This Christmas season is going to be different for our family. Typically I procrastinate. But we've lived for two seasons without established Christmas traditions and it is time we establish some. In the past I relied upon the traditions established by my family. And I was quite happy with them, though Eric got a bit weary of basically driving a lone star pattern across Texas to visit all of, now our family. He realized how tied I was to my Christmas traditions on the first year of our marriage. Always the early riser in the morning, Eric wanted to get up. I grabbed his arm, and between clenched teeth said, "Eric, no! He won't come! If you get up before mom and dad knock on our door and tell us to come down stairs then Santa won't come!"
So now we are in need of new traditions even though we are going to go back to Texas for Christmas this year. But this year as a family we've elected to concentrate on the giving aspect of the season. We don't need anything else. And it ends up being one more thing that we have to move. So at my mom's suggestion we are doing something different this year. Instead of buying one another gifts we are going to focus the generosity of the season on others who might be less fortunate in this world. (The kids will get a Christmas, we aren't doing away with everything.)
I think we will begin here: Andy Stanley gives a good explanation of the motivation behind Christian generosity, I believe the Christian reason for generosity is unique because The New Testament motivation for giving does not revolve around repayment or guilt (already taken care of). Our family is going to go into the Christmas season with a sense of gratitude for who God is. The campaign gives a website to help our family or friends and family discuss what we might do as a group. It is worth a look.