This year, I really wanted to focus my time and energy on gifts that can’t be found under the tree. The most important gifts you can give your children doesn’t neccesarily have to cost a dime. Most things you anticipate them opening up on Christmas morning normally end up getting tossed aside or broken within the first year. Here is a list of five things that you can give your children that will last more than a year–they will last a lifetime!
- The Gift Of Jesus Christ. The greatest gift of all won’t be found under a tree. It won’t be packaged up pretty with a shiny bow on top. It will be found in a stable. When we teach our children that Christmas is the celebration of a Savior being born, we are sharing the most important gift we can give them–the true meaning of this special time of year. The greatest gift of all time was a babe that lay in a manger one starry night. He was born to fulfill a purpose–born to be put to death. This Christmas teach your children the reason for the season! “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whomsoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
- The Gift of Presence. Your “presence” is more meaningful than “presents.” Being present means slowing down and making time to enjoy the little things. Take initiative to pay more attention to your children and decide to live in the moment. Put down your phone and spend more time focusing on your greatest blessings today. You only have so much time with these little lives. Make a commitment to be all there!
- The Gift of Laughter. There is nothing that serves as music to my soul quite like my sons laughter. One of the things I enjoy most about the holidays is the fellowship with loved ones and the laughter that fills our home. When I look back on my life, I don’t remember what I got for Christmas. I recall the times spent cutting up and joking with family (mostly at my own expense!) Share in these moments with your kids and give them something to laugh about this year!
- The Gift of Tradition. Tradition is about giving your children something exciting to look forward to each year. It’s about celebrating the joy of the season as a family. There are a multitude of ideas out there if you are looking to start new traditions of your own this year. My favorites include: Christmas Eve box filled with Christmas pajamas, Christmas movie, and a treat. Looking at Christmas lights. A special ornament for your child each year. Going to a Christmas program at church. There are endless ideas you can peruse on Pinterest! Make the holidays merry for your littles by surprising them with a new tradition that will last for years to come!
- The Gift of Joy. Let your children know how happy you are to be there mother. Fill their hearts with gladness and cheer. Fill your home with light and love. Be silly. Have a pillow fight. Chase them around the room. Play hide and seek. Make memories. Let them unwrap the joy of childhood this year!
Being a parent is one of my greatest blessings! Although it can be a challenge sometimes and we can easily be swept up in the busyness of this time of year, remember that your children deserve the best! Give them something money can’t buy this year!
With the maddening rush of the holidays in full swing, it’s easy to become swept up in the frantic pace that this wonderful, but busy, season brings. If you find yourself blinded by the twinkling lights or forgetful of what this season is truly about, here is a list of thirty things to be grateful for:
- You are living and breathing.
- You have someone that loves you dearly.
- Mornings you can sleep as late as you want.
- Memories of past holidays.
- The clothes you are wearing.
- The warm food on your table.
- For lessons learned–the good and the bad.
- Your children.
- Your spouse or significant other.
- Books and the ability to be transported to other worlds through their pages.
- Your good health.
- The changing of leaves.
- A strangers kindness.
- Your parents.
- Your siblings.
- Modern conveniences.
- Traveling and experiencing new places and people.
- A cozy, comfy bed.
- Music and being able to relate to the lyrics.
- Great friendships.
- Clean water.
- Reaching a goal.
- The fresh new start each morning brings.
- Hot cocoa and a crackling fire.
- Old movies you love to watch again and again.
- A seasonal candle to set the tone in your home.
- Old photographs.
- The holiday cards that fill your mailbox this time of year.
- The peace of knowing Jesus Christ.
I would like to take a moment now to express to my readers how grateful I am for each and everyone of you. Thank you for allowing me into your homes and lives for just a few minutes a day. If I inspire or encourage just one of you, then it has all been worth it.
The Cheerful Mom
The giving season is upon us! During the next few weeks, we will be sucked in to the whirlwind of the holidays. For many, Thanksgiving is completely skipped over and Christmas has taken its place. I urge you this season to slow down and remember why it is that we gather and celebrate in the first place. Take an opportunity this season to be a blessing to others and feel the joy that comes from giving from your heart.
Here are twenty ways that you can be a blessing to others this season:
- Bake a pumpkin pie & deliver to someone letting them know how you are thankful for them!
- Go caroling to the shut-ins!
- Invite someone who doesn’t have family to join yours for Thanksgiving dinner!
- Write a list of reasons you are thankful for your spouse!
- Hold the door open for someone whose arms are full of packages.
- Pay for the persons coffee behind you! They will be thankful for that yummy pumpkin spice latte.
- Remember those that are away from their families serving our country! Send a care package, write a letter, say a prayer, ect..
- Buy someone a cold drink! Leave some change in the vending machine.
- Make cards for those in the nursing homes. You don’t know how much this will brighten their day!
- Leave chalk messages on the sidewalk that says “I’m grateful for you!” Or “Gobble til you wobble!”
- Lend a helping hand at your local soup kitchen.
- Donate extra blankets to your furry friends at the shelter!
- Leave a poinsettia on your neighbors porch!
- Round up three toys your children no longer play with and give to a child in need.
- Ring a bell! Be a local bell ringer for The Salvation Army. You get to greet people with a smile and make a difference at the same time!
- Partner with your church to put together shoe boxes filled with blessings for those in need.
- Read the Christmas story to those who will spend the holidays in the hospital.
- Help someone take their groceries to their car!
- Leave a generous tip on your receipt for your waitress with a note that says “Happy Holidays!”
- Leave a note on a random car that says, “Have a blessed day!”
Now that you have a few good ideas to get started– go be a blessing to someone today!
Tomorrow, the streets will be taken over by witches, goblins, and other masked creatures of the night. Halloween is a fun tradition where your imagination has the ability to run wild and all of your favorite characters come to life. I am a big enthusiast of this particular holiday and enjoy the excitement of finding the perfect costume to surprise my family with at our annual Halloween party. This year will be especially fun since this will be my sons first trick-or-treat experience!
A quick stroll down the costume aisle will quickly leave you feeling overwhelmed by all of the werewolves, superheroes, and political figures that seem to jump right out at you. Each year on October 31, you are given one night to take on a whole new persona. You can transform into whomever it is you wish. But just as the clock strikes midnight for Cinderella, on November 1st you are turned back into your same self once again.
Similar to wearing a mask on Halloween, there can be times in our lives when we feel we no longer recognize the person we see before us in the mirror. But I have great news! Look past your tired and weary eyes…past your worry and wrinkles…your identity in Christ has been found! Psalm 139:14 tells us, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Isn’t it awesome knowing that Jesus knows all of your skeletons and He still calls you a child of God? He is there to rescue you from life’s monsters! He wants to bring you out of the darkness and into the light.
Halloween is a day for fun, memories, and lots and lots of candy!! But it is also an opportunity to shed your mask. To dust your soul of the cobwebs and allow yourself to be freed from the chains that bind you. The devil is full of tricks but Jesus is the ultimate treat!
I can’t believe September is gone and we are already half way through the second week of October. This year has flown by! The leaves are changing and cover my backyard in a blanket of fiery reds, cheerful oranges, and vibrant yellows! Nothing puts me in the spirit quite like making some seasonal changes around my home. I start pulling out the pumpkins and scarecrows the first week of September. Here is a fun list for you to use when prepping your home this Fall!
What are some of your favorite ways to make your home into a cozy Fall retreat?
Today is October 1st and it seems as if I have been waiting since January for this day! That’s because Fall is my most favorite time of year. I love all of the blessings and fun that comes along with this season. The colors, the smells, the pumpkins! There are so many awesome things to do during these months that I look forward to it all year long. Here is my list of must do things this Fall:
Fall Bucket List
- Visit a pumpkin patch.
- Visit a farmers market.
- Go on a hay ride.
- Go to a football game.
- Drink a cup of hot chocolate outside.
- Jump into a big pile of leaves!
- Watch Halloween movies. My favorite is Hocus Pocus!
- Take pictures of the changing leaves.
- Bake! Pies, cakes, cookies! Tis the season.
- One word: BONFIRE!
- Make smores.. And invite me over for some!
- Spend the day at your local county fair.
- Indulge in a caramel apple! And not feel the least bit guilty about it.
- Donate to your area food bank. By letting your kids help collect food, it teaches them a valuable lesson, as well as helps many needy families during this season.
What are your favorite Fall traditions? What do you have on your own bucket list for this season?