A Perfect Way to Start the Week

Happy Advent! The season of joyful expectation and preparation for the birth of Jesus is here! And let me say, this Advent weather has been very conducive to outdoor preparation so far. Reaching almost 60 degrees yesterday, we got to go for a walk and get our outside Christmas decorations up. 

Another way we celebrate Advent every year is by buying presents for a child in Christian Social Services of Illinois. Last year, we participated in CSSIL's Secret Santa program directly, and this year, we are delivering the presents through our church.  If you are interested in working with them, they have an awesome program.  You can click here to find out more, or you can let me know and I can put you in contact with the right people directly. 

In order to help finance our charitable giving this season more fully, we have tried to cut down on superfluous giving in our family. Instead, in our family, we are trying to focus on the present of presence by spending more time with each other this season, and I am very excited for some of the activities we have planned.  AND... one of my favorite activities actually involves gift giving. I'm talking about Yankee Swap! We have done Yankee Swap for the past few year's in addition to giving individual gifts, but we really enjoy it so much, that we thought we could just make it THE gift exchange. Maggie just sent out the directions to our family last night, and I have already started to get my girl present ready.  Read below for Maggie's Yankee Swap explanation:

Hello Sweet Family,

I feel so grateful that we all got to spend time together this Thanksgiving, and I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate Jesus's birthday with all of you, my beautiful family, and your children and grandchildren. 
As our adult gift giving has evolved over the years, Melissa and I propose a new twist to our exchange. All adults, including MoM and DaD are to purchase a gift, a boy gift if you are a boy and a girl gift if you are a girl, not exceeding a $50 limit. We will participate in a Yankee swap.
See here...   ... for clarification.
If you feel in your heart that you desire to buy a gift for a specific someone, you are, of course, welcome to do so. However, no one is obligated to; we were hoping this might help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas (see here... ...and make inferences) and our sweet children.
Hope you enjoy participating, and we can always make adjustments next year as needed.

Thank you and much love,

I actually really need a new oven mitt, so I'm really excited!

Also, I recently listened to last year's Christmas episode of This American Life and the lengths to which some people go to celebrate are anything if not entertaining.  I mean, just read the description about "Jeko, the super-powerful (and somewhat-scary) Christmas elf."  Let him serve as a warning to all you parents doing Elf on a Shelf. (Just kidding... kind of... I really have no idea what Elf on a Shelf entails more than what I see on Pinterest, but it seems like it could backfire in the same way.)
Happy Monday! I hope your week is filled with joyful expectation!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I look forwward to hearing from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...