Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

12 Ways Christmas Will Be Different This Year

Christmas Will Be Different

I love Christmas. Not in a Disney World-ish, all-my-dreams-coming-true kind of way. More of a slower-paced, spending-time-with-family kind of way. Yes, that’s possible. A Christmas budget, an aversion to Black Friday shopping and malls, and online shopping have greatly simplified Christmas in my family, leaving time to include more meaningful traditions like the Advent reading that we did last year. But this Christmas will be different.

I have written many Christmas posts through the last few years, and I”ll be sharing those throughout the month on my Facebook page and on Twitter. Join me there to read some of the best from previous years. This year, my new posts will involve the number 12. You know, like the 12 Days of Christmas glasses from Jack’s restaurant that my mom and dad collected decades ago and still use today. Today’s post is “12 Ways Christmas Will Be Different in 2015.” Consider how your Christmas will be different this year.

12 Ways Christmas Will Be Different This Year

When I first considered writing “12 Ways Christmas Will Be Different This Year,” I wondered if I would have enough material. A few came immediately to mind, and the others came along soon enough. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is enough to make me realize just how much difference a year can make. Consider making your own “12 Ways Christmas Will Be Different This Year” list. Here’s mine:

  1. I’ll be marking the calendar with an official Christmas break from school, something I haven’t done in thirteen years.
  2. Older Brother (first year of college) will be home more in December this year.
  3. The Little Fella (first year of public middle school) will be home less.
  4. Big Sister will have to plan a Christmas break around her first career job’s work days.
  5. Our house will be coated with new interior paint, thanks to Mrs. Right’s room-by-room work over the last couple of months. Should make the decorations stand out more, no?
  6. My first book also has a new paint job, of sorts. Lines in the Gravel has a new cover, updated interior design, and a couple more bonus chapters. The updated e-book debuted last week, and today is the first day that the new paperback is available!
  7. After two years of hosting my extended family at our house, the family Christmas gathering returns to Star, Mississippi, this year. We’re very grateful that my cousin’s new house on my grandparents’ old home site is finished and available for a big dinner, much like we used to enjoy when my grandparents hosted.
  8. My dad will have a new knee for Christmas. (Not sure whether or not Mom is considering this his early Christmas present this year…)
  9. Depending on how Dad’s rehab goes, we may reinstate the annual Ainsworth tractor ride. (The video of the 2012 version of our family tractor ride, has gone somewhat viral with upward of 260 views! That must have been the year I followed on the four-wheeler as I do not make an appearance in the video.)
  10. We’ll have a college graduate among the latest generation of our clan this year. Congrats, Bo Monkey!
  11. This will be the first year in a very long time when my nephews (rabid Cubs fans) will have bragging rights over my boys and me (just as rabid Cardinal fans). I may have to fall back on my early years as a Mets fan at some point….
  12. I have added another book to my growing list, giving me three books for sale this Christmas. I have written them all with helping other people in mind, so my goal was to give much more value that I receive in return from royalties on the book. If you think someone would benefit from my books, please consider giving them as gifts this year.

Christmas will be differentLines in the Gravel (with new cover): Lines in the Gravel is an engaging, often humorous, series of snapshots about Al Ainsworth’s experiences growing up in Star, Mississippi. It is one story—told by a collection of stories—of family and faith that transcends his own experience to connect with others who seek to perpetuate their own values through the stories they tell and re-tell.

Lines in the Gravel will not only remind you of your own childhood stories but will also remind you of the importance of being intentional about establishing your own family legacy through the stories that your family repeats time and time again.

Christmas will be differentCoach Dave: Season One (new in 2015): When newcomer Coach Dave Rivers introduces a new way of coaching 12-year-old baseball to the Southburg Baseball League, his methods and motivation are brought into question by a circle of dads looking to critique his every move. If the internal struggles of the Scarlet Knights weren’t enough, the imposing Yankee squad and their overzealous coach also stand in the way of their championship dreams.

Told through the eyes of fellow newcomer Brad Baker and his son Rob, Coach Dave is a refreshing look at the potential that youth baseball has to teach life lessons to a new generation of players, parents, and coaches.

StoriesChristmas will be different from the Roller Coaster (2013): I have had a number of life events that mirrored my roller coaster experience. Some were first-time experiences that brought great fear and anxiety. Others were familiar because of other similar experiences. Still others I approached with bravado to hide the uncertainty lurking just beneath the surface. Occasionally, I have been able to throw my hands in the air and enjoy the ride. But the roller coaster always seems to be the perfect analogy to a life lived by faith.

Maybe you can relate. Even better, some of my roller coaster experiences may help you to face your own roller coaster ride of faith.

What does your “Christmas Will Be Different This Year” list look like? Perhaps your family will be celebrating great joy or enduring great sorrow. Maybe this Christmas will look radically different that previous ones. Or it might sort of blend in with so many others.

Regardless, keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind and treasure it. Treasure Him.



About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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