As we enter the season of Advent I can’t help but focus on how our thoughts and actions effect the world around us. We have really complicated our lives by adding all the wrong elements. Adding problems to our lives that are having an enormous impact on society and our world as a whole. Everywhere we turn we hear MORE, BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER, it seems as though we are never satisfied.

Christmas has become so commercialized that it makes it difficult to teach our children the true meaning of the season of Advent because everywhere we look we are told to buy this, and buy that. Families spend outrageous amounts of money that are often creating financial burdens on their households all to have the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos, only to replace them next year with the NEWEST version of the same unnecessary item.

We have tried to keep spending to a minimum in our home and spend time together as a family doing things we can all enjoy. This year we have scaled back even more and adopted a new tradition. I saw a Pin a few months ago that I thought seemed like a wonderful way to put a stop to the useless buying for the sake of buying. I created my own document and printed six copies for the kids. I emailed Taylor a copy at school so she could be prepared to fill it out when she was home for Thanksgiving break. Here is a look at our Christmas List Document for this year.

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We will be looking for new ways to come together as a family and become better versions of ourselves this Advent Season, so that we will be fully prepared for the birth of our savior. I believe if we work on ourselves it has an impact that reaches far beyond our home or even our community. I believe if we say “NO!” to the things that society is telling us aren’t “that bad” or “everyone else is doing it” we just might begin to shift the focus of families around the world. As we slowly let things into our lives that separate us from God, we eventually lose sight of what truly matters.

We currently read from the bible together nightly as a family and discuss how the gospel readings are relevant to our lives today and the challenges we face. We work very hard not to “justify” inappropriate shows, music, movies or games just because “everyone else is doing it”. It is important that we focus on growing closer to God and as parents, setting an example for our children.

My hope is that we will each become better versions of ourselves each and every day and that our example to our children, our friends, our neighbors, even strangers will have a positive impact on our world.

Focus these next four weeks on growing closer to God and feel the positive impact it has on your life. Turn off the TV, talk to your children, pray, listen to God’s word, reach out in kindness to others and scale back on the useless “stuff” that is cluttering our lives and souls.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:14

I wish you and your family peace, love and happiness this Advent and all year long!


Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity.