Upping Christmas

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With a year like 2020, we are all wanting a little joy. We want to look for the good in the world.  We want to embrace happiness. My family and I are choosing to embrace the holiday season.  The tree has been decorated, Christmas music has been playing since the beginning of November, and the gifts have been purchased.   Christmas is in full swing in our household.

What am I saying?  Christmas is always in full swing in our house.  We love celebrating Christmas and always celebrate it early. It’s just this year it is the cool thing to do.  This year we are going to embrace Christmas even more.  I didn’t even realize that was possible, and yet, here we are.

Every year we have certain traditions that we take part in.  These traditions are a part of our memories, and I hope that our children look back on them with fondness and instill some of them into their own holiday traditions.  So, what are our traditions? 

We wrap Christmas books and take turns opening them from December 1st to December 25th.  December 24th is always “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and December 25th is always “The Christmas Story.”

We do a Christmas card exchange.  We ask friends and family on social media if they would like to participate.  We work on them throughout the month of November and send them out on the day after Thanksgiving.

We start on December 1st and read a chapter of Luke every evening before bed. Since there are 24 chapters, we finish on Christmas Eve.

Since December 24th and 25th are spent with people outside of our home, we have designated a special holiday of our own. We celebrate Christmas Eve’s Eve.  On December 23rd we open pajamas, make Christmas cookies, and watch Christmas movies all day long.  It’s a day of rest and relaxation before the hustle and bustle of the actual holiday.

Those are some of our favorite holiday traditions for Christmas, so how can we possibly up our game?

One such way that we are “upping our Christmas game” is that we have organized a toy drive for one of the children’s hospitals that services our area.  We are working with members of our family and our community to spread some holiday joy to children and parents who are in the hospital.

Another way that we can embrace the holiday season is to make Christmas cards for the local nursing home. 

We are going to purchase food to place in the local blessing box in our community.

We are going to make cookies and deliver them to neighbors (socially distanced of course) while Christmas caroling.

We are going to surprise our local 9-1-1 and emergency personnel with treats.

Have you noticed a trend?  In order to “up our Christmas game,” we are extending it beyond our own home. We are going to bless others.  We are going to become the “hands and feet of Jesus” by extending love into our community and beyond. 


Joanna Yates – I am a 36 year old mom of 3 beautiful children. My husband and I adopted our 3 children from foster care. We live in Kentucky, but live to vacation anywhere with a beach. I taught public school for 12 years before stopping to homeschool my children. I am a Christian.



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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).