I've always known that I wanted Christmas to stand out to my kids. I want them to believe in the REAL miracle, not sell them a fake one. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that Santa is of the devil or anything. I grew up with Santa, and I LOVED every bit of it. My mom is a thoughtful giver, I honestly don't think she could help herself!
I also didn't have a problem trusting my parents later in life, at least I don't think so, ha! Still, I find it strange that as Christians, we spend so much time, money and effort building up a lie about Christmas when we could be spending all that energy building up the truth!
Now that my children are old enough to notice, it's getting harder and harder to be intentional. I recently read this blog post which helped me re-prioritize and make a plan for how our family will celebrate this season year after year. Because I am a giver (like my mom!), I already bought too much stuff for the boys. None of it was expensive, in fact much of it is thrifted (even the brand new packages of Color Wonder I found at Goodwill!). Still, I'm afraid it's the amount of stuff that will cloud the beautiful picture of our God coming down to our level to save us. It's important to me that we celebrate the truth, yes with gifts but always with the focus of Christ.
Dan and I have talked a lot about what kind of traditions we want to have with our little family. Neither of us are sentimental, so we struggle with sticking to the same plan every year. Still, there are things we find important and so will strive to do them each year, in hopes that Christ will be communicated to our children, not greed and a made up character.
From now on, we will at least do the following:
- Advent reading schedule with our Jesus Storybook Bible
- The 4 presents rule from the above blog post: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. (all the extras I bought this year will be saved until birthdays)
- Stockings are reserved for stickers, glow sticks, oranges and tooth brushes. No big gift cards or loaded with chocolate.
- Christmas tree bought from boy scout troop lot (this one is Dan's new tradition)
- Enjoy EVENT traditions (decorating tree, driving around looking at Christmas lights, volunteering, singing carols, etc.)
-Give a family gift through Compassion's Gift Catalog
If you'd like to educate your child on the history of Santa Claus, the real St. Nicholas and other Christmas traditions, I recommend these short videos through the History channel.
What traditions do you keep each year with your family? Advent calendars? Jesse trees? Countdowns? I am open to suggestions and ideas. There are so many good ones out there!!