**DO YOU WANT AN INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS**

**DO YOU WANT AN INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS**

Do you ever just wish you could make Christmas less stressful?

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Kids, family, friends, parties, events and so much more come each year, and you’re unsure which ones to say “YES” to and which ones to say “NO” to. This can be pretty overwhelming, especially for me. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, we have 5 kids and bills and 7 mouths to feed. At times I just think why would God put us in this position? I often tell a co-worker “this is a path we have to go through I guess” He has a plan and we need to just listen. Trust me, at times it’s very hard to listen.

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I just recently had a heart to heart conversation with a dear friend and she told me “I want to help you plan your Christmas with purpose and clarity” I was like, okay. What does that mean exactly?

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She giggled at me and said, “Oh Shauny, I love talking with you”. I learned that I have never been intentional about Christmas. Sounds so bad, doesn’t it?

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We all do this, we buy gifts without thinking about it. We buy gifts we don’t have money for. We use credit cards, don’t pay a certain bill to use that money or take loans out for our 1 yr old, 2 yr old and so on. I’ve been guilty of taking a loan out or not paying a bill. I would do all this all the time, but then I would still feel empty.

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I always wonder, if Christmas really is about Jesus, then why do we never include Him? I mean we go to church but for most people it’s tradition. Do we really appreciate the meaning of Christmas? Most kids and some adults just think about the gifts.

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We need to start being intentional and create Christmas Traditions. I understand that around the holidays the budget might be kinda tight. I learned that there is a way we can move through the Christmas season with my heart set on what matters most. What’s the best thing for my family?

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There are so many ways to go about celebrating Christmas. Whether you’re a single parent of 1, 3 or 5, a newly wed with a baby on the way, a grandparent with grandkids or an established family of 7, Christmas is a special time of family and remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior.

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We as parents can do this. We can shine the light of Christ into our kids.

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WE WERE MADE FOR THIS.

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If I’m going to make this work, I have some choices to make.

  1. Figure out what worked and didn’t work from last Christmas
  2. Ask your family questions about what they want this Christmas
  3. Setting Christmas goals (budget per kid and spouse)
  4. STOP spending money you don’t have
  5. Create traditions and memories (participate in an angel tree, hand out gifts to the less fortunate, invite people to church or your home for Christmas dinner)
  6. Be ready to STOP LIVING THE CHRISTMAS CHAOS and start making choices according to God’s priorities he has for you.

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This can be used for all people. Whatever season of life you’re all in THIS IS FOR YOU! If you are just getting started with your Christian journey, or been a believer for a long time, 1 or 7 kiddos, stay at home mom or dad, working parents, married or not, THIS IS FOR YOU.

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I hope this helps you like it did me. Have a very Merry Christmas and don’t stress. Let God help you.

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Love me

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