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Last night, I put together a Christmas package to send to my oldest and his lovely wife in Europe. I wrapped each item and placed it strategically inside a small box, making sure to make the most of each square inch. Even though we won’t be together this year, I wanted them to have something to open from us on Christmas morning.

I can still remember my first Christmas abroad. My husband and I had arrived in Thailand only a few months before. That year, we had managed to find a tree to decorate. We woke up on Christmas morning to open our gifts from one another along with a small box from his sister. His parents had mailed a package to us weeks before, but it was still in transit somewhere amongst the miles.

Quieter Christmas - Free Printables

It was definitely a quieter Christmas…our first year away from home. There was no family circle and no smells of turkey wafting from the kitchen…just my husband, me and our little Christmas tree.
Quieter Christmas - 2020 Christmas Printables
Of course, we got a lot better at doing Christmas away from “home” as the years passed. In fact, just one year after that first quiet Christmas in Thailand we had a brand new baby who royally christened that little tree and his Mema who was changing him. Yep, just one year later we had family and a baby to share the holiday with us.

What a difference one year makes!

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

I guess this year brings back memories of that first Christmas away from home and that little tree. Although Christmas is only a few weeks away, my calendar is not filled with the parties or festive programs that I’ve come to expect during the holiday season.

This year will be a quieter Christmas. But what a difference one year can make!


ENJOY THESE 2020 CHRISTMAS (8×10) PRINTABLES

2020 Christmas Printables A-D

Print A |Print B | Print C | Print D

2020 Christmas Printables E-H

Print E |Print F | Print G | Print H


Yes, it’s different, but my heart is encouraged and comforted to know that Jesus is my reason for celebration all year long. He invests my life with meaning and purpose, whether I’m alone or in a crowd. In fact, I believe I can hear his voice clearer when it’s not drowned out by festive celebrations.

I know we’ll have big celebrations again in the future, but for now…Jesus is enough for me.

~ Shellie

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Shellie,
    I also have spent many Christmas times overseas, 12 years in Papua New Guinea. I look on those Christmas times with much fondness, making do with what we could get. It was still special and we always had friends and sometimes family to praise God with us.
    We have appreciated your sharing and wisdom on our linkup and look forward to what you have to share when we return on the 8th of January.
    Have a blessed and safe Christmas,
    Kathleen

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      What took you to Papua, Kathleen? Yes, you would totally get what this post was all about. Merry Christmas!

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