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Stripped Back Christmas

Christmas is meant to be a celebration of Jesus - our gift of God on earth. How many of us really spend our time preparing for Christmas with that notion on the forefront of our minds? I know, Im guilty of it too. Every year, my attention runs away with placing the red and green in just the right spot, budgeting for all the gifts, shopping, Santa and his reindeer, a new activity for Elf on the shelf each night, and the list goes on and on.

I try so hard to focus on Jesus during the holiday season, and every January, I am left thinking, 'I wish I had spent more time on the things that really matter.'


I thought of it this way: When I was a kid, I gravitated to the back of the classroom, because I wanted to just blend in (like any normal teenager does). Now when my grades began to slip, that was normally a product of my placement rather than my inability to think critically.

In the back of the classroom it is hard not to take part in the useless chatter that happens in the back of every classroom. My focus was supposed to be on my teacher, however, passing notes and talking about weekend plans always seemed to distract me. In order to save my struggling grades, I had to move myself to the front, eliminating the chances for my attention to be diverted.

So, in order to keep my little family focused in on Jesus this Christmas season, I'm trying to move us to the front of the classroom in efforts to eliminate the distraction and focus in on the lesson.

Practically Speaking...

This will look like more family time for us doing activities together around the dinner table. Intentional conversation, centered in on the meaning of Christmas. Baking with missional purpose serving as the extension of His body that we were originally crafted to be.

So, here we are to our first fun family activity - Stringing a natural garland that is easily done around the dinner table. This is best achieved when cellphones are off and laptops are closed ;)

Now activities with children will never be complain free or fail proof. My attempt at sweet memories made were riddled with whining and complaints, but I think He honors all of our attempts to grasp more of Him in the little things.

Dehydrated Oranges :


Bag of oranges $4.00

2 Cooling trays [Wilton at Walmart] $2.88

Fresh Cranberries [comes in bags] $3.50

Popcorn $3.00

Sewing needle

Thread or floss

Dehydrating Orange Slices :

Heat oven to 160 - 180 degrees. Slice your oranges thinly approximately 1/4 inch or smaller. The thinner the slice, the quicker the dehydration process will go. once you slice all your oranges, place them flat on the cooling rack (place them closely together edges touching). Good to know - They will shrink as they dry.

Once all your oranges are squeezed onto the cookie cooling racks, place in the oven for 6-8 hours. When you are nearing the 6 hour mark, check your slices. Are they soft or crispy? This will determine if you need to dehydrate longer. They should be dry to the touch and not sticky. If they are still soft, or have a sticky touch, then do as I did.

I dehydrated for 6 hours at 160. My batch was still not crispy, so I upped the temp to 190 -200 for an extra 2 hours. That did the trick for me! You really can't mess it up if you are mindful not to forget they are in the oven. Its best to set timers along the way!

HELPFUL TIP : Popcorn works best when it is stale. It cracks less when it is a day old!

#DIY #InteriorDesign

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