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Simple Christmas


With a job loss in our family at this time, we know that Christmas this year will be simple. It is actually exciting to know that when all is stripped away, we have no choice but to focus on the true meaning of the season. I am sure God is taking everything away from us, so that we know our only security truly rests in Him.
Today we had a beautiful family day. After a week of sometimes not so easy moments, and of sometimes feeling fear…God showed up. Friends had prayed for me this week, and within hours I felt the Holy Spirit take over and the fear left. The peace that surpasses all understanding took over.
 
This morning when I woke up, I felt the urge to do something fun in our school today. With the last few weeks being focused on fear,  power loss, job loss, and busyness from life, I wanted a fun day for them.
So I told them to finish schoolwork up quickly, and we could go somewhere that was a surprise. Late morning came and we hopped in the car and headed to New York City.

 

An extra treat this year is that the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center actually came from our town! They were supposed to bring it over when the Hurricane hit, so it was postponed until right after. News crews were here as they took it from a local home and into  NYC.
Now, a  trip to NYC is not cheap. Yet we found a way to make it affordable and memorable! We drove in, and never left our car. We packed snacks and listened to Christmas music while we drove. We really only paid for the tunnel to get in. We drove through Time Square, 5th Avenue, and of course, Rockefeller Center. We drove by the tree a few times and actually were stopped right in front for a bit. It was perfect.

 

No crowds to push through.
It was nice and warm in the car.
We decided we were our own little “tour bus” through the city.  We had so much fun together.
This evening we put up our Christmas decorations and our tree. As I wrote about last year during my 25 Days of Simple Christmas, we have a tradition every year of getting a new Christmas ornament for each child. This was something my parents did for us when we were little. They dated each ornament and when we  married, we each got our box of ornaments. I have all of mine from each year of my childhood, dated. So special!
Well, this year the kids decided to make their ornaments since money will be tight and our future is unknown. So they each made an ornament-the boys made theirs out of Legos (of course!) and my daughter made a beautiful baby Jesus out of sticks and a Lego guy.
Homemade is better than store bought by far. 
 
I anticipate the year in the future when we look back at all those ornaments, see those handmade ones, and say, “Remember the year we didn’t have much. That was the year we drove in NYC for our own little tour. ”  We will see how God worked through this trial and remember the hope that we have always…not just at Christmas but every single moment,
The hope that comes only from knowing Jesus.
Simple Christmas. That is what we are celebrating this year. The simplicity is a blessing, because we focus on what matters…

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