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christmas FAMILY living intentionally love and life

AN INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS

A few weeks ago the Christmas decorations at Ajose Adeogun roundabout in Victoria Island, Lagos, was officially lighted up. So I took my crew of three to see this beautiful sight which coincidentally ushers in Christmas in Lagos for most residents.
 
As we drove around, I reminded my 8year old of her feeble attempts at pronouncing the words ‘Christmas decoration’ when she was three years (read about it here). So the girls asked my 2-year-old to pronounce ‘Christmas decoration’; I guess they wanted to have a good laugh believing that he will fumble as Mimi did at 3 years.
To their surprise, my overly wise 2 years old only smiled at all their prodding and encouragements but didn’t attempt pronouncing the words. Rather he repeatedly screamed ‘see light ‘ at every well-lit Christmas decoration we drove past, I totally enjoyed the excitement in his eyes as he gazed in wonder at the different sights. After all, this is the first Christmas he truly appreciates.
I have always loved the fun and buzz of this magical season, it is truly the season to be merry. I love the joy it brings, the colours it spreads, the unending event invites, the irresistible discounts on a variety of items and the accompanying shopping spree; then to crown it all… the hazy weather (harmattan!) that enticingly pulls one into the embrace of the festivity.
In spite of these, I do not feel like getting inundated with these activities this year. However, I do desire to create a memorable Christmas for my family, so I decided on having an intentional Christmas, one focused on creating memories, giving back to my immediate space and enriching lives. 
 According to pragmaticparents.com, intentional Christmas is all about taking the pressure off gifts and running yourself ragged trying to squeeze in every event and party. It’s about devoting your time, thoughts, and resources to do nice things for others without obligation or recognition.
Reflecting on the questions below will guide our thoughts amidst the many distractions and help determine what difference we desire to make in our space this Christmas. Your space is your area of influence and this can be your home, family, business environment, office, neighborhood, social media handle, and community.

1.  How much of your time and resources are you willing to share with people who cannot reward your kindness, love and time.
2.  What do you readily have in your hands to give?
3. Who will perceive your gift of time, love, provision and thoughtful acts as a ‘God’s extended hand of love.

I will focus on creating memories that will be reminders to everyone in my space of  God’s love and faithfulness. You don’t have to break a bank to achieve this, the tips below will guide you;
  1. The gift of you – Rick Warren wrote that time is the most precious gift, for when you give of your time, you give a portion of your life which you will never get back. A thousand gifts can never replace the gift of your time, love and self to your loved ones, therefore be the  #1 gift this season! 
  1. Acts of Kindness – I recently learned that acts of kindness first begins from the immediate family and then spreads out. So before you head out to the soup kitchens and orphanage to volunteer or donate your gift of love this season, try this game taken from the pragmaticparents.com site. Get a big bowl and drop the names of every member of your family into it. Get your family to sit around a table and ask each person draws a name from the bowl. Without sharing who they drew, it’s each person’s job to performs little acts of kindness for the next seven days to help the other person. Here are examples of kind acts when explaining this game to kids – setting up the table for breakfast, arranging the shoe closet for daddy, folding the laundry without being asked etc.
  1. Kindness bag – Put together kindness packs to hand out to people to put a smile on their face.  Everyone loves a surprise gift, so have these kindness packs handy to give out to street sweepers, a tired hawker, a beggar, a traffic warden, delivery man or the garbage truck driver. Kindness bags are ziplock bags filled with snacks, a bottle of water, some change, toiletries (if possible) and a few discount items. Click here to see a sample.
  1. Gratitude Jar – Keep a gratitude Jar on a counter where everyone can write on little slips of paper things they are grateful for, or memories from the year, and put them into the jar. Then on Christmas day, read out everyone’s responses.
  1. Make pastries with your kids and give them to friends and neighbors. If you can’t bake, try experimenting with YouTube videos or simply fry chin-chin!😁😁. Click here for some recipes.
 
  1. Intentional Gift Giving  – In buying gifts this season for your kids and family, be deliberate and apply the four gift rule  – is it a gift they NEED, is it a gift they WANT, is it a gift to WEAR or is it a gift to READ.
  1. Create a family Christmas tradition for your family –  Read about mine here
In Chris Hogan’s word, ‘In 10 years, your loved ones won’t remember what you bought them. They won’t look back on how clean your house was or how good the food was. But they will think of the games you played, the stories you told, and the experiences you shared’. Those memories are worth every second you spend on them.’
 I invite you all to join me celebrate this Christmas in an intentional way.
Merry Christmas from Trendy mother and crew to you!







Credits – https://www.chrishogan360.com/6-must-dos-for-an-intentional-christmas/
https://www.yourmodernfamily.com/20-ways-intentional-christmas/
https://www.thepragmaticparent.com/intentional-christmas-for-kids/

Image Credit – Google

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