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At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. What wonderful and thought-filled ways to still acknowledge others while keeping the focus on Jesus. Thanks

  2. This spoke to my heart this morning. I have long wrestled with my love of giving and my distaste for materialistic Christmas. Throw in my chronic people pleasing habit and you have a miserable holiday Grinch. We have gradually scaled back on gifts and began gifting experiences. Realizing the time we give to be fully present is the most precious gift is so freeing. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouragement.

  3. This article on, “Simple Christmas” is very nice. I understand the stress and the need to “down size,” but I would like to just insert that Christmas IS about gift giving: God gave us the greatest gift of the Messiah. Shouldn’t that motivate us to want to give something to others at this time of year? Just a thought

  4. I appreciate the practical and tangible thoughts here that help eliminate a season of stress
    and chaos, when in fact it’s about simplicity of the lowly manger. If we can spread the good news pf Christ
    to those around us and words of gratitude, then I think that is the best Christmas gift one can receive.

  5. I look forward to Christmas time – gift giving, making cookies and treats and spending time with family and friends. I used to feel overwhelmed with everything that (we think) needs to be done for Christmas, but over the years I’ve become very organized. I start my Christmas shopping early or shop year round (not waiting to the last minute which can be stressful) – there is no better joy than buying that perfect gift for a friend or family member, knowing how happy it will make them – to me it’s not a burden. Buying all the ingredients for your cookies/treats ahead of time helps to keep things on track. Set one or two nights aside for baking. The holiday can still be joyous and simple if you change your attitude – if you feel you’re obligated to bake, buy gifts….then of course you’re going to dread Christmas time. Stay organized and not think that it’s a burden – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Don’t skimp or deprive your friends, family and whoever else of the joy of the season!

  6. I love the “move-baking-for-the-neighbors-to-November” idea. Pumpkin bread tastes better then anyway! And it really would remove one stress from this already stressful, yet joyous, time of the year. I hope to remember to put that into practice next year.

  7. Aimee, these are all great ideas! This year, though, I’m actually resurrecting the “take treats to neighbors” theme. It will be my way for reaching out to new neighbors I haven’t met and old neighbors I never see. The pandemic is the culprit! I’m a bit lonely and I’m thinking some if them might be, too. I’m having cards printed with a picture of our house in the snow. I’ll put our name, address, phone number and email address on the cards. I’m hoping a few people reach back, once I reach out. I’ll make my deliveries wearing a mask and I’ll stay outside.

  8. I too love your idea of moving some gift-giving from Christmastime to thanksgiving, and making them gratitude gifts. Handwritten notes of appreciation and encouragement are also a great idea. They may very well provide long-term benefit for the recipient, as they remember your kinds words for years to come. Thank you, Aimee, for sharing your insights and ideas for a more meaningful, worshipful Christmas!

  9. Aimee,

    I agree that we lose sight of true meaning of Christmas – Christ born in a stable. All you hear from Halloween to Christmas is about buying the right gift. Honestly most people don’t need a more stuff. The last few years I have done the angel tree & senior angel tree. Those people are asking for a need-nice clothes, warm blanket, etc. That may be the only gift they get. One year, living out of state for college, a choir director got me an unusual gift. She had bought part of a chicken in my name through World Vision. That spoke to me more than anything else. She was willing to help others in dire need. I also love the idea of Thanksgiving gifts. We seem to gloss over Thanksgiving day. I believe more people would rather receive a nice basket with homemade goodies & a note of thanks for what they’ve done at Thanksgiving than anything else. It would make me see the impact I’ve made in your life.

    Blessings 🙂