I know, I know. I haven't posted in 6 days, "where have I been?" Well, if you follow my Husband's blog then you know that we have had book signings and are very pleased to announce that Flaming Pen Press will be publishing another author Jacob Parker.
Most of the above I don't have much part in, but I have been very busy too. Along with babysitting and working, I have been getting serious about going through things in our apartment and starting to pack. In exactly 2 weeks we will no loner be at our apartment. I'll still have a few more days left to clean (2 weeks from now) but we will no longer be sleeping there and most everything should be packed up and moved out of there.
Over the last several months I have been collecting Christmas gifts here and there, mostly as we've been at different malls doing book signings. While Scott has been signing books, I've been walking the malls for exercise (anything is better than nothing :) ) and going through clearance racks/shelves at different stores. Some stores don't have much of anything nice, but I have found some really good "steals" in my shopping. I didn't intentionally set out to do that. In June I had done some shopping and got a bunch of nice stuff that I decided to save for Christmas gifts. But then I didn't think a whole lot more about Christmas until July or the beginning of August when I was just strolling through a store and found 2 gifts that were perfect for 2 of my sisters. The best part was that they were on clearance. I bought them and then later that week I was thinking about it, and I thought..... "hmm, I should keep my eyes open for anything else I might come across." Since we're at bookstores every weekend and at least one or all of those bookstores are in malls, I have doing lots of browsing. I am so thankful how the Lord has worked everything out. Getting ready to head out on national book tour means that I don't have a whole lot of money to spare. But by being strategic and setting myself a goal of NOT paying full-price for ANYTHING I have just about finished up my Christmas shopping and although I haven't (and probably won't) tallied everything up, I know I've spent a fraction of what I spent last year (I did sort of go over the top last year, but it was fun! :) I love giving gifts!).
When it comes to Christmas some people get stuck on making sure they spend the same amount of money on everyone in their family, or all of their friends, or co-workers, and the majority of people end up with LOTS of extra credit debt on their hands once Christmas is over. But that is NOT what Christmas is about. It wasn't until the last 2 years that I have had more than $20-$50 to spend on Christmas gifts (and that $20-$50 I had saved up over the course of SEVERAL months!). But even that was only the couple years before that. When giving or receiving a gift, it doesn't matter how much it cost or how much trouble you had to go through to get it. All that matters is what's in the heart. Sometimes the best gifts are the "messy" colored pictures from your kids or little brothers and sisters. Yes, they may have even "drawn" you this picture on a piece of scrap paper that they found in the garbage, but when they come up to you and say "I made this for you," your heart just melts, and you can't help but feel special.
In giving gifts, whether it's a birthday, Christmas, or some other special occasion (or maybe "just because"), it doesn't matter how much we spend, or if we even spend anything at all. What matters, is that it comes from our hearts.
On another note, if you're wondering what to do about stocking "stuffers" this year, check out what this mom had to say about it here.
So I have been working on going through my Christmas gifts, wrapping, labeling, organizing them, along with trying to go through things to ELIMINATE!!!!!! Just about every time that I see my Mom, I'm giving her a bag or two of items that I don't need/don't want anymore, or that I just don't know why I still have it since I haven't touched it in at least 3 years (I know, can you believe that I found stuff even after moving when I got married? :)). I hope she doesn't mind me passing things on to her. :) Of course there are some things that my other siblings could use, so she probably doesn't mind those things. :)
May you all have a blessed day!