The Christmas season is here! We’ve got our tree up and have been busy making Christmas presents. We will do some shopping in the coming weeks as well. There is so much to do and these weeks go by so quickly every year. It is very easy to lose sight of why we even celebrate this holiday. This is why our family has set aside certain new traditions that we stick by each year. Traditions that help us to really focus on the birth of Jesus.
*We don’t do Santa. This is a big one. Growing up with Santa, Joe and I both were way more excited about Santa and the prospect of toys than we were about the birth of a Savior. While having Santa visit is great fun, we feel that it clouds the real reason for Christmas. I have no desire to bribe my children into behaving well so they can earn presents. I can assure you that our children do not miss out one bit because of this. After all, we still have decorating the tree, cookie making, Christmas music, visiting with family, wrapping gifts, and most importantly the anticipation and excitement of the birth of Baby Jesus.
*We only do 3 gifts per child. We totally ripped off this idea from a Pastor at church Each child receives 3 gifts to symbolize the gifts from the 3 Wisemen. What we do is purchase one “gold” gift (the big, exciting present), one “frankincense” gift (something that can be shared with the family) and one “myrrh” gift (a smaller gift). We also purchase a few stocking stuffers. It is so easy to go overboard with gifts and regret it for months to follow. This is both good for our budget and we hope it is a good way of teaching our kiddos that more stuff is not more.
*We have a Christmas Bible reading plan. I have the book of Luke pre-marked in my Bible with what to read on which date. We start on 12/21 and read about half a chapter each night until Christmas Eve, when we finish the story. This is an exciting time to sit around and read God’s word together. The best part is that each year, the kids understand it a little more! It is really a special and rich time together.
If your Christmas season is anything like ours it flies by! While I realize these ideas are not for everyone, I hope they might help you to take a pause and reflect on why it is that we make such a BIG deal about Christmas each year.