This is a response from a sweet friend about her views on this season... David and I are in awe of God's grace in this sweet family and love just watching them all interact!!! I wanted to post this because I love the way she views the season!! Very Helpful for us!!
"Well...to start with...I don't like seeing Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving!! I think that's a real revealer of what's important in our country...STUFF...MONEY...MORE STUFF...MORE MONEY... I enjoy the advent season leading up to Christmas because it's such a great time of preparation and examination. Preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior and examination of my heart...asking the Lord to show me where I'm not treasuring Christ more than (fill in the blank). I enjoy decorating our house...and hopefully it's tasteful and inviting. We don't do the whole Santa Claus thing...and didn't with our children. However, when our kids were home we did tend to go over-the-top with gifts...not a good thing. God has been so gracious to redeem us and redirect our hearts, though. So, our focus is more on worshiping Jesus than accumulating things. We have always gone to a Christmas Eve service, which is a highlight for me. That's why I'm so thankful that CCK will be having a Christmas Eve service this year!!! I didn't really appreciate establishing traditions when our children were young. Now that I do...I find I'm more excited about the season of Thanksgiving and the preparation and anticipation of Christmas. So, this year we're starting a new tradition (shhhh...don't tell...it's a secret to our kids) called advent baskets...which will include an advent calendar. So...starting with December 1st and ending on December 25th, they will open one small gift each day from their baskets and in each day on their advent calendar will be an attribute of God for them to ponder and meditate on. Hopefully, this will help all of our hearts remain fixed on the amazing truth of the gospel...that God gave us Jesus...and there's no more precious gift than Jesus!!! I'll look forward to reading your "conclusion"!!"