A MERRY MONTH OF CHRISTMAS

Some people dread birthdays. Not me. I love them!

My birthday celebrations sometimes stretch for an entire month as the calendar fills with lunch and coffee dates with friends and family. I confess: I enjoy being fussed over. I also like to fuss over people I love on their birthdays – I want them to know they are loved and appreciated.

If we do that for each other, how much more should we “fuss” over Jesus as we celebrate Christmas, His birthday?

As a new mom, when my daughter Aimee had her first birthday, I wanted everything to be perfect. The camera was ready to record birthday memories. I spent the entire day cleaning the apartment, wrapping gifts, cooking, and baking.

The one thing I did not do was spend any time with Aimee, other than to feed her and change her diapers.

Several times I promised to play with her after I did “one more thing.” She started to fuss as I tended to the last details just before company arrived. I was about to put her off once more, when mother-guilt hit: it was her birthday, and I did everything but pay attention to her.

I was more concerned about what our guests would think about my housekeeping and the food I prepared.

Convicted, I sat on the floor, pulled Aimee on my lap and we read her favorite story book. My husband snapped a picture at that moment. Whenever I see that photo, I’m reminded of my misplaced priorities on that special birthday.

Each December we spend the month shopping, spending, wrapping, mailing, baking, cleaning, and decorating. Then, it’s over. Sadly, for many of us, we spend too little time with Jesus, the Honoree at this birthday party.

Here are some things we did to keep Christ in Christmas when our children were young:

  • At the beginning of Advent we set up the nativity in the family room. It was a visible reminder of the humble birth of our Lord Jesus.
  • We enjoyed the tradition of the advent calendar. Each year I searched for one that told the Nativity story. The girls opened a window as part of their bedtime ritual.
  • We made a paper chain from red/green construction paper to visualize the count down to Christmas.
  • We found an Advent Devotional that had a reading and a family activity to do, i.e. Bundle the family up, get out the sleds and tour the neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights – our reading that night was about Christ, the Light of the world. (A free Advent devotional is available from Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family).
  • Our house was always filled with the music of Christmas. As far as we were concerned, it wasn’t Christmas until Evie Tournquist sang, “Come on, Ring those bells, Light the Christmas tree, Jesus, we remember this, your birthday.”
  • Our house is decorated each year with trimmings I bought the previous year at 50%-80% off. My girls have made it our family’s joke to exclaim, “Mother, How festive!” Decorating isn’t about impressing others; it’s about setting an atmosphere of celebration.

It’s almost December. Jesus’ birthday is just around the corner. Let’s see to it that we get Him properly fussed over. May it be a magical, holy season for you and your families as you celebrate a merry month of Christmas.

 

2 Comments

  1. Joy
    Nov 29, 2011

    Great post Kathy. It’s so easy to get “wrapped” up in the wrapping etc. and forget what we should really be focusing on. I am enjoying your blog! Thank you.

  2. Lindsey
    Dec 5, 2011

    Thanks for the ideas!! My project for next year is to make an advent calendar that instead of getting candy each day, there is a project/task to complete for the day (make cookies, go caroling, watch “its a wonderful life”, etc) – Merry Christmas! 🙂

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