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Monday, October 13, 2014

Christmas is Around the Corner

Dear Homeschoolers,

Wow, it seems just as October hits, Christmas is in the air and the stores.  I think I saw Christmas items beginning in August?   Already hearing advertisements for upcoming holiday programs on the radio.  Amazing how time flies?  So I out came our Christmas music :)  Some of my most favorite music!  Then comes gift giving....what to get everyone?  I can attest from this past summer, that a gift of someone's time is very much appreciated.  From sharing our time helping others to others offering to help us.  It was a crazy summer with much going on, but many of you already know.  

So we begin to reflect on the past year, as the new one is waiting in the wings, about friends and how they have blessed our lives - support, love, assistance and more.  We try to offer our help and expertise when possible.  So thinking what was important to us this past summer/year and it was offers of help and time!  So as we prepare for the Christmas season, we think what can we do for others that involves time and serving.  Our church encourages being friends with others and lending a neighbor a helping hand!!!  So here are some great ideas:

*  Reach out to a family in need
*  Help neighbors by taking their garbage cans back from the curb
*  Note of Appreciation or Thanks
*  Writing a letter to our postal carrier (our home is such that they have to walk to our front door), so we leave gift baskets or a plate of cookies (or zucchini bread)!  On the really cold snowy days, I want to make hot chocolate for postal carrier, but know that is not feasible
*  Helping the Make a Wish Foundation
*  Contributing to Toys for Tots
*  Volunteer
*  Offer a Ride
*  Committing random acts of kindness - neighbors, friends, the homeless
*  Spend time with sick or elderly
*  Invite a family to dinner or a fun weekend event
*  Christmas is a time to pray for those who have (lost jobs, mouths to feed, ill children/family)
*  Operation Christmas Child

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:" 1 Peter 4:10

Of all times of the year, Christmas is a time to count our blessings and give thanks for: our children, families and friends, talents, health, love, friends, homes, - everything we take for granted in our busy, everyday lives and seldom give a second thought. So many others are not so fortunate.

Gifts we are thankful for are not found in the store but in the hearts and souls of others.  Those Good Gifts that we have been blessed with and come from the heart.  The friends who call to check on us, those who lend a helping hand or an encouraging word.  The gifts from God that do not cost anything at all but make our hearts skip a beat and make our hearts sing.  A friend thinking of us on a random day of the year and baking cookies or the unexpected card in the mail (amidst all the bills and junk mail).  Those are gifts that last throughout the seasons, when you can reflect and smile.  One gift from above was a new friend this year that joins us at church most Sundays.

Christmas is a time to forgive those whom we have been angry with.  Christmas is a time to forgive those who we are not in accord with.  Christmas is a time to forgive our enemies and their trespasses and a time to remember our loved ones.

Christmas comes at the end of the year and as such it is a good time to let go of the things which trouble us and to begin life anew.  It is also a good time to strive to be a better person.  It is a good time to remember, reflect upon, and practice the lessons that Jesus, whose Birthday we celebrate Christmas Day for, taught us:  Forgiveness, Charity, Forbearance, Kindness, Generosity - and most of all Love.

So many of you have become friends whom we look forward to seeing each and every time!!!  Thank you!!!!

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."  ― Donna Roberts

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”   ― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected."  A great way to begin the New Year - demonstrating appreciation for others, with actions speaking louder than words….

This Christmas season consider giving gifts that include your time, sometimes those are the best gifts, most remembered gifts of all!  How will you bless someone?  Christmas will be here before we can blink an eye, rejoice and praise His holy name!

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"  2 Corinthians 9:15

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