The Real Deal

Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  The thrill of the deal.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?

I enjoy a good deal as much as anyone, and truly need to snag bargains in order to give on our limited budget.  When I find something for a steal that someone will love (even if that someone is me!) you can bet I get it while the gettin’s good.  There is nothing wrong with the thrill of the deal at Christmastime. 

But that’s not The Real Deal. 
Advent wreath

The Real Deal is a quiet, advent-candlelight supper.

This is a busy season.  There is much excitement, loudness, and pulling of the family in all directions.  Enjoy it!  But savor the quiet times, too.  Use this Advent season to reclaim the family dinner hour.  Renew your efforts at conversation and simply enjoy one another.  Eating by candlelight calms the chaos, and there’s no better time than Advent so start a new dinner tradition.

The Real Deal is sitting in a dark, quiet room, lit only by the twinkle of Christmas tree lights.

Nothing sets a peaceful mood like the delicate glimmer of a Christmas tree.  Somewhere in the glow of our beloved technology screens, we’ve become afraid of the off button.  We don’t know what to do with the Quiet.  Fix a hot drink and savor hushed conversation with your spouse after the kids go to bed.  Turn the tv off and read a book or work on a project (I need to learn to crochet!) in the silence.  Be still.

The Real Deal is the gift of time.

My children aren’t different from any others.  They enjoy stuff, at least for a little while.  The only thing they enjoy more?  Time with me.  “Aren’t you going to play, Mom?”  Bake cookies together.  Have an Advent-ure!  Go for a nighttime drive in your jammies to gaze at the Christmas lights.  Enjoy hot cocoa and popcorn for supper while listening to Christmas music.  Snuggle up together to watch some Christmas classics, without your phone or laptop.  (guilty)  The gift of time will burn love memories into your children’s hearts.   It’s worth it.

The Real Deal was born in a manger.

Focus.  Oh, how easy it is to get swept up in the bright lights and busyness of the season!  I know this only because I fight it myself.  Make a commitment to yourself and your family this year.  Teach your children about The Gift.  Spend time reading and meditating on The Story.  Jesus is Christmas.  Jesus is The Real Deal. 

The Nativity Scene

What deals are enticing you this season?  How do you keep your focus on The Real Deal? 

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  1. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the quiet of the season. I need to get our lights up then I think we’ll start eating dinner my the light of the twinkle lights 🙂

    Is that your Fontanini Nativity? My parents started a set for us several years ago. This year the kids were given a new shepherd that they all love. I love that they can play with it without fear of breaking it.

  2. Well-said, Amy, and a great reminder to all of us. I had to give myself an imaginary slap across the face yesterday to just CALM down already. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed with all the “stuff” planning (with a Christmas Eve baby, I probably get myself even more entrenched) but, really, none of that is what matters!

  3. Great post Amy. Too many people forget the REAL reason for the season. Thanks for reminding us all. 🙂
    We make the season special by celebrating Advent and doing daily family activities….instead of exchanging gifts.

  4. Love this! We don’t do gifts in my family this time of year (just stockings). Each family member picks someone else in the community that is in need and we secret santa them, it’s a fun tradition. Most people don’t understand it, but that’s how we roll, it’s so much easier to focus on the reason for the season.

    As for family members we like to send surprise care packages during the year and everyone get’s hand written cards on birthdays/Christmas.

    • Nora, I love that! How do you handle your kids seeing what other kids receive? We don’t buy presents either, but it’s always just been the two of us. My little one is still little enough that she doesn’t know the difference, but it won’t be long before she does….I’ve thought about the Frankincense(sp?), Gold and Myrrh system, but we’ve come to no conclusions as of yet.

      • Rhonda, this is something we have done since we were first married. I don’t have older kids but one of the ladies I use to work with had each of her kids (15,12, 8) pick a cause or organization they were passionate about and they would volunteer with that organization as a family. That helped them see what other kids and families live without. So when one of her kids would say “soandso got this or that” she would say remember when we visited the kids in the shelter? they don’t have many of the things we have. I think when you have a family that serves others with less year around it’s more ingrained. I’ve also found that when kids see other kids that have less they want to help. But you can always do one really special gift instead of lots of other ones. The Gold and Myrh system does work well as well. You can also wrap tons of things in the stocking to make it more exciting. Just do what is best for your family:)

    • The surprises throughout the year would be so much fun!

  5. Debbie Jennings says:

    This is what we are trying to do this year instead of spend, spend, spend. We are giving gifts, but small ones, with a lot of thought put into them. We are giving the grandchildren money. Either for what they are saving up for or for clothes. Since we have 15 of them, it won’t be a whole lot, but it will be something! The adults children are all married and are getting what I call care packages. We bought the biggest gift bags we could find and are filling them up with household products like soap and tooth paste, paper products and such as that. This was a gift that we got from my Mom and was my favorite one ever.


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