Here we are smack in the middle of the Christmas season and I’m wondering if I haven’t done enough to really emphasize what this time of year is all about! I know we talked about creating space for moments to happen, but December is half over and I’m not sure we have had any “moments” over here! How about you?
Oh, I hear ya. I am just trying to keep up right now. Yesterday my hubby had to work late and so my girls and I were sitting at dinner and I thought, “Oh this will be the perfect time to do a little reading in our Bible for Advent.” Well, you can imagine how that went.?
I’m picturing it… It probably wasn’t pretty.
Messy and loud would probably be the words of choice. ? Ellie started throwing food and Sophie started singing the ABCs and running around the table. HA. So I mean, I’m trying to create some moments but they’re not exactly Hallmark-movie moments. They’re our real life moments.
Oh, Hallmark! Always setting our expectations too high! I guess you’re right! If I take time to think about it, maybe the little things we do in the midst of chaos is more of what it’s all about.
I totally know what you mean, Michelle! My ten-year-old is the only one who is really listening and responding to Advent. The other two are still squirrelly… Still, I see that they are loving the tradition of lighting a candle together, and just having the wreath out on the table all the time is a great reminder of why we celebrate.
Oh wow, you do the candle and everything! I am not that brave yet. ?
Don’t worry, there is plenty of time to start that.
I might not EVER light candles with 4 boys nearby! But we did get our tree the other day. The 6 of us hunted together at a Christmas tree farm. I told them that Mommy got the final say so that way there would be no fighting. The boys got to work that tree vibrator that wiggles all the dry needles out and the place had FREE popcorn!! Everyone was happy! It was lovely.
Yay for lovely!
That sounds like a magical moment! ?
Yes! I’m going to hold onto that memory because while the tree did make it into the house and the boys only broke 3 ornaments decorating it, I decided somehow that it was a good time to have our carpets cleaned yesterday! So Christmas decorating and setting the mood of beauty and peace in our home took a backseat because I have stuff hidden under and behind every last bed and chair and had to move it all!! #packratandproudofit
HA. Well, I can relate. Last night , Ellie pooped in the bath. ? So yeah, in my spare time, I am not thinking about how to create Christmas meaningful memories, I am just trying to sanitize my bathtub!!!
Oh…that’s the worst.
And I beg to differ… You ABSOLUTELY created a Christmas memory… just not the one you were hoping for! ?
Haha! That is true! ?
You know, maybe we just need to let go (again) of our perfect plans and dreams of “what things should be” and realize that God is already creating moments for us – we just need to look up from our expectations to find Him.
I think the key word there is AGAIN. ? Letting go again and again and asking God to open our eyes to see the moments He has given us and let Him lead, even in the middle of the chaos.
True! You know, there was one magical and probably chaotic moment so many years ago that happened in a MANGER.
And I’m guessing that Mary and Joseph didn’t feel it was very magical. All of the circumstances probably felt wrong! But still, they allowed God to lead and there was a special moment (the MOST special moment) in the middle of it all.
Right. They “allowed” God to move. I’m sure Mary had to let go of her perfect plans and expectations. I mean, who plans to have a baby in a stable?! ? But then again, they still had to pay attention to what God was up to.
True! So with the thought of making space for memories, the other day Libby and I had about 20 minutes before I needed to pick up the other kids, and so I told her she could point in any direction she wanted to go, and we would drive around and look at the lights. She LOVED that. Then we saw a Nativity Scene and we stopped to talk about it. It was a “moment.” Totally unplanned, but precious.
Hmm, that’s good. watching my boys, especially Peter, take in the lights is one of my favorite things about Christmas right now!
I love what we’ve been saying about recognizing the everyday moments we are having and staying present in them…but I also realize that Anna, you were aware of the moment and took it.
Yeah, I guess if I was rushing off to the next thing, I would have missed it. And tonight we had our first snow. I picked her up and we looked out the window together. I just enjoyed her smile. I realized I don’t usually stop to cherish these things as much lately.
I am realizing the same thing. I bet Libby loved that more than any other type of holiday fun you would have planned. Sometimes I wonder – am I planning these events for me or for them? I mean, I think going on all of our outings and things are so, so fun, but I think what my girls most want is for me to be PRESENT. And honestly, I feel like Sophie is a different child when I put down my phone for a bit, stop worrying about the to-do list and play with her.
I think you’re right, Michelle! I see the same thing with my kids. So what if for the rest of December, instead of rushing our kids to the next Christmas event because we’re trying to make it magical for them…but we’re forgetting to take in the lights on the way…we slow down and stay present in the moment?
Yes! And on that first Christmas Jesus’ gift wasn’t complicated. He wasn’t born already doing miracles or preaching…His first gift was His presence. That’s what we get to celebrate this time of year.
I think I actually just breathed out! So basically you’re saying let’s soak in what Jesus gave us on Christmas–His presence–and out of that truth, we can give our presence to our children. Now that sounds like a magical Christmas. ?
Soaking in the Truth
Scripture to encourage you:
- “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Music to inspire you:
- Welcome To Our World by Chris Rice
- Check out our Holiday Hustle post because the songs fit here too!
Living Out the Truth
Resources we love during the Holiday Season:
These resources aren’t meant to be one more thing on your to-do list. God doesn’t want us to just “DO” things if they’re not bringing us closer to Him. Use these resources as a tool to start conversations in your family about who God is. You are invited to use them as a way to bring some intentionality to the space you make for God.
- Jesus Storybook Bible
- The Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp.
- Advent Study for Women by Sacred Holidays
- Three Simple Ways of Navigating Advent With Children by Tara Ziegmont
Fun traditions with meaning:
- The Kindness Elves – a fun spin on The Elf on the Shelf but with a focus on kindness.
- Truth In the Tinsel – each day the study leads you through a short passage from the Bible, discussion questions to present to your kids, and instructions for a handmade ornament that goes along with the story.
- Find a Live Nativity in the area. Churches and Christian schools will often offer these to the public on certain days.
Favorite Christmas books:
One idea: Build a collection of Christmas books to read to your kiddos at bedtime. Wrap the books and place under the tree and your child can unwrap a new one each day.
Here are a few we love with the story of Jesus’ birth as the focus:
- One Special Night: The Christmas Story Pop-Up Book by Lori C Froeb
- Santa’s Christmas Prayer by Nell Navillus
- The Birds of Bethlehem by
- What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
Other Favorite Christmas products with meaning:
- Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set – it’s so fun watching our kids act out the story on their own.
- A Wowiebozowee Christmas DVD – my daughter loves this fun video and has a wonderful focus on the meaning of Christmas.
- Dreaming of a Pink Christmas: Gigi God’s Little Princess – such a cute story for girls who love Princesses with a wonderful focus on the meaning of Christmas.