Everyone has Christmas traditions. Ones that have been passed down, cute ideas you "borrowed" from someone else, and ones that just happened along the way. Regardless of where you got them from, they make the holiday special for you. In my own young family we are just now starting to create some traditions and the absolute first thing I knew I wanted to do was push Christ to the center (and presents off to the side).
Don't get me wrong, I remember Christmas morning as a kid, it was magical (and I didn't even believe in Santa), and I don't want to steal any of that magic. But I don't think that you have to be excessing in consumerism to make that happen. So, much of what we have (especially kids) doesn't even get used anyway. Many parents have stories of their kids tearing the wrapping paper off their gifts so quickly, they barely even realized what was inside. So, I was looking for some ideas online, and I found this really simple idea of giving your child 3 gifts, a want, a need, and a surprise. It's forced me to be SUPER intentional about what I'm buying and why. I think I've even picked better things.
Not long after we'd decided to go with this plan for our children, our MOPS group was sharing the idea of giving 3 gifts as well, but for a different reason. Jesus for his own special Christmas got 3 gifts: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Giving and receiving gifts at Christmas can be super special, but knowing that we are emulating the 3 gifts Christ received is pretty cool too. With all the gifts from extended family, the pile becomes much larger regardless of what you do.
This month at Shorekids we are learning about JOY. Presents might make your kids happy, but they have nothing to do with joy. Joy is finding happiness and contentment in all circumstances even when you have nothing. So, maybe you too can think of way of to simplify Christmas, by keeping Christ at the center.
-Maybe it's just reading the Christmas Story before you do anything else Christmas morning.
-Maybe your child fills up their M&M container all by themself with their own money to support our Manna Worldwide feeding center
-Or maybe all the members of your family chip in together and buy a goat or clean water for someone in need from an organization that does that.
Whatever you do remember we celebrate because of Him! Merry Christmas