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December 09, 2007



Ok, let me tell you the whole truth... when I sew your post... I told myself that I was not going to read it because it was very long... but I start reading anyway on my way down the page and then I came back at the beggining! So I did read it completely and I have to say that it's a wonderfull story! I thing that you and your family have the most beautifull tradition of your own :)
I wish you a merry time for Christmas and now I'm sure that some people around you will have a better one because of you all :)


Ok, let me tell you the whole truth... when I sew your post... I told myself that I was not going to read it because it was very long... but I start reading anyway on my way down the page and then I came back at the beggining! So I did read it completely and I have to say that it's a wonderfull story! I thing that you and your family have the most beautifull tradition of your own :)
I wish you a merry time for Christmas and now I'm sure that some people around you will have a better one because of you all :)


I love this. I wish we had done it. What we did do was limit things drastically. We never did the Santa thing. From us the kids got one toy. The relatives were limited to one gift each or my parents would have given my kids mounds of things. Even then, since my family was far away and mailed the gifts, we opened on only one gift per day and did the thank you note that day too. I once even put some things aways for the long winter days for January and February. What we did do before Christmas though was for the kids to clean out and donate GOOD items they would part with for the Salvation Army. It could not be junk. They had to make room for new things. The only exception was books as I wanted them to build libraries (yes, I am a teacher). We also chose a family to buy things for and had a friend deliver it so the family would never feel obligated to us. One year the young mother of 3 called to tell me of the miracle of the groceries, diapers, and things for the children, never knowing it was us. I loved her talking about how an angel must have known just what they needed to get by. Our traditions change from year to year but we try to find ways to help. I work in a juvenile jail and usually buy the class one item that stays for all to use.


I've read of your holiday tradtions before (last year maybe) and it always touches me. You are truly teaching your children the true meaning of Chrsitmas and what it means to be a true Christian. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Lisa Courter

What a wonderful tradition, lesson, and blessing to pass on to your children. May we all learn a lesson from your example and be sure to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for sharing! Lisa

Courtney C.


I am a young mother with two little boys and after reading this post, you have inspired me to start a tradition similar to this. I think what you are teaching your children is what society is lacking as a whole! I hope to have such a meaningful tradition to carry on when my kids are your children's age! Thank you for my Christmas gift this year!

Courtney C.

Mary C. Anderson

I knew about your tradition from one of our conversations last year. I admire you and Davy for keeping with the tradition that you have now and for passing it down to your children. You truly have the Christmas spirit Erika and I certainly do respect and admire you for the choices that you have made. Thanks for writing about your way of celebrating all of the holidays. Love of family is the most important thing of all and I wish that I had grown up that way and had passed that down to my children


Kim Leach

What a lovely way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!
Be blessed!

jane mykleby

Wow, I have been inspired by your stamping and papercrafts but now I am inspired by your character. Thanks for all of the gifts you have shared with us. May you and your family be blessed this holiday season and through out the new year.


What a very touching story. Thanks for sharing it with us all!


What a beautiful story Erika! You already know how shocked I am by the material aspect of Christmas this days!...We talked about it.
The other day I went to the "wish-tree" at my daughter's school, it's pretty similar to the angel tree you mention and is meant to help families from our shool I believe. I was expecting naively to find toys requests and was heartbroken when I saw that the 1st requested item was SHOES! Closely followed by shirt, pant, socks... some families requested some cooking pots or dishes, someone even requested diapers! :-(
How sad is that!? :-( I got a few tags off the tree and we went shopping this week-end, we added tiny toys with the clothes so that there would still be something a little fun in there. My daughter is getting a new bike this Hanukkah and when I explained it to her she agreed to give her old one to the school (with the promise I would take lots of pics first so she could remember it!! :-))
I like celebrating Hanukkah and its symbolism of lights into our lives but I definitely feel like this light should shine on others too!♥


Thank you for sharing your story.
You have truely been blessed.
"Happy Holidays"



This is a truly beautiful tradition. I always wanted to do something like this, but didn't. I wish I had. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tradition with us. Merry Christmas to you all!


I like it!

It's a bit much to understand at first but since you so smartly started from their birth they know NO other way!!

They don't question becaue it's YOUR/ THIEIR FAMILY TRADITION!

CAN I do it? Probably not. I could try but would most likely fail,
(I lack will power and that's why I am not so thin anymore)
fail, yup.

Christmas's have become smaller as my family size has increased....

My 17yr old say's I don't need anything buy for the little kids like you used to buy me lot's of stuff. That's sweet, he's a great kid.

We are sponsoring a family as always, individual children and the food pantry to benefit a family a Holiday Yummy Meal as well. We also deliver plates to elderly shut ins who wouldn't get in a car to come to my house, not even my car but may let us in to drop off some warm dinner.

I think you are giving your kids the best sense of self through giving.

I can see them growing up to be incredible human beings like your hubby and yourself.

You said your hubby was from PA and was from a Mennonite/Quaker background if I recall? So he too grew up in a sparse material world but rich in Faith I assume....

I don't have that big Faith thing going on. I just don't have it as big in my heart as so many others do. Not to say isn't there at all..:}

I was planning on doing more shopping but I think after reading your post I AM DONE. I am going to count up what I have, make sure it's all fair for all 4 kids and wrap, label and be done. Start my baking for gifts and fill the freezer.

Yup. I'll call it a day. My DH and I do find it distressing to see things laid away & forgotton after a week or two.

I think I should thank-you for saving me another few hundred dollars. I'd rather put it towards a really nice playset for them all to enjoy in the backyard!

Ps Love when you were 13 people helped your family. Now adays some would and many others would not. They would have rude comments about big houses/going to far to fast, jealousy type things.... or not so much love in their hearts!

I see where you get your great sense of self & self esteem from. I think I shall change my ways enough so my kids can appreciate the more important things in life as well. (((hugs)) for helping us all out by sharing your very personal story. Blessings & Happy Holidays!

Sharon in NE

I only intended to scan but I couldn't stop reading! What a wonderful tradition. I am blessed just hearing about it.

Vanessa G.

Erika I think it is wonderful that you are creating a real Christmas... one with family, friends and most importantly, love. You and your family are the ones that make a difference in the world, and this is what I give thanks for... have a wonderful Christmas!


that is such a beautiful tradition. Thank you for sharing. I can understand how that would be difficult to do. very inspiring. Your children will be much richer for it.



Hello, I'm looking for a guide to tell me what each line represents on a ruler. Regular english ruler. I know 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks but not the ones in between all of them. Thanx.

Penny McEntee

What a wonderful story and a beautiful way to celebrate the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Your children are blessed because of your traditions and you are blessing the lives of others. What a perfect Christmas story. Merry Christmas!

Mary R.

Erika: I can imagine the looks and remarks you get when you explain your traditions. I think it is amazing that your children continue to accept your way of celebrating Christmas after being exposed to other ways of celebrating. That just says a lot for the respect they have for their parents. Sounds to me like your way works great for your family. Wishing you Christmas Blessings and a Happy New Year!

Jana Weaver

Erika, you are so wise! I love this tradition, and I think it's wonderful that you have done such a great job of teaching the importance of giving to your children. That is one of the best gifts you could possibly ever give them!!

Barbara Vogt

Thank you for sharing your Christmas tradition with us, Erika. What a beautiful way to truly celebrate Christmas. Your children are very lucky to have such insightful parents.

Juli Smith

Beautiful Erika - the soul of your Marriage Sacrament and Family Sacrament shines through veyr clearly. Thanks for sharing - I always enjoy a good story especially when it brings tears to my eyes. ;)

Merry Christmas!

Michelle R

Erika, I love it that you are teaching your children the TRUE spirit of Christmas, and of giving. Bless you...and your family. And thanks for sharing your Christmas tradition with us.


Thank you for sharing your tradition. You are truly inspiring.
Blessings to you and your beautiful family. The world would be a better place if others followed your example.

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