I have long since debated whether or not I would post about the dreaded S word. I am prepared to lose any readers we may have:).
Over the summer we decided that this year we would not threaten our children to be silent if a peer asked them about santa. We would not ask our children to lie for someone else. I realize this is not popular, but how can I tell my children we don’t lie to them and it is not okay to lie but then ask them to lie to someone else? Seems a bit hypocritical.
Our children have long since told people “we are not good for Santa, we are good for Jesus.” We have grown accustomed to the strange looks we receive when we politely pass on standing in line for hours to sit on an overfed, strange mans lap.
Jesus gets two days a year by a good chunk of the population, Easter and Christmas. Even then HE does not get those days, he has to share them with a enormous rabbit and a creepy old man. Yes, I have seen the cute figure where Santa is kneeling by Jesus, but still Christmas Day has long been lost by Santa and what HE is going to bring kids and what HE ate when he stopped by. Yes, I know all about the Happy Birthday Jesus cake, or the reading of Jesus’ birth, but that is all still overshadowed by writing letters to santa and seeing what he brought. Now a days there is that dreadful elf on the shelf. OOOH, but I wont even go there.
I still was unable to find the words to write it eloquently on why we put the King of Kings on HIS thrown and we put the jolly old man off his throne so I would encourage you to read my sweet friend Jen Hatmakers post called The Christmas Conundrum.
If you are looking for tips on how to refocus Christmas, Jen has some ideas but I will tell you what we do as well.
We have a Jesus stocking and we write down how our family would like to be Jesus and show Jesus in the upcoming year and put it in Jesus’ stocking. The following year you pull it out and see if your family’s has done what they said.
We also do advent. Gasp, I know. I have heard from many baptist that advent is catholic, well ok then. Advent is done every day leading up to Christmas and helps us focus on HIM and what HE has done for us. So forget religion it is about Jesus!
Gifts, we don’t do the three gifts thing, we did for a few years but in our house it was still about the gifts. If my kids NEED something we buy it for them, why give it to them at Christmas? Instead we get a family gift and not crazy over-the-top and one thing they want. We don’t spend a lot of money and yet the kids seem ok. If they end up in therapy as adults, we will happily foot the bill.
The Jesus Storybook Bible. UH-MAZING! It’s not just for Christmas and should be read year round, but hey Christmas is just as good a time as any to start a new tradition!
We also adopt a family. We have them make us a list of what they want including the parents, and have fun as a family shopping for them. Kids love to buy gifts and toys for others so it will go better than you think. Ask a pastor at church for a family, or your local advocacy center, or just ask around you will be surprised at how easy it will be to find a family!! To top it off, get them the groceries necessary for a Christmas meal (make sure if you do a family from a different heritage that you see what they traditionally eat! We learned hispanics love tamales on Christmas not turkeys! HA!)
I love the angle trees you see everywhere, equally fun.
Please know I don t say any of this to toot our horn, they are just the things our family does and if you come up with something better share! We would love to hear!!!!