Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Last year around this time, I looked like this.
I was, obviously, really pregnant and waiting in anxious anticipation for my sweet baby boy.  Don't get me wrong, I was excited about Christmas, but it felt like almost an after-thought.
Especially when this little guy decided to come on Christmas day.  Side note...has it seriously been a year since he was born?  Feels like yesterday.  He was most definitely the best Christmas gift ever, but I felt like I wasn't able to give much thought to the season.
 This year has been a different story.  In fact, I have felt so excited about Christmas, I couldn't wait to bust out the Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.  I even got my Christmas cards ordered before Thanksgiving.  I have loved the hustle and bustle of the season...all the deals in the stores and on-line, yummy food recipes posted EVERYWHERE, Christmas craft projects all over Pinterest.  My mind has been spinning with crafts to do with Elliott, potential presents to get friends and relatives, and on and on.
 And yet with all the excitement, I have had this nagging reminder that THIS...the hustle and bustle, the gifts, the decorations...these are not bad things and yet they are NOT what the season is about.  It's about God's gift to the world, His one and only Son that was born a baby and would eventually die a death on a cross so that we might live.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it's a reminder that we are watching for our Savior, Jesus to return.   
 I want these things to be in the forefront of my mind so that I am able to communicate them to my children.  I want Elliott and Mason to be MORE excited that Jesus was born than the fact they are getting gifts.  Sounds simple enough but it's so easy to get caught up in the gift-giving, the sale-searching, the hot chocolate drinking, that the season passes us by and we realize we missed an amazing opportunity to celebrate Jesus.

I have been looking through several resources, and I thought this information on Focus on the Family was really helpful.  It has verses to be read every day and the simple activity of lighting a candle.  I know Elliott and Mason will not understand everything that's read, but it helps refocus our minds which helps us communicate with them more effectively.  I also have made an advent (pictures to come) that they will open each day in the month of December with fun family activities and treats.  I'm so excited to find traditions that make the holidays more meaningful!

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