“Mom!! Is it Christmas Day yet?!”
I woke up to my three-year old shouting this the other morning. He had a wide grin across his face, hands cupped tightly together around his jaw, and a beam in his eyes that only Christmas cheer can bring.
I smiled softly and explained, “No honey, not yet. Soon.”, to which he replied, “Okay, but what is Santa bringing me?! Paw patrol toys? Power Ranger toys?! I just gotta know!!”.
It then occurred to me that at only three, my son has been affected by the commercialized Christmas that the world creates. And yes, the twinkling lights, the fat and friendly Santa at the mall, and the steaming cup of hot chocolate do provide our childhood and adult years with happy memories and giddy emotions, but Christmas is so much more than that. The true reason we celebrate, the hope that we have on Christmas morning, is because of the birth of our Savior, Jesus. I mean, think about it. Without Christmas, without His birthday, where would you and I be?
So, this year as we celebrate and enjoy the festivities surrounding us, I also want to make sure that my family is intentional about celebrating the birth that changed history forever. It’s my goal that on Christmas morning, before we open our presents and stockings, we first acknowledge Jesus.
Here are four ways we can point back to Jesus this season:
- If your family chooses to have Santa be apart of the festivities, then how about showing Santa worshiping, or honoring baby Jesus? My mom has this ornament hanging on the tree that shows Santa bending down to baby Jesus in the manger. How special is that?! It incorporates Santa, but still points back to the true reason for the season.
- My son is where I actually got the inspiration for this next one. The other night while resting on the couch, he looked up at the tree and asked, “Mom, why do we have a star on the top of the tree?”. Taken off guard by his question, I came up with something on the spot and replied, “Because when Jesus was born there was a star that led the three kings (or Magi) to His manger (Matthew 2: 7-10), so now we have one on our tree to remember Jesus.” It’s a pretty simple concept that he understood quite well! If you have an angel on top of your tree, you can tell the story of how the angel, Gabriel, went to Mary to tell her that she’d be the mother of the Savior of the world!
- A few years back, before Ezra could even comprehend the meaning of Christmas, I started reading the story of Jesus’ birth. Sometimes we read it during the month of Christmas, or sometimes we read it on Christmas morning. A little added bonus that you can try is to also have a little birthday party for Jesus after reading the story!
- This next and final idea was given to me before I even had children. During Christmas season a few years back, another mother and I were talking during a volunteer outing I was participating in. I was talking about how overwhelming it was that year with all the ads, emails, and promotions being thrown at me. She replied, “My children get three presents each for Christmas because that’s the same amount that Jesus received. If He got three presents, my children won’t get any more than that as well.” It totally makes sense to me (as it did back then too!). You can explain to your children that because Jesus received three presents on His birthday (Matthew 2:11), your family will continue that tradition. Not only does this point back to Jesus, but it also reduces stress about what to get for your kiddos!
Friends, Christmas is a joyous season. It’s a time of year when we create family traditions, ponder the year to come, and point back to our hope. While the world tells us to buy more and culture screams at us to do more, remember that its in resting and pondering the gift we have received that we find ourselves having the best Christmas yet. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season and a peaceful, prosperous New Year!