We all come from different family traditions when it comes to Christmas. Christian families range all over the map- some love the fun of Santa and all the American tradition of Christmas while others steer as far away from that as possible. I grew up somewhere in the middle…the fun of Santa and the majesty of the birth of Jesus. I’m still figuring all this out, I think Santa is super fun…we even sprinkle glitter & oats in the yard for the reindeer ;-). And in no way was I damaged or disillusioned about God being real and Santa not (I know some will fight to the death on this point!!!). I think my parents did a great job of not making Santa this huge huge deal. We spent a lot of time at church services during Christmas and everything was so beautiful and excellent leading up to the birth of Jesus (love that about the Anglicans!!). There was so much more wonder walking into the doors of church during December than walking down the mall. While we had plenty of Santa, Frosty & the gang on the tree and around the house, there is one decoration I spent all my time with. My mother’s handmade ceramic nativity. To this day, I have never seen another like it.
Santa or no Santa, most everyone has a tradition of gift giving….after all the wise men did bring good gifts to the King of Kings! I will admit, I remember very few “presents” when I think about Christmas. I remember the twin 10 speed red bikes my sister and I got one year, and these awful coordinating plaid shirts that we adored…but other than that, most of the “gifts” have faded. My brother & sister-in-law have the most wonderful tradition that Daniel and I are going to implement this Christmas. This is a great way to put meaning. practicality & fun into your gift giving! They give three gifts to each child (and we are going to do this for each other too, excited face!!!!). First is a “gift of meaning” which is a gift that is time related or spiritual related. It could be a child who loves science and they receive a day with mom and dad at an amazing science museum. It could also be a special prayer journal, child’s first Bible, trip to the Creation Museum for the whole family, or something else of spiritual meaning that your child needs. Second is a “gift of usefulness” which is something they can actually use. Do you have a teen that you wake up every morning? Maybe an alarm clock would be a funny gift or a fun set of sheets if it has been on your “to buy” list anyways. I love that they bring a little practicality back into Christmas. Third is the “gift of wonder.” This is a toy or something exciting that they have really been wanting and begging for. They also draw names from siblings (there are 5 in their house so name drawing is necessary!!), and you could include a “santa” gift in there if you wanted ;-). I just love this. I think the only thing we will add is a “gift of giving.” This will be something each individual in the family wants to give to Jesus. It may be a bad attitude, or a desire for a deeper prayer life, just something we want to give over to Jesus in hopes of transformation. We will probably make a special box and every year put our “gift of giving” with the year in the box and under the tree as an offering to Christ. I’m super excited for this new tradition to begin in our home!
Lots more Christmas blogging on its way! Daniel said today….”if the stores can put up their decorations in August….can’t we put ours up before Thanksgiving?!” We love us some Christmas around this house! Yea!