Thursday, November 21, 2013

What our Christmas looks like

 Our Christmas looks a little different than some.
I want it to look a lot different.
Every year God is giving me ways
 - pushing me to change.

About three years ago,
we decided to forgo Santa.
We were struggling keeping our focus on Jesus.
Our kids were making lists.
Being good to get a big present.
We were budgeting and trying to only spend what we had in hand.
We were not being truthful with them.
It just didn't fit for us.
The kids were 10 and 6.
They didn't care one bit.

I used to place little knick knacks and decoratioons all over the house.
Now I feel like it would be cluttered.
I like simple.
We used to put up lights outside.
Now, we will wait until I can afford the nativity I have always wanted.
It will be lit with a single light.
Signifying what we are celebrating during this time of year.
Showing the passersby that we follow Jesus.
The dramatic impact he's had on our lives.

We decided to do our gift-giving differently.
For friends and family we focused more on homemde.
From the heart.
Things that mean as much to you, making them
   as they do receiving.

Our children now get 3 boxes to open on Christmas morning.
Three gifts like the ones symbolized in the bible.
Three gifts with a purpose.
Three gifts that allow for discussion of that Holy Baby.
The one who has changed each of us.
The only one who deserves to be celebrated this day.

One gift is the GOLD gift.
This is usually something larger.

Something they've been wanting.
We don't purchase a lot for our kids throughout the year -
 besides the necessities. 
This allows them something fun. 
It symbolizes the great gift we received in Jesus.
How big of a deal this little baby is.

Another gift is the MYRRH gift.
Myrrh is an oil they would put on their bodies.
Especially when someone had passed.
Some say this was symbolic of preparing for the death of Christ.
This gift is something for our children's bodies.
A new outfit.
A pair of shoes.
Maybe some jewelry.
A way to show their needs are met -
   our God is so good that we have the means to purchse new clothing.

Finally the gift of FRANKINCENSE.
They would use this as incense during prayer time.
They believed it helped them to be more spiritual.
It would bring them closer to God.
This gift is to bring our children closer to HIM.
To remind them throughout the year what Christ's birth meant for them.
To help them grow.
To help us teach and guide them.

This isn't for everybody.
How we do Christmas is not how you have to do Christmas.
We were struggling with how to keep our season focused on Christ, and this was what God showed us would help our family. 
It has,
   but I'm always looking for more.

This year, I think I'd like to pick up the new book the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.
She has a reading every day through Advent to really focus on what the season is all about.
It really focuses on  the events leading up the the Birth of Christ.
The amazing Faith of the earthly parents.
The amazing ancestors that gave of themselves.
Here is a something Ann put out to urge you to keep Christ in Christmas this year.
It is so very worth the time to watch.

I would love to hear what your family does - what traditions you have - studies you do to keep focused on Christ though the holiday.  The HOLYday.

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