We have a Fisher Price "Little People" Nativity set. As I mentioned, we opted not to put our old very breakable glass ornaments on the tree this year. Ditto the hand-painted ceramic Nativity my mother made for me years ago. So out comes the Little people Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
I had Joshua put it under the tree in the right order. After all, Rob had sat down with the kids only a day or two ago to remind them of the Christmas story. In all the excitement leading up to Christmas, it's hard not to see the joy in the kid's faces, even as I continually pull them down off the ceiling and settle them down once again. But it's also hard not to flinch as they say - "I can't wait til Christmas - so I can open my gifts!"
Huh? That's not what we're teaching them. Gifts are fun, but we want to teach them that they are just a reminder of God's greatest gift - his precious Son. And the greatest gift I can give my children is to teach them that. So out comes plastic baby Jesus as we tell the story again.
What's important to you? Are you teaching your children the true meaning of Christmas? Or are you letting the stress of shopping, baking and wrapping take center stage? Are they learning to count Christmas lists or precious blessings? A family 5 streets over just lost everything they had to fire. One of the girls is Josh's age. I talked to Josh about it, so that he could learn to be grateful, because what we have here on earth is fleeting, precious, but only temporary. I want him to remember Christmas for what it truly is, not what he got under the tree or in his stocking....
What do you want your Children to remember about Christmas? What legacy will you hand down to them?
So here's the challenge part. It's the night before Christmas eve...you're swamped right? thinking about the food you have to prepare, gifts still to be wrapped, and hoping the kids will behave for just one more minute while you finish this.
Well stop. Stop and drink it in. Look at their faces. Take 5 minutes to make some hot chocolate, sit at the table and tell them the Christmas story. Get out the Bible, a children's book, anything and read it to them. Savor the joy and peace of it. Let them remember that that moment was more important to you than finishing up the last minute crazies...
One more note, so I think we are doing well with the Christmas story. I tell Josh to set up the Nativity under the tree while I clean up breakfast table. So of course Noah crawls over to see the new toys. Before I know it, I see Josh and Noah taking the Mary, the wise men and a sheep for a ride on the Christmas train. Before I can say anything, Noah plucks one of wise men out of the train. Josh takes a minute, looks at Noah and says "Might was well put God on the train" and on goes baby Jesus.
OK, maybe I have some work to do yet.