Making Christmas Meaningful


The one theme throughout the entire Bible is relationships, our relationship with God and our relationship with others.   There is no better time to develop these relationships than during the Christmas Season.  And as parents, there is no better time to teach your children this important lesson.  Too many children tend to have a selfish attitude when it comes to Christmas and too many parents play right along with them, even encouraging them toward this.  How many times have you seen a child produce a mile-long wish list for themselves?   The Christian life should be a selfless life that gives to others, not one that says “ME, ME, ME”.  Instead of making a Christmas wish list, something that we have taught our children to do is to make a “wish list” of what they would like to buy for others.  This takes the focus off of them and puts it on those around them.   A child is never too young to learn this godly principle.   For several years now each year at Thanksgiving my parents have given to each of their grandchildren a gift of money.  They are told that this money can be used for anything they want as long as it’s used for someone else.  My children have been very creative in how they spend their money.  We have made gift bags and spent the day at a nursing home giving them out.  We have given gifts to the elderly at our church.  The kids one year picked a lonely neighbor to give gifts too.  We’ve given to foster children and to children in Homes.  Every year we pick a different project and every year we are blessed beyond measure.  It truly is “more blessed to give than receive.”  My all-time favorite tradition our family does is the celebration of Advent.  Advent is a threefold celebration of the birth of Jesus, His eventual second coming to earth, and His continued presence in our lives here and now – God in our past, God in our future, and God in our present.  For us we set aside a time each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas to center our thoughts on Jesus.  It’s a time of family worship, a time of reflection, and a time of focus.  In the midst of December’s commotion and stress, it’s a few moments to stop and renew our strength from the only One who can provide true strength.  Each night before the children goes to bed we light candles and they gather around while Dana reads a story, he then shares scripture and then we sing a song and pray.  Once we start getting Christmas Cards in the mail we will use this time to have a special prayer for those who sent them.  Whatever Christmas traditions you decide to make just be sure to make some.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year for your family to develop a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father and then with others.

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