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!