Just me and my thoughts

The title of this post alone should scare you all.  I am welcoming you into my thoughts?


Because the truth is, I can go from thinking of something super brilliant and kinda deep to thinking up alternate lyrics to popular songs in the same breath.  “So, Kelli.  What ARE your favorite made up alternate lyrics?” I’m so glad you asked!

Sung to the tune of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s “Rock Your Body”

I’m gonna wash your body

Make it clean

Scrub with me

No lie, I sang this to the kids every time I bathed them and they ALL sing it now when they pick up a bar of soap.  It. is. awesome.

So yeah…that’s the kind of stuff that floats through my head.

Okaaaaay, then.  Let’s bring this crazy train on in to the station, shall we?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas these last few weeks.  I’m wrestling through my desire to teach my kids to really, truly embrace the power of this Christmas season without completely turning away from the magic of gift giving and receiving.  There have been a lot of really wonderful blog posts written lately on the topic and I’m awed at how many people have given up gifts altogether on Christmas, choosing instead to focus on the true meaning behind why we celebrate this holiday.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not there and I’m okay with that.

Because I really love the moment my children walk around the corner and see the twinkling lights and the gifts and the excitement leading up to that magical moment.  And I think we can still enjoy that tradition without losing ourselves to the marketing mayhem that Christmas has become.

Truthfully, the last few years we have pulled back significantly on how much “stuff” we give our kids.  Because they don’t need all the stuff.  Last year we gave fewer gifts and tried to make them more meaningful and useful.  And we are pulling back even more drastically this year.

There are other things we plan to do with the kids this year to keep the focus of Christmas outward and not inward.  And I may or may not share what those things are.  I am trying to keep some things private as a way to preserve the traditions, memories and even acts themselves as sacred between us, our children and the God we serve.  It’s a balance.

I can tell you this, though.  As the kids and I discussed the way that Christmas would change a bit this year, I mentioned today that we would be spending less on one another and more on others.  I was immediately met with disappointed stares and protests and for a brief second, my heart sank.  Perhaps we had gone wrong all these years if my children were going to pitch a small fit over receiving fewer toys.  Then Tia spoke.

“But Mom,” she said, her eyes big and round.  “I really, really wanted to get you a special present this year!”

“Yeah, me too,” Sloan said.  “I had a plan for exactly what I wanted to get you.”

*tears*  *hugs*

Then I promised them a pony.

I thanked them for thinking of me and not themselves and told them I would be honored to receive gifts from them, but that I wanted them to spend more time, energy and money on gifts for people who are in need than on me.


Our nativity scene usually includes Santa, Luke Skywalker, Moses, a Construction Worker and on occasion C-3PO likes to make an appearance.

I won’t tell my children they can’t buy me a gift.  (I think they’re going to buy me Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer – Mercy, I am loved).  I will, however, encourage them to think outside the box on how we can give to others.  I loved some of the ideas in this post – particularly the suggestion of giving children a sum of money and allowing them to use it however they want, as long as it’s for someone in need.

I am not opposed to giving gifts at Christmas, personally.  It’s not something that I feel we need to cut out entirely.  I am, however, finding myself more and more drawn to celebrating more simply, with the traditions surrounding the gifts and not the other way around.  I don’t have a problem with my kids believing in Santa because we don’t make him the reason for the season.  I don’t play the Santa card to encite good behavior (mortifying) and I read the story of the real Saint Nicholas every single year so that they know and understand the historical significance of who he was.  Santa gets a bit part in our the Christmas celebrations in our home.  And I don’t mind that.

These are things that I, personally, don’t sweat.  Because I don’t let them get out of hand. I am, however, pondering and thinking and praying over exactly how Christmas will look for us this year – how we will incorporate gift giving and receiving into our holiday in a way that is meaningful and precious.  Rest assured, though, that no matter what, Christmas will still be magical and filled with wonder.  How could it not be so?

The Lord is Come.

Magical, indeed.

How do you keep your focus during the holidays? Any plans to help your kids think outside the box this year? I’d love to hear what others are doing!


  1. mel cable says

    I really loved the post you linked to. My kids don’t get very much from us, not because I am so spiritual and un-worldy, but only cuz I’m cheap and know they don’t need anything. I would love for our gift giving, as small as it already is, to be more intentional though, and that is the tough part! Thanks for sharing. Love you!

    • Yes. Being intentional is key. My mom is always so good at being intentional with gifts. I need to start taking notes.

  2. I am thankful today for grace….to cover the many years when santa was unfortunately a much bigger focus than Jesus. Now that they are mostly grown I trust that HE will fill in the many gaps that my shortcomings left. We have been on a journey of “Christmas change” for the past few years, but still don’t have it perfected. I realize that I cannot change everyone, but I long for HIM to change me!

    One thing we started years ago was on Christmas morning instead of getting to pick a gift from under the tree that you wanted to open, you picked a gift that you wanted someone else to open. It helped emphasize if only a bit the joy of giving a gift instead of just getting. We have always taken turns and waited while the gift was opened and appreciated before moving on. It just kinda slows things down.

    This year we our gifts are more focused on family togetherness. Dave is planning a day trip with the boys and then all of us (to include the new wife and the girlfriends) will enjoy a day going to see an off broadway play and just being together making memories!

    We are also try to be VERY intentional about giving beyond our family!

    • I love the idea of giving gifts that focus on family togetherness. It’s so much more fun than individual toys that take us away from each other.

  3. I have nothing deeply spiritual to add regarding Christmas right now, but I did feel it appropriate to share my own alternate lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” (written while biking 100 miles without a good friend who should have been there).

    I guess that you’re not riding
    You’re still asleep in bed
    I guess the last few months have gotten to your head
    I know you hate the cold rides
    but the weather’s gotten nice
    So grab your shoes and helmet, fill your bottles up with ice!

    ‘Cuz we should bike together now
    I need to be in your draft somehow
    You’ve got a pink jersey, and honestly
    This ride sure sucks without you.

    • Brilliant. At some point you need to hear Lee’s Ode to Krispy Kreme sung to the tune of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s always funny. 😀

  4. Have you seen the advent books by Arnold Ytreeide? We loved reading them with our kids. There are 3 of them and all the stories intersect at some point. This one was our favorite….


  5. We are in the same boat. Thinking and praying about how to make it more meaningful, less about us and more about others.

    We got a little book on Advent from Lifeway for $2.99. Each night we’re reading scriptures and truths (the writing is geared toward children), and counting down the days till Christmas-

    Great post. And I you get your creamer!

  6. I loved your post – but what I REALLY loved was the inset picture of the nativity! I love how ALL the toys are focused on Baby Jesus – just shows that we ALL are children on a loving father in heaven, and that he does not discriminate between us…. as is evidenced by the panda, alligator, Luke, C3P0 and Lightening McQueen in attendance witnessing the birth of our Savior!! LOVE IT!!!

  7. This year, we let each kid pick something from the samaritan’s purse catalog after we read them all the ideas…they went with medicine, sheep, and food…and a no-brainer to figure out who picked what. It was the most meaningful time…and it made shopping this week that much harder because I knew exactly what a $25 gift for a family member would buy for a child or person in need…it could buy them water! They could simply live! I am wrestling with Christmas this year more than any other…perhaps God is truly starting to open my eyes. Trying to free myself up a litle bit and convince myself that being generous also includes buying for those you love, simply because you love them…not because they need a thing.

    • I think of the many ways in which the Lord blesses me with things I don’t need simply because He wants to bless me as a Father wants to bless his child. I feel the same way about giving my children Christmas gifts. While I’m also feeling tugged to shifts priorities in our gift giving, I’m trying to remember that it’s okay to bless my children, too…simply because I love them.

      But I’m also trying to be more intentional about having them help be a part of blessing others. We sat down today and looked throught he Compassion catalog and picked several items to purchase for those in need. It was fun to watch them get into it.

      I don’t think Christmas needs to be all or nothing. It needs to be more Him and less us, though, for sure.