Christmas

Most Popular Posts of 2017

We like to usher out every year with “year in review” lists. This year’s review holds some heart-breakers: the Las Vegas shooting, multiple hurricanes, and rising racial tension. We witnessed bravery as women stepped forward, naming names and sharing their #metoo stories. It wasn’t all bad news. We enjoyed a solar eclipse, a royal engagement, and a video of real mom-life [Read more...]

Remembering the Holiness of Christ

The first time I held my babies, their innocence overwhelmed me. They were helpless and perfect, not even a hint of malice in their searching eyes. But after thirteen years of parenting, I am under no illusion that my children are perfect. As a matter of fact, their flaws often mirror my own. We lose our tempers quickly. Hunger and fatigue highlight our tendencies toward sin. Unwelcome sarcasm is [Read more...]

How I Traumatized My Children on Christmas Morning

The struggle to keep Jesus at the center of Christmas resurfaces every year. Christian bookstores present new Advent products at the beginning of each season. Mommy bloggers publish reading schedules and offer crafts to help point our little ones to Jesus. Our struggle reaches its pinnacle on Christmas morning when we try to balance the excitement of unwrapping gifts with the celebration of [Read more...]

The Gift that Promises Forever

It wasn’t the gift I expected, but it promised forever. On our second Christmas as a couple, I held a secret wish in my heart as I sat beneath the Christmas tree. David and I planned to walk the aisle in August of the coming year. In my mind, Christmas seemed like the ideal time for the question and the ring. I opened my gift, a rectangular-shaped box wrapped in thick red paper. Inside the [Read more...]

Christmas Joy #FridayFive Style

When #FridayFive started, it was a place to share favorite things—memories, books, links. It took on a life of its own with writing prompts to challenge us to think a little deeper and write a little more consistently. I love reading your different takes on the weekly themes. As I turn “joy” around in my mind, it seems like a good time to go back to my #FridayFive roots and [Read more...]

How to Encourage Gratitude in Your Children During the Holidays

I remember my excitement the day the Sears & Roebuck catalog landed in the mailbox of my childhood home. I carefully looked through each section circling the gifts I wanted to find under our Christmas tree. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Barbie’s Dream House, and a Cabbage Patch Kid made the list more than once. The more pages I turned, the longer my wish list grew. Every year, kids near [Read more...]

The Carol of Traveling Sounds

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” ~Marjorie Holmes The sound of travel thrills me. My earliest memory of this auditory obsession dates back to the early 80’s. I remember walking up and down the dirt drive in front of my grandparents’ old chicken house just to hear the gravel crunch beneath my Jordache sneakers. Besides listening to my grandmother read, it was my favorite thing to do at [Read more...]

When Christmas Isn’t the Way You Want It

The concept of “leave and cleave” sounds lovely when you stand at the altar with your husband-to-be beside you. But when it comes to the holidays, it isn’t so lovely. The question of where and how to spend Christmas can cause discord in the most harmonious of marriages. My first Christmas as a Smith was dramatic. My husband’s job was as new as our marriage. He had to work on Christmas [Read more...]

Gifts to Encourage Spiritual Growth in Your Tween Girl

This time of year, kids can’t get through a conversation with an adult without being asked the million dollar question: “What do you want for Christmas?” Around October, I start jotting down ideas for my own kids. We keep it simple with three gifts per child, so I only need a few ideas to get me started. This year, my tweenager surprised me by asking for a new Bible. The [Read more...]

The Light of the World Brings Hope at Christmas

Don’t you just love this time of year? As soon as the turkey is cold, many people rush to the attic for the red and green boxes full of Christmas decorations. They tack lights to the eaves of their house and hang treasured ornaments on the branches of pine-scented trees. The smell of cinnamon and sugar plums rise from strategically placed candles. Ceramic Baby Jesus rests safely in an [Read more...]