First of all, protect yourself from advertising overload. Companies know how to play on our emotions to get us to purchase their products. Rather, pray for legacy-building ideas that don’t require money. Intentionally plan a stress-free holiday that allows you to focus on Christ, the best gift of all.

What do you have? Think about it! Time, talent, and training cannot be underestimated!

Give of your possessions. Pass down things that can be treasured by others. Take note of what your children or friends especially like in your home.

Write letters expressing your love and appreciation.

Think about holiday entertainment that you be do as a family without spending money.

Serve together. Is there a needy family, widow, or shut-in who your family could help in some way? Yardwork, cooking, cleaning, and car or home repairs are a few ideas.

Play together! Board games, puzzles, hiking, walking and outdoor sports are great. Have a bin of toys to occupy the youngest ones.

Read aloud. My wife has collected Christmas books through the years and looks forward to sharing them with the grandchildren. The Christmas Carol by Dickens is a wonderful book to share over several days. Reading through the book of John is a beautiful and life-giving reminder of why we celebrate Christ’s birth.

Sing and make music together. Christmas carols are beautiful and we only get to sing them one month each year. Borrow some hymnals or print copies of desired selections and rejoice together.

Put on a play, puppet show or comedy night. Or, ask the children to plan the production.

Finally, delegate and shop for special meals. Buy ingredients when they are one sale and enjoy preparing things together.

Involve the younger generation and learn from the older ones to build on or start some lasting traditions!

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