Get Rid of the
9 Steps to a
Meaningful Christmas for You and Your Family
Christmas can be a
magical time for children. Yet this holiday can also bring out
whininess, disappointment and an ungrateful "gimme, gimme" attitude in
our normally sweet children. How can we, as caring parents,
counter-act this contagious and disheartening attitude? Let's
use the word CHRISTMAS as an acrostic to remember some key thoughts
and actions that can help our children (and ourselves) gain a proper
perspective and appreciation for this most holy of holidays.
- The letter "C" stands for two words - candles and carols.
Light your home with the glow of candlelight. The presence of
candlelight evokes a holy essence in your home - fitting for the holy
occasion that we celebrate. Fragrant candles are even better!
And remember to sing the carols of Christmas - together as a family
and to yourself as you go about your daily tasks. Play them also
on your stereo. The words of the traditional carols will imprint
themselves upon your heart and mind and upon the hearts of your
children as well.
- The letter "H" stands for homemade. Christmas does not
have to empty your bank account. In fact, the most meaningful
Christmas gifts are usually the ones that are the least expensive.
Children naturally love to give the creations that they make.
Help them to find gifts that they can participate in the making of -
simple yet thoughtful gifts that show their love and care for the
receiver. (This year, my children are making fleece scarves and
pocket warmers for their cousins and other relatives.)
- "R" stands for reading the Christmas story. Do not
forget to spend time in the Word of God, reading the account of our
Savior's birth. He is the reason we celebrate this time of
giving. We follow in the footsteps of the wise men who gave
their precious gifts to an infant King, the Savior of the world.
And do not just read it aloud together once, but several times
throughout the upcoming weeks. (Helpful hint - this relates to
letters "M" and "A" below.)
- "I" stands for invite.
Open up your home and invite your friends and neighbors in for tea and
cookies. Why keep all those yummy cookies to ourselves when we
can share them with friends? Don't worry about having your home
look like a picture out of a magazine. We don't need to be
perfect. Our homes do not need to be perfect. But we do
need to share the love of Christ with our friends and neighbors.
- "S" is for scoot out the unused toys. Like it or not,
your children will be receiving more stuff for Christmas. Prior
to Christmas is a perfect time for sorting through unused and unwanted
items and giving them away to charity. During this cold and dark
season, your unwanted blankets, coats and shoes can be a very real
blessing to those who have less than we do.
- The letter "T" stands for toss. Toss out the toy
catalogs! This one is serious. One of the major causes of
the "gimme" attitude springs from the onslaught of toy catalogs that
enter our homes every autumn. If you would like to keep a few to
order from, then by all means do. But do not put them into the
hands of your children just to browse, or even to give you ideas.
Scanning through toy upon gadget upon toy will begin to spoil the
giving heart that you have instilled in your child only to be replaced
by envious thoughts.
- This one relates to the letter "R" above. "M" stands for
memorize. Take a few moments every morning to memorize
scripture. Luke 2:1-20 or Isaiah 9:6-7 are both good choices for
this time of year. If you are reading this prior to
Thanksgiving, Psalm 100 is an excellent psalm to memorize and it is
only 5 verses long. Very doable!
- Celebrate Advent. If you have never celebrated advent,
perhaps this is the year to begin. Basically, advent is a
purposeful celebration during the four weeks that count down to
Christmas, reminding us
each day of the first
coming of our Lord and His imminent second coming. Here is a
handy downloadable book that you can have in time for the first Sunday
of Advent, which, by the way, is November 27th.
- "S" is for Santa. I'm not knocking the fun that can had
with the idea of Santa, but don't be afraid to tell your kids the
truth. There is a good book that explains where the story of
"Santa" came from and it is called Santa, Are You For Real?
We let our older children help in the Santa fun. The younger
kids set out the plate of cookies and write Santa a nice note.
The older children get to stay up later and eat the cookies and write
a return note from "Santa". Another fun activity is to play
Secret Santa during the month of December. Each member of the
family draws the name of another member of the family. The name
of the person you draw is the one to whom you become the "secret santa".
This gives family members the opportunity to do kind things for each
other. These things can include giving small gifts, writing
notes of encouragement, or doing acts of service. But be sure
not to get caught! Reveal yourself to your special someone on
this year and if you feel yourself getting weighed down by whininess
or ungrateful attitudes within your family, remember the acrostic
CHRISTMAS and do one thing different to make a change within your
home. May God bless you and keep you and give you peace.
Looking for something educational to put
under the tree or stuff into that stocking, be sure to check out our
3rd Annual Stocking Stuffer Christmas Offer.