Please don't hate me because my Christmas shopping is all done.
Here are some tips on how to celebrate your Christmas gift exchanges and family time early - leaving plenty of time during the traditional Christmas rush to savor the Savior:
1. Take a skinny, fake tree to the Northwoods (never mind that the Northwoods is full of trees, hence the name Northwoods).
2. Christmas wrapping paper may be hard to come buy in October, but if you are creative (and are a recent college grad with no money), newspaper used for starting a fire in the fireplace will suffice and clothespins make a fine substitute for tape.
3. In lieu of real presents, I organized the boys' childhood photos in boxes (we found hundreds of these pictures after my mother-in-law passed away - she always made copies of the best photos and sent them to her siblings. As her siblings passed away, the photos came back to her. Not necessarily in a chronological fashion). It took me hours and hours and hours to sort through all these photos, but it was hours and hours of pure joy. And I hope it brings the same to them. Initial reaction indicates success.
4. The kids drew names and exchanged gifts with each other. All were hits.
5. Our gift to the kids was the experience of being away for a long weekend at a beautiful resort. We also had some stocking stuffer type gifts for the girls and some toys, books and clothes for the grands.
6. Their gift to us? We told them we didn't want a thing. But what they gave us was the best. Their time. Seeing our boys praise the LORD as they led in worship on Saturday night at church. Being together. And two of the best gifts ever - which we continually enjoy: