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  • Elly Gilbert

Tis almost the season!

Every year, Christmas comes and goes in a flurry of activities and rush and stress, with me vowing to be prepared and organized next year. Somehow, year after year, December 25 just slips up on me. Sometimes I do get a jump on the shopping, but when I do, I tend to forget what I\’ve bought and then I end up buying more than I intended to anyway. I\’m just not good at the whole organized holiday thing. I always bungle it up!

And this year, with our newly revised (read: tight as a drum) budget, planning is going to be crucial. John and I have set very firm limits for every one\’s gifts. He\’s totally fine with that. I hate it. I like to give lavishly. My budget is not set up for lavish.

Here I am, sixty four days from the Silent Night, and my stress level is already rising. The kids have high expectations for Santa\’s loot. I have much candy to make and many items to crochet- yes, dear readers, this is going to be an old fashioned, handmade Christmas. If you are on my list, just be prepared. You\’re getting a scarf, or some Bourbon balls, or a mug cozy, or a hat. At the rate I\’m going, you might just get some yarn in a bag with an IOU.

Because this Christmas is going to be financially strained, I want to make sure that my kids feel the season in a different way. I want them to experience giving. I want them to experience anticipation. I want them to experience the joy of the Christ Child.

My prayer is that I do not let the busy-ness get in the way of the real meaning. I want to build some special traditions and memories for my family so that they experience a happy holiday season, not a hurried and hassled one. My hope is to use the season as a way to glorify the One we celebrate. That said, I vow to lay down the stress and strife the holidays usually bring, and take up one thing only- the expectation of the coming King.

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