About the Author

Now graduated from her role as a homeschooling mom of 8, Dawn Camp devotes her time and love of stories to writing her first novel. She enjoys movie nights, cups of Earl Grey, and cheering on the Braves. She and her husband navigate an ever-emptying nest in the Atlanta suburbs.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


    • I am right there with you! we have experienced the loss of loved ones in December, and I usually zone out from mid December to around two days before Christmas; I have gone through the motions of buying gifts, sending cards, supporting various charities that are in need BUT I often reflect and want to press a pause button, find that special place and stay there for a while, what keeps me grounded and moving is Advent Devotions and being a blessing to those around me celebrating Jesus! trying to let His light shine through me.
      thank you for sharing,

      • Duhanne, I hope this is a good year for you. My mother passed away on my birthday and I used to do the same thing during my birthday month. Blessings to you!

    • Yes great word. We have alot to be thank full for. Especially if we have roof over our head this Christmas. Clothes on our backs etc. When we look at our world today people with no homes. People struggling to make ends meet. We should do what Jesus would want us to do. Put an extra girft if we can afford it in our backet and give it to people collecting for people without. Or pray for them. Show them Jesus. We as Christians are to do was Jesus would want us to do is show his love to them. Be thank full for what we have. Remember Jesus is the best present we can give anyone this Christmas by showing them his Love. John 3 v16.

      • Dawn, I love your idea to bless those that need it most. Thank you for this. I honestly think my kids would respond better to this than more gifts.

  1. So many favorite Christmas traditions, but they all coalesce around gathering. Our circles get wider and less concentric every year, but just last evening there were ten of us–three generations–eating vast quantities of pizza, opening presents together, and laughing at corny jokes. I know the angel’s tidings of comfort and joy were centered around news of gospel impact, but this must also be part of that outflow of God’s love and provision.
    Blessings to you, Dawn.

  2. Dawn,

    Don’t feel bad. We have a love/hate relationship with the holidays in general. Mostly because he has to work a couple of them. For me the holidays aren’t the same. We skip over Thanksgiving to go right into the buy buy buy season of Christmas. This world doesn’t know the true meaning of Christmas & doesn’t want to hear it. I remember as a child making sugar cookies. The kind where you use cookie cutters to make shapes & then get to frost & decorate them. For the last few years I have taken angel tree names & bought gifts for them. Just an outfit & 1 toy. Hoping it would bring joy to them. I also send my “Ninos De Mexico” adopted girl some money to buy herself something nice. Last year I opted to do a “senior angel” tree-same as angel tree only for seniors. I went & got two nice outfits for the person. I believe it is important to teach children that Christmas is more than just getting gifts. It is about a savior who left the splendor of Heaven to come down to broken Earth & die a horrible death. Teaching them that traditions are important. Showing them that helping others is important also. It will make them happy as well as the recipient.

    Blessings 🙂

  3. This is really more a post-Christmas tradition. As my grandchildren have grown into their pre-teen and teenage years, I give them a gift card for one of their favorite stores. After Christmas, I take each one to either lunch or dinner and go shopping with them. This gives me the opportunity to give each one my undivided presence. Of course, I also have a small present for them under the tree.

    • I like this idea as I now have a teenage granddaughter too. We give her a gift of cash she can use for her taste in things, so (different from mine) I am planning to take her shopping for her birthday Jan. 15th and to lunch. I want to take time to listen to her, and sow some approving love where she’s at in discovering her journey. I want her to know more about the Savior who came to always love her, and she can ultimately trust all her life. I want to be the grandma to her, mine was to me. I need improvement fir sure, but am willing to do what will accomplish that love bond stronger. With prayer I know it will.

  4. Dawn, love this !,
    I think we all can relate to this in some part of or lives.its definitely more due to our own high expectations. I love and enjoy keeping simple Christmas traditions. I love making Christmas cookies and candy with my Daughter, who is getting married in January! I also love our annual drive thru the River Oaks Christmas lights as we ohh and ahh ( yes, still, as all adults). This year we added going to dinner prior to the light drive with our Daughter and her Fiancé. On Christmas Eve we will go spend time with my sisters and their families, we are doing a White Elephant exchange this year , so each person only gets one gift . ( Finally, I’ve been trying to get them to cut things down for years ) . My parents , also who all live out of state are are split, are coming as well. We will enjoy time, food, games, and ourgift exchange. Then my hubby, our Daughter, her Fiancé , and myself will go to Candelight Service after we leave. This is one of my most favorite parts of Christmas , last year due to health issues, I was unable to attend. I’m looking forward to this year !
    Christmas morning, we just enjoy out little fam at home and usually wear pjs or sweats as we start off with cinnamon rolls, coffee, and hot cocoa , open a few gifts and look in our stockings. Then we all help to prepare a late lunch as we watch Christmas movies, play games, and often take a family walk.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Dawn! When my Daughter was younger we did the pj thing, but think once we are Grandparents, we will start that with them, love the pjs!

  5. Dawn, I REALLY appreciate this post!
    Thank you for being so real about the expectations we place on ourselves, particularly when it come to giving gifts. Money is tight for us, but I still feel like I need to break the bank in order to bless others… When in reality, it couldn’t be farther from the truth!
    Our people just want to be with us. And we just want to be with our people. And then reach out and love on others who need it.

    Thanks, Sister!! This was goood!
    Merry Christmas to you,


  6. Sometimes I feel conflicted at Christmas, having been placed by God in a ministry far away from home! Do I spend it here with the people He has led me to live among, who do celebrate Christmas but act like it’s a chore to welcome in outsiders? Or do I spend the crazy amount on a plane ticket to be with my loved ones, leaving me scrambling to make ends meet in the new year? Over the years, I’ve tried both and His grace has seen me through each scenario, but I’ve come to dread the conflict of choosing!

  7. So true, what you said about time. The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve realized that time spent, is the best gift I could get!
    We’ve created a tradition with our grandchildren where they come over and watch the polar express and we have homemade popcorn balls. And while the little ones don’t always make it through the whole movie, their hugs and smiles are the greatest gifts of all!

    • Renae, my great-aunt used to make popcorn balls at Christmas when I was a child and it’s one of my favorite holiday memories. This day you plan is a true gift!

  8. This is so true. We think our gifts should be grand and costly but taking that time to be with them is the greatest gift. It is truly sad that we live in such a society that tells us what we should spend and if we don’t then we are somewhat made to feel less. So during this holiday season, let us not be critical of what is given to us and be reminded that it’s not about the gifts, the only gift we should be thankful for is Jesus…

  9. Dawn, I love how you help us see that celebrating Christmas can look like so much more than just buying everything on a list — which we all know, but the reminder is timely and so good to hear that others struggle under the tension of it too. Blessings to you as you soak in the joy of giving and making memories!

  10. “Anything that takes the focus from Him detracts from the simplicity of Jesus’ message and the beauty of the Christmas season.” I’m copying it on a 3 x 5 card and using it as a bookmark in my daily devotional book. That statement makes a perfect focal point for our minds and hearts these days of December! Thank you, Dawn!