simple traditions

"It is better to give, then to receive" Each year, I am still surprised with how this time of year becomes more, and more complicated- and even more about, "buy buy buy". Thankfully my husband and I don't come from upbringings of excess and consumerism, so it is easy to continue the time honored traditions of making heartfelt gifts and continuing simple traditions. It's not always easy to maintain this frame of mind. One is easily bombarded when entering the stores during Christmas time. Suddenly, one can feel that they "need more"... and with a teenager(s) in the house and two birthday's a week before Christmas, well, one can forget that gifts of love can come in many forms, not only via Ipods and cell phones :) Sometimes it seems that the days of small Christmas trees with home-made decorations warm kitchens and happy bakers singing Christmas carols- and counters full of fresh baked goodies and decorated cookies ...are long gone. So it is with much thoughtfulness that we remind our children and ourselves that the holidays are a time to reflect on how blessed we are, to share traditions and make new ones that bind us together, to share stories and laughter around the table while making home-made decorations a time to acknowledge one another and offer gifts of our time and consideration-not an amount of money spent on one another, a recognition of our faith...deep and grounding, and... a time to give.