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The holiday is just a few days away and many of us are preparing: buying food, dusting off recipes, cleaning the house, making travel plans, packing bags (complete with comfortable pants to accommodate our gluttonous leanings), etc.

But are we doing anything to get our hearts ready?

If so, good for you.

If not, let me offer a couple of ideas.

1. Feel free to listen in as our faith community considers making an “Attitude Relocation”.

We’re asking God to move us from simply knowing we have a lot to be thankful for- to living likes of gratitude each day.  What does that kind of relocation look like?

We’ve been watching God work in the life of Joseph (the OT one) and trying to notice potential parallels to our journey.

You can find the first conversation HERE.   The second should be posted in the next couple of days.

2. For those of you who respond better to music than people talking- check out “Ill With Want” by the Avett Brothers

Here’s a live video (complete with the backing chorus of the crowd):

The Lyrics:

“I am sick with wanting and it’s evil and it’s daunting
How I let everything I cherish lay to waste
I am lost in greed, this time it’s definitely me
I point fingers but there’s no one there to blame

A need for something, now let me break it down again
A need for something but not more medicine

I am sick of wanting and it’s evil how it’s got me
And every day is worse than the one before
The more I have the more I think I’m almost where I need to be
If only I could get a little more

A need for something, now let me break it down again
A need for something but not more medicine

Something has me, oh something has me
Acting like someone I don’t wanna be
Something has me, oh something has me
Acting like someone I know isn’t me
Ill with want and poisoned by this ugly greed

Temporary is my time, ain’t nothing on this world that’s mine
Except the will I found to carry on
Free is not your right to choose
It’s answering what’s asked of you
To give the love you find until it’s gone

A need for something, now let me break it down again
A need for something but not more medicine

Something has me, oh something has me
Acting like someone I don’t wanna be
Something has me, oh something has me
Acting like someone I know isn’t me
Ill with want and poisoned by this ugly greed
Ill with want and poisoned by this ugly greed
Ill with want and poisoned by this ugly greed”

Hope your food, travel and heart preparations go well and you have a restful and grateful holiday!

Blessings,
Fred

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The kids have really enjoyed the Christmas season so far.  Yesterday we made our annual trek to see Santa.

We had to wait two hours, but the kids were amazingly patient and had a good interaction with St. Nick.  Colston gave him a sweet, huge hug and petted his beard.  Addy asked her long awaited question about whether or not Rudolph was real and was glad to hear that not only was he real- but that he had been playing in the snow last night.

I’ve included a few shots of us decorating our tree here as well.  Hope you and your family have a relaxing and meaningful Christmas!

We also partook in the final day of October festivities, complete with pumpkin mutilation, cookie making and candy collecting.

Today we went to the mall and Addy, Colston (& Jen) got to see Santa.  Yes- the REAL one. Addy asked for an Eve (from Disney’s Wall-E) and interpreted Colston’s request for a “goof” a.k.a. a stuffed Goofy.

Tonight the girls in the family strung popcorn to put on the tree. 
Here’s the final result.  
I give it a day before Colston starts using the tree as a snack source.

So for the first time in nearly a decade I (Fred) found myself asleep at 5am on the day after Thanksgiving.

You see, I’ve been out at that ungodly hour every Black Friday for nearly a decade. But not today.

Why have I been such a long-running, willing participant in the unbridled consumerism? Mostly because I’ve enjoyed the spectacle of it all. You never know what you’ll see on Black Friday- but chances are you’ll see something good. Of course, grabbing a great deal never hurt either.

So why did I skip today? To make a statement about all of the commercialism? No- although I agree things are out of control. Because of fears about where the economy is headed? Maybe a little.

Mostly I didn’t go out today because we don’t need anything. And at the moment I’m on a “Don’t buy anything you don’t need” kick.

And we’re going to have a lower key Christmas this year.

And I figured I could use the sleep. Which felt great by the way.

So how about you. Did you shop today?

If so, did you see any interesting? Get any great deals?

If not, why not?

Tonight Addy & Jen struck gold and found Addy’s costume for Halloween/the Fall festivities (depending on your ideology).

Most 4 year old girls would want to be a princess, Dora or a ballerina.

My girl wanted to be an Emperor Penguin.


I love her!