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Monday, November 28, 2011

Preparing our hearts for Christmas

Well, here we are. Four weeks from yesterday we will be celebrating Christmas. But I know for most of us, the fun and preparation for the holiday has already begun. Adding children to our family really changed how we wanted to do Christmas. So, how we thought it would be 5+ years ago, is not how it looks for us now. We've changed our minds on some things in the last 3 years. It was just last year that we decided not to do Santa Clause with our kids. And I'm still not completely clear on why. . . I mean I have my own ideas that steered me that direction. But even in our own vagueness of how we came to that decision, Jeremy and I are in solid agreement about it. So even though we don't think he's bad and we really enjoyed that part of Christmas in our own childhood memories, we've nixed him. That's one thing that I never imagined we would do.

But as December 1st creeps closer and closer, lots of ideas and plans are cooking in my head. As the boys get older, it becomes just a little more fun. For example: We set our tree up last night when the boys were asleep and tonight they will help us decorate it. Holden caught sight of the tree as he came down the stairs this morning and he let out a gasp. Then he quickly requested I turn on the lights. It's the little things that get them excited at this age. I love all of the fun traditions of Christmas including: Santa, Christmas trees, gifts, driving around to see outdoor lights, Christmas cards, making candy, cookies and other sweets, etc. And we will be doing most of these things in the next month. But the excitement of all these little things can really cloud out the reason we're celebrating. Unfortunately, I can easily get distracted by all the fun. We will still be doing our fun little Advent calendar that we first did last year. A month full of activities - some fun and whimsical and some focusing on Jesus. Again, I will attempt to document every single one. :) But this year we are adding the Jesse Tree to our days of Advent. I first heard about it 3 years ago and I'm excited to do this as a family each evening after dinner. I've already skimmed the devotionals and I think it's going to be an amazing adventure traveling through the Old Testament stories and the lineage of Christ. And just last week, I was gifted this book:

Beginning December 1st, it provides a daily scripture reading in preparation for Christmas. And my prayer is that on December 25th my heart will be in full celebration of my King that came as a baby. And maybe that sounds like alot in an already busy month. But I'm afraid that I NEED this stuff to keep my focus where it should be. So even when the lights, music and fun traditions pull for my attention and normally get it, my heart can celebrate the true meaning of our holiday. And hopefully that can aid in steering my kids to find and celebrate Jesus.

So tell me, how do you prepare your heart to celebrate Jesus on Christmas? And the one I'm still trying to figure out: how do you prepare those little hearts to be thankful and not greedy. To want Him and not all the stuff! I would love to hear your traditions and ideas. :)

1 comment:

The Everharts said...

We're doing the Jesse tree too! I think it's great...and a good refresher for adults too.