11 Ways to Celebrate Christ this Christmas

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As 2011 comes to an end, we’re sharing helpful lists to help you save money, stay healthy, get organized, creatively repurpose, frugally gift-give, intentionally celebrate and more in our “11 Things for 2011” series throughout these holiday months. Written by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer As followers of Jesus, keeping Christ as the center of my family’s Christmas celebrations is key. Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to decorate with snowmen, buy presents, throw parties, eat lots of (good!) food or even play Santa Claus (although […]

O Worship the King: Evaluating Our Christmas Traditions

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    Written by Beth Corcoran, Contributing Writer It is finally Christmas time again!  Oh how I love this time of year!  I love the sights and smells and the time with family.  I love how people seem more neighborly at Christmas, and I love to see how my little ones’ eyes light up when they see Christmas lights. But one thing my husband and I have grown increasingly aware of over the past few years is that our love for Christmas traditions should pale […]

Frugality as a Means of Giving (and Meet Keeper of the Home’s New Sponsor Child!)

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Why do you practice frugality? It’s such a hot topic these days, how to save money and do more with less. We read about it, talk to our friends about it, put great amounts of effort into living it. What’s less common, though, is to examine exactly why we do it. Perhaps it’s because money is tight, especially as a single-income family in a dual-income world, and we want to make staying at home with our children a priority. Or maybe it’s because of the […]

A Thanksgiving Gift Exchange

Written by Sherri Cook, Contributing Writer The day after Thanksgiving when friends jokingly ask me if I’m finished with my Christmas shopping, I can always surprise them with an answer in the affirmative. At my house, not only have we finished the shopping, we’ve also finished the wrapping as well as the unwrapping. How do we do this? It’s certainly not because we’re an ultra-organized family! We have simply chosen to have our gift exchange at Thanksgiving instead of at Christmas. The results?  We find more every […]

Starting Traditions as a Young Family

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When you first get married and have children, the holidays take on new meaning. Maybe you have memories of awesome traditions you had growing up (opening a present the night before Christmas, going caroling, having a big dinner with Grandma on Christmas Eve…whatever your family did).  These traditions made your holidays special, and you want to make the holidays just as special for your children. Of course, your husband likely had his own traditions growing up, too.  And they may have been different from yours, […]

Family Traditions that Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas

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Written by Emily McClements, Contributing Writer Singing Christmas carols, lighting the Christmas Tree, putting out the Christmas decorations, lighting the Advent candles, giving and receiving gifts, rejoicing in the birth of our Lord and Savior. Christmas is such a special and magical time of year; filled with family traditions and warm memories.  But, it is also a busy and full time, where we can easily get swept up by all that we “have” to do, and miss out on truly celebrating the Reason that we […]

Preparing My Heart for Christmas

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It’s been a hard year. As I begin to look back and reflect upon 2010, and anticipate celebrating Christmas this year, my heart is a bit heavy. It feels as though this year has been one of loss, struggle and discouragement. We’ve lost family and friends to cancer, and heard of more diagnoses just recently. Walked through financial difficulty, legal issues and infertility with close friends. Saw the end of a loved one’s marriage. Faced continued health challenges for my husband, and our two youngest […]

Celebrating the Power of the Cross this Easter Weekend

I was recently reminded again of this powerful song, which we sang at our Good Friday service last night. Listen and be reminded of the best news ever… that through the cross, Christ has taken our blame, born the wrath of God, and now we stand forgiven at the cross. Not sure whether you stand forgiven or not? Learn more about the choice we all face. The Power of the Cross (Oh, to See the Dawn) Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day: […]