Renee Robinson
About the Author

Renee Robinson is the author of Seeking Christmas - Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions. She lives with her high school sweetheart husband and their 3 boys in Davidson, NC.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Rather than stumbling into opportunities …They were intentionally creating ways to show the love of Christ.

    I love this!!

    Even further than teaching out children to be thankful and see the gifts in all circumstances, you’re teaching them to BE the gift. Beautiful post!

    • Thank you, Marcy. I agree with you. There is more we can do outside of teaching gratitude. Christ is our gift and He intends for us to serve as the gift to His children. Interesting thing about being the gift is that we find ourselves on both the receiving and giving end. We receive an unexpected gift of joy. Merry Christmas!

  2. “Intentionally moving through the season seemed to slow time. When time moves slower, we linger a bit longer”….. Your words are beautiful, meaningful and inspiring. Thank you!

  3. I am going to start doing this with my children next year!
    I have a 15 year old, and an 12 year old and they need to be reminded of EVERYTHING, but I can find the patience to create this tree for reminders of what really matters.
    Thank you for an awesome idea!

  4. I love love love this! When I first started reading I thought the 2nd tree was to put gifts under for say ‘the poor and needy’ but I think this is way more powerful. And the kids being so involved and excited is awesome and refreshing.

    My husband of one year and I talk a lot about Christmas, traditions and gift giving. And we do that before there are any children. We both see so much craziness around us around this time of year and why? Why go so crazy and be stressed out in this season. We would like to focus on the meaning of Christmas, which is Jesus. So up to now we have decided gifts are not part of that. In our opinion the gifts have little to do with Christmas. We also do not have a Christmas tree. We still have sweet decorations, we will do stockings, and in the future we would like to teach our children Christmas is about giving by giving to the poor. So thanks for the encouragement. So far people are looking funny at us for thinking this way.

    • Hope,
      I am a newlywed also, and my husband and I have the same mentality. We did gifts for family (wedding pictures!), but we don’t exchange gifts with one another. Instead, we pray together over the Compassion International gift book and use the money we would spend on eachother toward blessing someone else. This is our third year of doing this (we did it when we were dating) and we’ve done a cow, chickens and goats, and this year I think we are going to do water for a family for life. To me, searching my brain for something I “want” or think I need is just silly, and it doesn’t reflect the heart of Christmas. Merry Christmas!

    • Hope- how precious that you and your husband are beginning your Christmas celebrations focused on the true meaning so early on. What a difference you and your husband are making!

      • Jill and Hope-I love to read how your families choose to celebrate the true meaning. The season has become complicated in the craziness. But when we slow down and focus on the true gift, it’s amazing the impact it has. Thank you for sharing about your family celebrations.

  5. I slow down completely. Enjoying the intimate moments with JESUS. It’s like the open portal. Open heavens. Like on the day JESUS was born. MESSIAH came down as a Baby. I savour the moments at Christmas. Signs and wonders of HIS LOVE. Very quiet and intimate time with JESUS and my husband. In union and communion with Christ.

  6. This is such a great message! I saw this video online about giving gifts to Christ. It was so sweet and uplifting…But, two trees? Jeesh, my house can hardly make room for one. 😉

    • Ha Ha! Yes, 2 trees is a bit much. This year we have the family tree downstairs and the kids have a very small tree upstairs for their ornaments. This is now our Jesus tree 🙂

    • Kayla- Yes even if there were only 1 day left it would be worth it. I agree with earlier comments too that this could be carried on all year long. Have fun with it!

  7. I love this idea and I want to start doing this. My boys and I the other day rad about the wise men, and talked about the gifts. My two and three year olds I think could grasp this. We have said Santa is fun to pretend, but we have Christmas to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. We give gifts to those who don’t have, but I love the Christ-like actions as giving gifts to other people, living like Jesus, to give Jesus a present. As one person who commented, this should be extended to all year. I think this could seamlessly be put right in to what we have been already been talking about with my two little boys. Thank you for sharing this tradition.

    • Joanne- Your boys would have so much fun with this. Even if some of the ideas were just very simple to lay the foundation for a life of giving. Merry Christmas!

  8. I love this! My children are 4 and 2 and I love this idea. We’ve been doing little things here and there but next year I want a second tree for this purpose. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and yours~

  9. We have the same tradition! Except we use a Jesus stocking instead of a tree. I *love* watching the kids intentionally serve Christ through whatever they have….waffles, Polly pockets, and awana bucks. Greatest Christmas tradition we have ever done! Thank you for sharing and encouraging others!

  10. What an incredible idea! My children are “grown” up now, one still in college, but I think this would be a great tradition to start even now! My youngest has such a huge heart for the Lord and for those that are in need! I think this will be a new trasition for our home and we will pass it on to our grandson and future grandchildren!
    Thank you so much and may you have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

  11. What a great idea. My hubby and I don’t usually exchange gifts at Christmas. Last year we started a new tradition. We adopt a Salvation Army child and buy for that person. This year we adopted 2 children. It was fun shopping for someone else.

    Back years ago when I was single I would adopt a “needy” person from Good Samaritan Ministries. One year I adopted an elderly person. I felt privileged to be able to help someone have a nice merry Christmas that might not otherwise.

    Thanks for sharing this truly meaningful story! Merry Christmas everyone!