Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Yes, I know it is only November, and yes, I know that Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, but don't blame me for talking about Christmas. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Christmas and, goodness, I just can't help myself!

I was over at Katie's blog today and she is taking the next 12 days to post a little something Christmas-y each day to get us thinking about the holidays. It'll be here before we know it, people, and if your like me, ain't nothing worse then running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to do last minute shopping, sending cards out, decorating, etc. So anyways, today her post was about Christmas Traditions. Oh, how I love traditions. And oh, how excited I am to start some new traditions with our growing family!

I can remember as a little girl that every year my brother and I would hang our stockings on the mantle every Christmas Eve. Just in time for Santa to fill them. And of course, we have the honorary photo to commemorate each year. And each year we look more and more annoyed to have to take the photo. Ha! Then I can remember that we were allowed to open one present on Christmas eve. I even remember when we were really little we weren't allowed to go downstairs until everyone was awake and Dad went downstairs first to "make sure Santa showed up." Jeff and I would wait at the top of the stairs until we got the go-ahead and then we would fly down the steps into the living room where Santa's generosity would stop us in our tracks. Later through the years, I can remember we would pile in the car on Christmas Eve and go around looking at Christmas lights. That's something that we still enjoy doing to this day.

But that's not why I am writing this post. Through the years I have begun to realize that Christmas isn't all about the presents that you get or who has the best lights hanging outside their home. But for the past few years we have tried to bring Christmas back to what the true meaning is. The birth of our Lord and Savior. It's also about helping others in need. So, for that reason hubs and I have made it our annual tradition to adopt a family on Christmas.

We know this can seem like an overwhelming expense. Especially in today's economy. But, believe me, with a little creativity, bargain shopping and saving, it really is do-able. We commit to adopting a family of 3-4 and spending right around $100.00. Of course, the agency wants us to focus around the children, but there are always household needs that we have been able to supply as well. I remember one year I was able to buy a family of 3 clothes, toys, pots and pans, a holiday meal and some extra goodies for the Mom. We use organizations that actually allow you to meet the family and deliver the presents to them ourselves. This has made it even more special for us to see their faces light up as we fill their home with gifts.

It is kind of timely to talk about this today because I just got faxed the information about the family that we are adopting. This year we got a family of 4. Husband and wife and their two teenage children. It always amazes me the items that they ask for. Simple things like curtains for the girl's room, guitar related items, pots and pans, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. It makes me feel so blessed to realize that my husband works so hard so that we don't have to want for simple things like that.

I am really excited this year to be adopting a family again. This year will even be of greater significance for us as we will be able to bring Kaiden along with us to deliver the presents. We want him to grow up serving and not taking for granted the wonderful life that God has blessed us with.

If you live in the Phoenix area and are interested in adopting a family this year, we used an agency called Desert Mission. I am sure they still have plenty of families that need help. If you wanted to contact Cathie or Megan at 602-331-5792 they can hook you up with a family. If not, I have gone through the Salvation Army in the past and I am sure that each city has a simliar program.


Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

Girl - you have to link this to my post! I figured out how to do the Mr. Linky thing any everything...I was so proud of myself.

We did a family last year and they wanted gloves and humbling. I forgot to post this, but I think this year, we're going to start the tradition of having the kids pick an angel from the tree at the mall that is THEIR age and gender, so they can choose toys and clothes they would like themselves and understand that they're giving them to another child in need. My friends' family did that, even until she was in high school. What an incredible lesson for our kids!

Mom said...

Giving to those less fortunate is a great way to celebrate Christmas. I hope you get to meet the family too.
I'm very proud of you guys & your values!

Mama Kat said...

Oh you've just inspired me. Our family is blessed to not be too horribly hit by today's financial mess...I'm totally adopting a family too!

Shannon said...

Stopping by from were one of the two comments above me!

This is a great thing you're doing. When I worked, my department would adopt a local family... it was always humbling to see the simple things the family would ask for. I remember one little boy only asking for a restaurant gift card, just so his family was able to eat dinner together.

Katie said...

This is a truly wonderful idea. We've done some volunteer stuff in the past with the team, but never on our own. What a great way to brighten someone's Christmas. I'm going to find how to do it.