special note from the Tennant household
for Christmas 2009
Glenn Beck family has a tradition ... they put their
loose change in a special jar and designate it for a
needy family in their neighborhood or community. Then
the children put it on the doorstep of the chosen family.
The gift is given anonomously so the children can learn
the joy of giving without something in return.
year we decided to join the Beck family. We've already
chosen a family that we know is having financial hardships.
It's a joy for us! Maybe you could consider doing something
like that as a gesture of thanks for the greatest Gift
of all! Our Savior, Jesus, the Christ, our Messiah,
the real meaning of the celebration!
1. Remember that 'Jesus is the
Reason for the Season!' While warm and cozy images,
family get togethers, decorating, parties, programs,
gift giving, and beautiful Christmas Carols have their
place in our celebration, we need to focus more on the
real reason for all the holiday activities. And that
is that Jesus Christ, our Savior was born into this
world to bring salvation and good will among men! Then
you won't be disappointed if all the plans you make
don't work out exactly as expected or things aren't
quite as 'cheery' as you'd like. You'll be able to rejoice
in your heart that God saw fit to dwell among us and
take upon Himself the penalty for our sin, and give
us everlasting life and peace with Himself!
careful not to 'do' so many things that you can't enjoy
any of them. PRIORITIZE! Be involved in and do the things
that are most important to you and your loved ones, but
don't exhaust yourself to the point that Christmas becomes
a chore and a burden on you. Have Fun with your choices!
... and that may not mean spending money. The greatest
gifts are those that come from the heart and are given
in kindness and service to others. Bake some 'goodies'
for that neighbor you've been meaning to get acquainted
with, take some home cooked meals to shut ins, visit people
you don't even know in Rest Homes or Veteran's Hospitals,
etc. Try making inexpensive, hand crafted gifts for friends
or those precious ones you visit in the hospitals and
care centers. Instead of spending a fortune on the members
of your family, give some of that money you would have
spent to your favorite charities, and involve your family
in that giving. Pray about what ministries are really
doing God's work and give them a donation. There are so
many creative ways to give during this season. And after
all, we've been given the greatest gift mankind could
have received! Shouldn't we give something back?
4. Don't 'pig out' tooooooo much!
Okay, I know we all indulge during the holidays, but if
we 'binge' just because it's there, we can make ourselves
ill and regret it later! Just watch and cut a few corners
here and there. You can do that without giving up ALL
the sweets and goodies. If we feel good we'll be able
to enjoy everything and we won't be sluggish and 'weighted
down' with overeating.
one is a favorite of mine - (see my page on the history
of Christmas Carols!) SING and SING and SING those
wonderful songs of Christmas! There's just something about
singing those joyous songs! It fills our hearts with gladness
and remembrance of our Lord's birth! Try to make a point
of going to a church program or Christmas play. It will
inspire you to rejoice and be glad!
6. Put aside problems for a while.
If you don't have to deal with an uncomfortable issue,
leave it until after the holidays. Give yourself a break
from worry if you can manage it. Determine to forgive
- forgive - forgive! .. everyone with whom you have a
conflict, hurt or resentment. We should do that every
day of the year, but what a good time to let those things
go, and forgive just because God wants us to, and it's
so appropriate at this time of year, when we remember
that Jesus came to buy forgiveness for us ALL!! And we're
all equally forgiven of sin in our Heavenly Father's eyes!
7. Try making an advent wreath
and light a new candle every week. Make it a family project,
get the kids involved! There are resources galore online
with suggestions on how to prepare the devotions for the
advent. Try making it a family tradition.
communion. We believe in taking communion any time in
our home. We're of the opinion that our churches don't
do it often enough, and there's certainly no scripture
against partaking of it in your home. During this season,
it's a wonderful thing to do, with candles, low light,
an informal praise session before partaking. It may not
seem 'Christmassy' but Jesus did grow up from that Babe
in the Manger, to a MAN who gave His life for us and told
us to remember Him in this way ... often - so it seems
very appropriate to us. That's our personal preference
and this is merely a suggestion and something you may
benefit from by including it in your Christmas traditions.
something totally different; break your routine. Go for
a walk or drive with family and friends. Go somewhere
you've never been before. There are neighborhoods in our
town that I've never seen, and I'm sure there are in your
town too. There are those country roads that can be very
scenic and interesting. Take a camera and stop where you
can and take some snapshots, just for the fun of it. My
son and I drove down a country road around Thanksgiving
one year, and saw the most beautiful sight. A huge flock
of wild geese were flying south. It was majestic! I pulled
the car to the side of the road and we got out and watched
them until they were only tiny dots in the sky. It was
so refreshing, and it caused us to reflect upon the wonders
of God; how he built into those birds the instinct to
know when and where to fly for the seasons. Sometimes
it's the simple things that can bring comfort to our souls
during the holidays.
10. Last, but by no means
least, don't forget to spend time with our Heavenly Father
- in prayer, praise, and in His Holy Word! Renew a commitment
during this time, to spend more time with Him this coming
New Year. Determine to start fresh in your walk with the
Lord. His mercies are "new every morning!" And
we all need to continually grow and be refreshed in the
From our House
to Your House .. We wish you happiness and peace during
this Christmas Season! May you be blessed and be a blessing!
We Love You!