Today I am heading up to The Loft again. And this week we are sharing about our Christmas traditions. When I was a kid, to me - Christmas was all about the gifts. We would wake up Mom and Dad and they would go downstairs before us to "see if Santa came". At their cue, my brothers and sister and I raced to the family room and rejoiced at the pile of presents waiting for us. And we tore into those gifts, so excited to see what we had received. There were no thoughts of Jesus - even though the night before we had gone to church, lit the candles, and sang "Silent Night". Jesus was never a part of Christmas morning. It was all about the presents.When we began having children and started thinking about our own Christmas traditions, Brian and I decided we wanted to make sure Jesus was at the center of it all. So we began our own way of "doing" Christmas. Every Christmas morning, Brian and I and the kids gather together by the tree and the pile of gifts and we have an Advent service before opening presents. We take turns reading aloud the story of Jesus from creation to Christmas, and we light candles and sing carols along the way. Now our kids are, well - kids, and over the years our celebration of Jesus has sometimes been chaotic, silly, interrupted, and probably even involved a "time out" somewhere along the way. For certain, it has never been "perfect". But it has kept our focus on Jesus. It has taught our children that Christmas isn't all about the gifts. Rather, it is about The Gift. And that makes my heart happy.