I don’t know about you, but each year I struggle to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas-the celebration of Christ’s birth and His perfect gift to us. I get distracted by the superficial traditions, fretting over finding those perfect gifts and worrying my boys won’t have enough or won’t like what they’re given. I make lists for each child, checking them more than twice to make sure everyone gets an equal amount. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy giving gifts! But I worry the true meaning will lose out to the quest for more stuff.
In order to combat this, we try to incorporate traditions that put the focus back on Jesus. On Christmas Eve, the boys and I bake a birthday cake for Jesus. This picture is of my oldest son, Jacob, and the cake he helped decorate. We read children’s books like God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and others that explain that, while cookies and decorated trees and presents are wonderful, Jesus is the reason for our celebration. We watch the movie, The Nativity, with our oldest son, and we all go as a family to see our living nativity at our church. Recently, our pastor suggested that when we see Christmas lights, we think of Jesus, the Light of the World. I explained this to my boys, and now whenever we see lights, my six-year-old says, “Look! I see Jesus!” Brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
I’m always looking for new ideas. How about you? How do you and your family celebrate Jesus?
The Reluctant Outlaw, LIH September 2011 Smoky Mountain Matches
The Bridal Swap, LIH March 2012 Smoky Mountain Matches
Smoky Mountain Christmas, LIH novella Christmas 2012