Thank you, dear Lord, for my life long,
for beloved family and friends,
and all dear hearts touching mine.
My treasure trove of souls
spills far beyond my time
to number as my own
those who have gone before,
your saints of ages past,
the cloud of witnesses on high
and pure angelic beings
in realms veiled from the eye.
There never was a day in which I was alone,
nor forgotten before Your throne.
There, at Your feet,
all heaven sweet anthems raise
to set celestial hearts ablaze.
My heart with choruses
swell my love,
grown great in gratitude.
I make a small return of love beside Your All Love.
You count my debt as paid
and bid me enter courts of praise.
By Joann Nelander
By Lisa on November 24, 2014.
It’s true. We have cancelled Christmas in our house this year.
Now before you all go crazy on me in the comments, let me explain. We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions. But, we have cancelled presents, Santa, and stockings. Their letters to Santa this year will be asking Santa to find someone who needs their presents more.
Here is why – John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement. Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately. They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful. We gave them good warning, either it was time for their behavior to change or there would be consequences. We patiently worked with them for several months and guess what, very little changed. One day after a particularly bad display of entitlement John said, “we should just cancel Christmas.” And, so that’s what we did.
Instead we will be taking the money we would have spent on presents and put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others this season. We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more.
The first project we did this season was to hold a clothing driving in our neighborhood. We gathered gently used clothing, sorted them, and packaged them up to send to a village in Northern Cebu of the Philippines. The village was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan last year. Then the kids wrote letters and found hard candy from their Halloween stash that we could ship to the kids in the village. It was awesome! Instead of being sad over giving up their Halloween candy they were excited and kept wanting to give more and more. After we had the boxes all packaged up we mailed them. The kids loved it! It was a lot of money to ship and they understand that they gave up having something, so they could give these clothes to others.
We also ordered a couple of these 12 piece Nativity sets.
We will be choosing two families for the 12 days of Christmas. Each day we will deliver a different piece of the nativity. On Christmas day we will give them the last piece of the nativity, baby Jesus. That will be 12 nights of fun memories we will be making trying to deliver the pieces without getting caught. We are also looking into an Adopt a Grandparent program. For Christmas dinner we have invited several older widows and couples in our area that don’t have family around to eat with us.
See what I mean? How cool will this Christmas be! Instead of focusing on what they will be getting, we will be keeping the focus on what they can give!
The few presents they get from Grandparents and other families members will be more cherished because the quantity will be less. They can enjoy what they get rather than feel overstimulated with so much. Christmas morning won’t be less special without Santa coming. Instead we can enjoy our Cinnamon rolls, play games as a family, and truly enjoy the few presents they did get. There is a good possibility that Santa will be writing them a letter of how proud of them he is and perhaps put a few pieces of hard candy and an orange in their stockings. We have Santa Stationary that is free for download.
I really think that we as parents need to take a step back and look at our motivation for giving gifts to our kids. READ MORE via Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas | Over The Big Moon.
All thanks and gratitude arise to dance before Your throne.
All praise and honor bow with swelling heart to glorify my God.
Make me a vessel overflowing,
A chalice full of grace willing for the good,
Desiring but one All Holy Love.
© 2013 Joann Nelander
"You can be cool and not have hands" Love it!! We can all find something we lack to insert into this beatitude.