my pocketbook will not be stretched so thin each year, which is very stressful - and the older they get, the more stretching ‘said’ pocketbook must do. UGH! It’s a never ending, vicious, cycle.

So, now that I’ve shared my story with you, I’m curious….How do you and your loved ones choose to celebrate the Christmas Holiday’s? Do you lavish them with gifts, or do you limit the amount of gifts they receive?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this and please don’t be shy; I don’t think that there are any wrong answers here. However you and your family celebrate is the right way for you! :)


  1. Like you...Christmas pasts have been over the top, so to speak. This year, we are also going more simple.

    And you are right, He is the reason for the season, but unfortunately society makes Santa more important. Don't get me wrong, we loved having Santa Claus visit our boys....that made for some priceless memories, but like you, this year it will be more about Him than ever before.

    I love to hear children say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"

    Ag shame, my skattie!;)

    Big hugs to you!

  2. ♥ We do one bigger gift and then a couple of small ones. Other than that we're very low key. We go over the true meaning of Christmas and make sure that they know why we're celebrating it and who it's truely for! I love the spirit of Christmas! :)

  3. You know, Shelley, my extended family doesn't have a lot of extra money, so each year, we pare down more. It IS all about Jesus. We don't buy for each other...we buy for my parents and we exchange names for the children. We don't have much to do with my hubby's side of the family, so no expense there. (I make a scrapbook calendar for my mother-in-law every year and that's about it). We have traditionally spent 100 dollars on each of our three kids and 50 dollars on each other. I love your idea for the three gifts to mirror the wise men, but I don't think it would work for us. The last few years, our oldest always wants one thing (electronic like a phone, camera, X-box or IPod) that takes up his whole budget, and the girls want completely different things...but we do all sorts of activities that focus on the reason for the season...we read the Christmas story from the Bible, we make a birthday cake for Jesus, we make a big meal, then after dinner we stay around the table and share what God has done in our lives during the past year (it usually takes about 1-2 hours for this, so it's a late night), we have communion at home in these cool crystal communion glasses that my mom has been collecting over the years, we have a special church service called "Bringing your gifts to Jesus" where families can share anything they want in front of the congregation, and the kids usually sing or play the piano or perform a play for that, we have a candlelight Christmas Eve service at church...since we don't focus on gifts, but rather on togetherness, my kids aren't confused about the real reason for Christmas. How's that for a book?!?! Didn't mean to go on so long! I THINK THE CHANGES YOU ARE MAKING THIS YEAR ARE AWESOME!!!

  4. Agree and applaud you for taking this Christmas season to heart!! We have "downsized" the gift thing for a few years now and it truly was the best thing we ever did. You will not regret taking the focus off of stuff and putting it where it belongs.
    Merry Christmas!! a little early ; )

  5. Oh, Shelly, good for you! Every year we say we want to simplify, but it just never happens. I love the three gifts idea, what a wonderful way to make the kids really get into the nativity story.

    Let me know how it goes, I need more encouragement to make it happen here!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. I think this is a great idea and I too am cutting back this Christmas. We have always given our children way too many gifts and will continue to give gifts (it's really the only time of year they get significant things - then and their Birthdays), but I have told them there will not be as much as in years past - it is CRAZY and you could not be more right. It should be about Christ!

    Have a great weekend - Kellan

  7. Thanks for your sweet personal email, Shelly! Seen any good movies lately? I'm curious what you've seen with your mom lately.


Don't be a stranger - please leave a comment. They make me smile :)