Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Traditions

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.



The Fabuless Wife said...

That is so cool! I plan on doing the same thing with my son this year! :)

Mommy's coffee break blog said...

hey Karen, any advice on good Christmas devotion lesson books for elementary age children? I was thinking about how annoying it is that Christmas has become all about the Santa Claus story. It has been bothering me, because I want my kids to enjoy the true celebration of Christmas. Your blog reminded me of how I want to get something I can read to them to help them focus on Jesus. Just wondering if you have any advice? I may run to the Christian bookstore when I'm out shopping today and see if I can find something. ((HUGS))

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Karen, it sounds like your Christmas was very much like mine as a child. Ugh! It takes intentionality to focus on Jesus in the midst of the madness of Santa and gifts. I love how you and Brian do Christmas with your kids! Thanks for sharing with us at #theloft.

Sheila Scorziello said...

Stopping in via The Loft, Karen, and just wanted to say I enjoyed this simple post! We too, try to keep Christmas simple. And Advent has become much more meaningful to us than what Christmas has become! We need to remember that it's about The Gift!!

Karen Hossink said...

Cate - Thanks. Enjoy your son's first Christmas!!!

Mommy - How did the shopping go? I am not aware of any children's devotional books, but I bet they're out there.
I don't remember when we started doing this activity with our kids at Christmas - seems like forever. As long as you're careful around the candles, I don't think any age is too young. :)

Leah - We need that intentionality to focus in Jesus all the time, don't you think?
Thanks for inviting me to #theloft. :)

Sheila - Thanks so much for stopping by. What a pleasure to meet you.

Rebekah said...

Thank you so much for sharing your Christmas traditions and plans with us. For many years, my dad read the Christmas story before we opened presents, to be sure our hearts and minds were focused on God first.
Thank you for sharing with us at The Loft. Merry Christmas!

Terry @ A Mom's Many Lessons said...

So good when we realize it's all about Jesus! Thanks for sharing and caring. Merry Christmas!

Arabah said...

That's how mine was growing up too. I hope to keep the focus on Christ for my kids as well, instead of just adding Him on to the fun. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas!

Karen Hossink said...

Rebekah - That sounds great. Presents are fun, for sure. So I really think we need to help our kids with their focus.

Terry - Yes, it is! Merry Christmas to you, too!

Arabah - Because He is so much more than an "add on". May we live every day of our lives with Jesus at the center.

Karen said...

Oh yes, we have to be so flexible with kids, don't we? I love your family's tradition. We could never open gifts Christmas morning when I was a kid because my dad had chores and milking to do at the farm, but we always went to church Christmas morning and THEN could open our presents. :) Via The Loft