***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: The Real Meaning of Christmas...

Tis the season…. to be stressed, busy, overwhelmed, and exhausted! I honestly thought that when I had kids Christmas would prove to be more special than ever. It is true, their anticipation and excitement is priceless and seeing their faces as they open their gifts is awesome. But if I am being truthful, they also make the holiday a lot of work!! First there are the school programs you have to attend along with the class parties and teacher gifts. There is the shopping for their gifts, hiding the gifts so you don’t dare ruin the Santa fantasy. The late night on Christmas Eve nearly divorcing your husband as you try to work together to put together the kitchen set and brand new bike. 

Then there is the intricate plan of how to keep them from barging downstairs before you are in position with the video camera or coming into your room at 5 a.m. Finally the moment arrives and all your hard work is unwrapped and strewn about in approximately 3 ½ minutes only to be followed by complaints about what they didn’t get or fights over who gets the Nintendo DS first. Merry Christmas kiddos!!! I am really not trying to be a Grinch but if we are being honest, and you know I always am, it’s hard work pulling off the perfect Christmas.

Each December 26th when the exhaustion of it all finally hits I am sure I am not the only one who has vowed to make next year more low key. To spend a little less (the stupid $100 American Girl has already been tossed aside in lieu of the $2 box of crayons and mega pack of construction paper) and to try and remind our kids (and ourselves) what Christmas is supposed to be about. I think the biggest problem we have in accomplishing this goal is twofold. Like childbirth, as time passes we forget the ugliness of it all and when the next year rolls around and we do the same thing thinking it won’t be nearly as bad. Second, we think that somehow these changes will miraculously just happen. But the truth is, if you want Christmas to be different you have got to be intentional. Trust me, our society is NOT going to encourage slowing down, spending less and most certainly it won’t be mentioning Jesus (heck, we can’t even say Merry Christmas!!). So for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas I hope to share some tips on how to be intentional about keeping the real meaning of Christmas front and center and how to have the courage to say no to all the other stuff that truly just doesn’t really matter.

While it is fine to let your kids make a list for Santa and circle toys in the catalogues take time EACH day to talk about other important things that define Christmas.

Tip #1: Christmas is about giving…”For God so loved the world He gave his only son…” John 3:16. Christmas is the day God gave us his son Jesus! In Jesus, God gave us the opportunity for eternal life!!

Many of our kids don’t think this season is about anything more than getting. As your kids make out their gift list look for ways to balance the giving/getting scales. Here are a few things I am doing with my kids this season…

-volunteering with the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. We will help collect, organize and distribute toys to the needy families
-throwing a Christmas party for low income children at the Boys & Girls Club
-Taking a shift to ring bells and collect money in the Salvation Army Kettle in front of our favorite grocery store
-Going caroling at a nursing home

Other suggestions…

-clean out the playroom and closets and take the toys to thrift stores
-take a few Christmas cards to a nursing home
-bake cookies for a neighbor
-volunteer in a soup kitchen
-contact your local Department of Social Services and ask how you might give gifts or help make Christmas brighter for kids in foster care

The opportunities are endless but you have to be intentional because it won't just happen!! Help your children take the focus off themselves and find concrete ways for them to understand that there are many around them who are in need. This is a great time of year to teach the tried and true lesson given by Jesus, “it is more blessed to give than to receive…” Acts 20:35

Check out this website for a cute alternative to Elf on the Shelf…

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...