Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas



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?

 Karen Kirst
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

9 comments:

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, Karen, I just love that your boys see Jesus when they see the lights!! I'm going to tell my family to think of that as well. :)

Thanks for the idea!

Margaret Daley said...

My church after Christmas Eve service has a birthday cake for baby Jesus. I like that.

Karen Kirst said...

Missy, I agree it's a special way to think of Jesus. :) Margaret, that's a wonderful tradition.

Christine Johnson said...

Karen, what wonderful traditions you're starting with your boys that will keep them focused on the real meaning of Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

Cara Putman said...

I just read Lisa's book with my kids again last night. Love it!

Karen Kirst said...

Cara, that's a new one for us this year. I got the impression they liked it. :) Christine, thanks!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Karen, we also have a Birthday cake on Christmas and sing happy birthday to Jesus! It's fun! And we read books centered around Jesus too. We also go to church and have an on going dialogue about the true meaning of Christmas :)

Teresa said...

We have several and always to celebrate His Birth and only His Birth.

That's one of the reasons why the gifts are brought to our house by Santa while we're on Church attending His Birth and Being Thankful to being able, year after year, to attend in family such Ceremony.

During Advent we take time to hold a Sunday moment - to which I prepare a mini-party - with the Readings of Sunday and while we eat no other distractions are allowed - we just reflect and pray and stay silent enjoying the antecipation of what we're about to witness.

We also bring them news and signs of His Kingdom among us - this year we had some friends who adopted a child. A blessing for them, for the child and for all of us who feel blessed for being able to witness it.

I like the idea of the lights Cara. Don't feel so anguished and anxious - The Lord Knows our hearts and our secret desires and He Knows He Lives in yours and your kid's.

Blessed Greetings,

Teresa

Karen Kirst said...

Eva, that sounds great. I don't think we actually sing Happy Birthday. We will have to try that this year!
Teresa,
I like your tradition of a mini-party, of having a time of reflection. Thanks for your input. :)