Reblogged from Words in High Def
You might just say that I’m a Christmas junkie. My parents got me hooked as a toddler and my addiction never subsided. Growing up, our little home was decorated to the fullest extent of its capacity with shiny, colorful ornaments. The anticipation for The Big Day was perpetuated by my mom, who loved Christmas as much as any little kid.
Admittedly, there was probably more focus on the secular “fun” side of this holy day than there should have been, but we never forgot the significance or the reason all this was happening.
When I became a mom, my husband and I continued the thrill of the season with our own kids. (I will confess that he mostly goes-along-to–get-along and doesn’t get the holiday high that I do.) When our kids were five and two, we bought a commercial swing set (like they use in public parks). My husband assembled the slide in our little living room. It was corner-to-corner, floor to ceiling. The kids marveled that Santa magically got it in our house. (He had to take it down and re-assemble in the back yard later that day.) The moment was worth all his effort…at least to me!
One year we got a kitten. Keeping her quiet in our bathroom all night was quite a task. We opened all our gifts, then announced there was one more we’d forgotten. He ran in the bathroom and put her in a wrapped box. The kids were overjoyed!
We go caroling around the neighborhood, bake cookies, and have a party with friends and neighbors. We video record opening gifts in the morning, then watch old family videos each Christmas Eve after church to remember … These traditions are evolving with our grandkids.
Jesus is clearly the reason for the season and we always have the kids read the Christmas story in Luke then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Before we eat, we invite everyone to share the ways God has been working in their lives the past year.
Sometimes we allow over-spending, over-committing and over-indulging to increase our stress and rob us of the peace that everyone talks about at this time of year. Contentment at Christmas: The choice is yours.
Personally, I don’t have any problem at all with the “fun” of Christmas. Children and adults are reminded that miracles happen, that generosity feels good, that hope and dreams should be nurtured and that relationships are important.
If it were up to me, we’d keep a “Christmas frame of mind” all year long! Wishing you a Bold, Merry Christmas.
Listen to my show where CBS teaching director, Joni Corby and I will talk about Christmas traditions, avoiding stress and making it meaningful (top of page). Tell us about what stresses you out and how you try to keep the season significant.
*If you’d like a truly wonderful book to read to your kids at Christmastime, I highly recommend God’s Precious Gift in a Manger, by Rebecca Ann Lamb. Because this book (with beautiful illustrations) begins with the creation story and ends with the resurrection, it is truly a valuable tool for teaching. It makes a great gift to give to children of friends (especially those who don’t know the Gospel) and to use for corporal reading in children’s church.