A Christ-filled Christmas...part 1

Ella came running to me this morning..."Mommy, I should have that...come see!" During a commercial break from her beloved Wonder Pets cartoon was an advertisement for a baby doll that could swim.

Now, I'll admit, a baby doll that can swim is a pretty big deal to a three year old. I'm quite sure I would have been impressed too.

She also loves to look through all the toy catalogs that seem to be coming in dozens these days. She often tells me that she "should have that".

This is the first year that she really "gets" Christmas. It's so much fun to watch her wonderment at the lights and the music and presents and all the magic that surrounds this time of year.

I love it.

And I don't have any problem with the lights and music and presents and magic of this season...I just don't want her to miss out on the real reason for why we celebrate Christmas.

Jeremiah and I decided when we first had Ella that we wanted to do some things to help keep things in perspective for her (and all our future children) and for ourselves as well. I thought I'd share a few of the things over the next week that we are doing as a family to keep our holiday a Christ-filled one.

I'd also love to hear what special things you do this holiday season to bring the emphasis back on the true meaning of Christmas. Share your traditions and ideas please!

5 comments:

KS Spencer said...

Jennifer,
Read this:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/cpt/2002/005/1.30.html

Please email me and tell me what you think.

kevin@spencersRus.com

Tasha Via said...

I am really anxious to see what ya'lls are !! We are the same way. In fact, our pastor just said something at church on Sunday that really affected me... he just made the point about it being Jesus' birthday and we should be giving him all the glory. We don't have to by-pass the gift-giving, but put it in perspective and really celebrate Jesus because we have our own birthday during the year too!

All to say, I'm excited to get some new ideas from you guys=)

Anonymous said...

Below is a link to a blog I read regularly - an old friend. She has two young girls and on this post she shares their tradition of placing baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas day and reading the Christmas story before opening gifts. At first I thought it a little strange to gift wrap baby Jesus, but He is God's gift to us. And it would definitely be very tangible for a three year old!

Interesting that you bring this up, Josh and I were just discussing this yesterday afternoon!

Kristen

http://thefourfeathers.blogspot.com/2008/12/countdown.html

mommajeane said...

Since our family has expanded to now 22 kids.. I get asked "how do you do Christmas?" I share that besides the obvious sharing of the birth of Christ I try to have us experience Joy...I think that having a sense of joy and experiencing the meaning of Christmas is best done thru a home where joy is expressed thru music, lots of laughter, and the evidence of a "real" faith.So we have lots of lights to represent the light that came to us at Christmas, extra foods and goodies to remind us of the Lord's provision, and opportunities for us to share with others about the love of Jesus... to help build compassion in our hearts... we do giving activities like making shoeboxes for our local homeless shelter, and/or Samaritans Purse. We have them buy/make for each other( a name is picked for them to buy/make for their sibling), placing money in the Salvation Army buckets when we go shopping, baking for others and we listen to lots of Christmas music and sometimes go carolling. We also do an activity sort of like what annymous shared but ours is diff.... we have some straw set aside in a bag in a drawer along with an empty basket on our fireplace mantle. When someone does something for someone the receiver gets to tell that person they can put a piece of straw in the baby Jesus basket... on Christmas eve. we hope there is a nice, soft bed made for the baby by our love for one another... then Christmas am there is a baby placed in the manager basket representing Jesus. On Christmas eve. we give out the creche pieces to the little ones and we reenact the Christmas story with the chosen child doing their part. Then we all go outside ( we have done this in all weather) looking for the baby Jesus like the shepherds. Before this our older kids have made a manger scene by a firepit somewhere on our property.. we go seeking the baby as the shepards did and the wise men. When we find Him we sing carols by the fire.I think that the expression of joy thru gift giving and gift receiving is important at Christmas. There is a balance in all of it but it can be glorious to celebrate Jesus thru gift giving and receiving. I think joy is giving God the glory... we need to be able to express joy in our glory and praise to the newborn King.

Jennifer Hambrick said...

thanks a lot mom...you just stole a lot of the ideas i was planning on using =) hehe.

 

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