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Gift Guide

A perfect gift for little girls.

At this time of year I often hear, “Are you ready for Christmas?”  Yes, my heart is, but that’s not what people mean.  They wonder if I have bought all the gifts I plan to get.

And, no, I have not.  Life is busy.  People get ill and people die.  Energy is used up by everyday tasks.  In fact, so far I have bought only three gifts and have barely thought about decorating.  But that’s OK; there is still time.

How about you?  Is your heart ready for Christmas?  Is everything else ready?

Brandy Vencel of Afterthoughts shared this perspective in her newsletter,

“…at Christmas, we are giving happiness more than anything else. If we truly believe that at Christmas our salvation took on flesh, we have great reason to rejoice, regardless of circumstances. So then all the material components — gifts, decorations, food, etc. — take on a different light. They are an outpouring of the great happiness our Lord has made possible.”

With that in mind, I am gathering up the energy needed to spread that ‘great happiness that the Lord has made possible.’ Perhaps you may want to comb through my old articles with me, looking for last minute gift ideas.

We could find a new read aloud that everyone, from little ones to teens, will enjoy.  Here’s a list of our family’s Top Twenty Books to Read Aloud, and here is the Rainey List of Best Books for Children from a Christian homeschooling dad who is a librarian.  If you have younger children, you may want to find a book for them to read during the Read Aloud Challenge in January. It is hard to find books for my family, partly because our library already has most of the books we would want to read, and partially because reading week was only last month, so giving books won’t work for me. However, finding another good one to read aloud would. (Any suggestions?)

This year I’ve learned more about the negative effects of screens.  Don’t give screens to little ones, and think several times before giving them to older kids.  There are too many educational disadvantages and too many mental health risks.  Most screens are outside my price range so it’s not something I need to worry about, but I know some parents give them to benefit their kids, not knowing their disadvantages and risks.  Read these links if that’s you, and think twice.

And finally here’s my enormous list of educational gifts with frugal options.  It’s so full of ideas that work, whether one wants an educational gift or not!  This is the list I’m really going through for my family as I compare it with their wish lists.

When it really gets down to it, to give gifts we just need to know the person and what really matters to them.  Then it is easy to spread the happiness of Christmas to those who love the Lord; those who don’t will miss out on a lot of the joy but will perhaps find some in their gifts.

May God be merciful to us all this Christmas season and fill us and our loved ones with true joy.

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