Why do we celebrate Christmas? Why is this season so magical? What lessons do I want to pass on to my children?
There is no Christmas in Ukraine, at least Yana and Alex never heard of it. Their experiences are made up of the few American movies they have watched.
So many questions led up to this season...and with Christmas less than a week away the excitement stirs with in them and the questions flow.
Never did they ask me about Jesus, they had no idea that He is the reason we celebrate Christmas. They didn't know the main thing, but how could they?
What they know is what is in the media, what is portrayed in movies.
Theses are the 5 things we have learned to do during Christmas to try to keep the main thing, the main thing.
1. Give gifts with meaning.
We limit gifts in our home. Mom and dad give you 4 gifts on Christmas Day. That is it.
- Something you WANT
- Something you NEED
- Something you WEAR
- Something you READ
It also makes "the sock and underwear" gift a little more valued when it's labeled with "something you desperately need."
My kiddos believe in Santa, so he comes too and brings one gift, and fills the stockings with their favorite fruit, and toiletries, like new tooth brushes and fancier shampoo than I would buy.
I know that before we began this tradition, my 6 year old, Lily, was a terror on Christmas. It became less about the gift and more about the mass quantity. Ripping and shredding gifts that were not even hers.
Since implementing this tradition, as a family (me included), we better understand the idea of gratefulness. It is less about what was on sale and more about the main thing.
2. Truth in the Tinsel.
This is a curriculum by an amazing woman named Amanda White. She has a blog ohamanda.com
and sells her curriculum. Everyday during advent, their is a scripture reading that relates to the story of the birth of Jesus. My kiddos listen for the key word hidden in the scripture ready to scream it out as I share God's word with them. There is a craft that goes with the reading too.
That being said, sometimes this family skips the craft or reads two days in one day because the kids fell asleep in the car and were put in bed in the clothes they wore all day.
Adam made me an advent calendar last year out of an old pallet. I hang the key words on the calendar for each day (instead of making a chain), and write the scripture reading on the paper so I don't have to look it up.
It takes a little time to set up but after November 30, everything is done and all I do is grab a piece of paper off the clothes pin.
It keeps my entire family in God's word together (almost) every day until Christmas. Helping us all remember why we celebrate this holiday and keeping the main thing, the main thing.
Give. Give. Give. This is something we try to do all year. Give financially, give time and give love. I want my kiddos to give with a happy heart. I want them to grow up being loving people that want to serve others. The only way I know how to teach them this, is to do it.
We brought another 5 gifts to church last week for a toy drive and outreach that was happening in Oceanside. I brought Alex and Elliot with me when we picked out the toys.
I put a Disney Cars scooter into the cart, and Alex asked me "why you buy so much?" Looking at the price tag. I tell him it's in the budget and not to worry (Dave Ramsey).
|Two families came together to give 3 sisters a Christmas|
I have a crafty husband who likes to make things. I have an artistic son that is mastering his craft.
That being said, we make a lot of our own decorations.
My Christmas tree is not something
you would find in a magazine or a store. My tree is filled with ornaments made by my kids or things given to me and Adam by our students. It has Adam's grandma's handmade bells made out of yarn and it is filled with pictures from each year.
In addition to the tree, my husband and Alex turned some pallets into the most amazing Christmas display for our neighborhood light contest. We didn't win, but had the most fun watching Veggie Tales and Charlie Brown Christmas in the garage and spending time as a family. Answering questions about the main thing.
5. The kids buy gifts
In doing this, I am hoping they see the that the world is so much bigger than them, and we are called to give to others. To serve others. To keep the main thing, the main thing.