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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Convictions -- and What To Do With 'Em

This weekend involved some serious Christmas fun for our family.

On Saturday, the four big kids spent the day at a Christmas Camp hosted by our friends, the Jacksons. Each year their family hosts an all-day camp including crafts, stories, activities and a Christmas parade. The cost is $35 per child and they use 100% of the proceeds to pay the secondary school tuition (not cheap) for a handful of Kenyan teenagers. Our family pretty much wouldn't miss it for the world.



On Saturday evening, our family attended a gingerbread party. This was hosted by the Grauley family, who I love dearly. If y'all think I'm crazy, you should meet the Grauleys. These people open their home every year for 9 hours, to hundreds of people, for a gingerbread-house-building party. This year, they used their house-building party to raise money for another house -- namely, the SixtyFeet home in Uganda.


(Side note: We've raised almost $40,000 to date for the SixtyFeet match for the land purchase/building fund. If we can raise the last $20,000 before December 31, it will all be eligible for the match! Please spread the word if you can).

And on Sunday, we hosted a little soiree of our own for our neighbors -- a backyard Nativity play, complete with handsome wise men:

Yes, poor Joseph is wearing his sister's flower robe and Davis is wearing an Asian princess gown. This was a rather low-budget production, ok? Trust me, the girly outfits did not affect the manly quality of their performance.

Breathtaking angels:


And a truly star studded cast:

Thank you, Chick-fil-a Cows, for helping us celebrate the birth of Christ.

The activities of this weekend represent everything that I think Christmas should be about. Sweet times with friends, family, neighbors and even strangers, gathering in Jesus' name and with the intention of doing His work and sharing His message. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

I know y'all are probably growing tired of my anti-Christmas posts, but my heart is convicted -- and I hope yours is too. I can't stop thinking that the American version of Christmas must grieve the heart of Christ.

For really fabulous Christmas ideas and thought provoking reading, read this. It has totally blessed me this season and made me look forward to many, many changes and new traditions for next year.

Merry CHRISTmas, y'all!

5 comments:

Colleen said...

So totally adorable. The Chick-fil-A manger cows are the best.
Now call me back, or else I'll get my henchman after you.
xoxo

jstromli said...

I am so thankful to find I'm not the only crazy at Christmas...if it makes you feel better, our kids' classes do $5 gift exchanges for the kids and we held strong...our girls don't participate as their gifting involves service projects. We felt if we bent on one thing, it would open the door to bend on everything, so our girls do a service project in honor of their entire class and teacher (instead of bringing home one more $5 trinket that will be in the trash by the end of the week). Their classes each have 20 kids...that's $100...keep adding it up for each class, each grade and imagine what they could do. Alright that's my rant:) Close to emailing the principals and super intendents about it:)

love said...

shelly o.

i think all i say on every post is that i just love you.

but, it's true!

i wanna be neighbors. =)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

What a wonderful way to get ready for Christmas. I think you have it down pat - good for you!

Becca said...

Love it :-)