Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the Season {Part 1}

Everywhere you look on the web, blog posts are popping up about Christmas. Well-known bloggers as well as small time, stay at home moms like me, are blogging about Christmas decor and traditions. Its just that time of year. Everyone is getting excited to celebrate the coming season. Our houses are adorned with trees and wreaths and the stockings are hung.

But something else I've noticed as I read all these blogs and sites..and its only because they are all Christians....everyone is remembering the real reason we celebrate.


Its so easy to get caught up in the decorating and shopping. I'm not gonna lie, I absolutely LOVE IT! I love the feeling of my home with cinnamon candles burning, lights twinkling, and the Little People Nativity strewn across my living room floor. [We believe in a "hands on" approach to learning the story of Jesus' birth :) ]

But there's so much more to it than that. We want our children to know the TRUE meaning of Christmas. That God sent His one and only Son into the world. That He came to save us from our sins. He died on the cross and rose on the third day. That all the other things are just fun ways we use to celebrate Christ and that we want to incorporate Christ into all those things..from decorating to gift giving.

This is the first year that Brody actually understands all these things. So this year it was SUPER important to be sure to make sure the birth of Christ is at the forefront of our Christmas celebrations. So we found a few ways to have a daily reminder of why we are celebrating this month. We aren't doing an actual advent study so I found a few things to use to teach Brody this month.

God Gave us Christmas Book
I stumbled across this book at Toys R Us on Black Friday and really love what it has to say.

Big Picture Story Bible
Brody loves reading this Bible in general, but he always goes to read about "Baby Jesus" all throughout the year.

Coloring Pages
The site looks weird at first, but if you scroll down, there are links to print coloring pages that tell the story of Christ's birth. They also include the corresponding scripture.

Today, being December 1, was the first day we started. We read the "God Gave us Christmas" book, and then read a few pages in his Bible to begin the story. I got my Bible and we talked about God's promise of a savior (Isaiah 7:14) and how the angel told Mary she would have a child. (Luke 1:26-38) Since his attention span is short and I want him to actually remember the story, we stopped there and colored a picture of Mary with the Angel. While we colored we talked about who Mary was and what the angel was telling her in the picture. It was so sweet hearing his little voice tell the story back to me.

Tomorrow (and the rest of the month) we will review the previous day's story and add on to it until we get through the entire birth of Christ. I have coloring pages for each major part of the story to really help him see it all. Today he absolutely loved the time we spent doing this so I'm looking forward to sharing this with him the rest of the month!

We decided that we aren't doing Santa. We don't judge anyone that does or think that you are wrong for "doing Santa." And we aren't telling our children that Santa is bad. To them, Santa will just be another make believe character like Lightning McQueen and Buzz Lightyear.  When the little bear in "God Gave us Christmas" mentions Santa, his mother explains to him first of all that Christmas isn't about Santa, but also that Santa was originally known for generosity and care. That's supposedly who St. Nicholas was and if that's true, there's no problem in thinking that there used to be a really nice man who helped the poor and cared for the needy. But we all know that's not who the modern day Santa is. We just feel that Santa puts so much emphasis on receiving gifts. Yes, our children are getting gifts for Christmas. But we don't want that to be the focus. Christmas gifts aren't a reward for being "good little boys and girls" like the songs about santa say. Jesus was given to us without strings attached. He was God's gift to the world to save us from our sins. You should read these posts here and here if you are questioning the "Santa" thing yourself.

If you're worried we're going to ruin Christmas for your children, don't worry. Its not like we go around telling little kids that Santa isn't real. And Brody doesn't even understand who Santa is this year so he won't be ruining it for your kids in the preschool. He's been asked by sweet sales ladies if he's ready for Santa and he just nods, clueless to who this Santa person is. He has seen pictures in ads or out and about and he calls him Christmas Man. Which then sparks the perfect opportunity to talk about Christ and Christmas.

Coming up...Tis the Season {Part 2}...Pictures of our Christmas decor and stories of decorating our house with 2 small boys.

1 comment:

  1. Larra, you are truly an amzing young mother. I could never be more proud of how hands on you are with your boys. I pray that God will continue to bless you as you nurture the boys. I love you.


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