It has been a mere 6 years since I first gave my life to Christ. Every year, the depth, meaning, and sacrifice in the story of Christmas and Easter hit me harder than the year before. Every year, He teaches me more and reveals grand things to me about who He is… who I am to Him… what He has planned for me and for everyone else on this speck of dust called Earth.
Having children has thrust me deeper into the heart of the Lord. He has planted in me a great yearning for Him, as well as a great and driving desire to share Jesus with my children in the most genuine, honest way I can. When we celebrate Christmas, it should be all about Jesus.
What does that mean? For me, it’s a lot of things. But for my little ones, it’s going to be pretty simple right now:
It’s about Jesus. It’s not about presents. It’s not about candy. It’s not about Santa. I don’t mind if my kids want to watch a Santa movie or enjoy The Night Before Christmas. But they will know from the beginning that Santa is pretend. Like Frosty the Snowman, Thomas the Train, or Lightening McQueen (all of which Jaron is a fan). No big deal, really. Rather, the focus in our family will be all about Jesus, who is more real than anything or anybody else.
Aaron and I have decided that all of our Christmas traditions will be tools toward that focus. They will all be about:
1. Celebrating the gift of Jesus, and praising Him for it
- Celebrating advent
- Learning more about who Jesus is and why He came
- Keeping our eyes on Jesus above everything else
- Worshiping Him in prayer, song, and action
Enjoying the blessings God has given us
- Surrounding ourselves with the scents, sounds, and experiences of the Christmas season
- Keeping things as simple and relaxed as possible. Stress and hurriedness are sure distractions
- Doing fun Christmas/Winter activities: Playing together in the snow, decorating the tree, making ornaments, watching Christmas movies, eating cookies, etc.
- Enjoying special time with each other and with our extended family and friends
3. Offering gifts to Jesus by blessing others ALL season long
- Serving each other in our little family with gifts, gestures, and words.
- Serving others around us in the community: neighbors, friends, extended family, service workers, etc.
- Serving “the least of these”: the widows and orphans, the sick, the lonely, and so on
We have lots of ideas about these areas. I’ll post info about what we do and fun ideas I find on the web for my own reference and anyone who’s interested. And I would definitely love to hear about your traditions or things you’re thinking about trying. Of course, our traditions evolve as our family grows and our little people bring their talents, preferences, and personalities into the mix. I know I will enjoy it all immensely, and learn as much as my kids will in the process.