Friday, December 24, 2010

Balancing Act

I LOVE Christmas. I do! I love the lights and sights sand sounds and smells that only Chirstmas brings. I love the packages and bows. I love the last minute craziness of trying to pull it all together, whether for a Christmas gathering or Christmas morning. I love Christmas!

When Thing 1 was a baby we had a serious dilemma concerning Christmas. It was kind of a "do we or don't we" issue. Not do we or don't we celebrate. That was never a question. It was maybe more of a "how do we."

You see, we believe Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We took a look around and were appalled by the commercialism and LACK of Christianity at Christmas! (You notice these things more when you're a parent, I guess.) We didn't want Jesus to be "lost" to our own children at Christmas time, and so we decided right then and there that Jesus would be the focus at our house and Santa could pass us by.

And then Thing 1 turned 1 and started in daycare. She attended a Christian daycare and they taught about Jesus, but *gasp* there were Santa projects and Santa story books and Santa even came to visit!

And then she was 2 and the kids were TALKING about Santa visiting!

We did some quick thinking and re-evaluating. Santa visit both of our homes when we were children and neither of us were totally sold on ditching him entirely. Could we strike a balance where our kids would know that we really celebrate Jesus, but they get to share in the wonder of Santa as well? Was that even a possibility? We wanted to try!

So here's the deal...Santa comes to our house. We don't "push" him, though. We don't use the threat "Santa won't come if..." (Let's face it, he's coming anyway.) They talked to Santa this year when we saw him at Fazoli's and I was sad I didn't have my camera along, but they didn't sit on his lap and I didn't make them. We've never gone out of our way to go see Santa. We bake him cookies each year and leave him a can or two of Coca Cola. We get excited. But we don't talk much about Santa until the big day.

Jesus, on the other hand, is talked up big time. We read Jesus books. We play with nativity scenes. We typically go to a local live nativity, but this year it was WAY too cold to take the baby out! We remind the kids each day that we celebrate because of Jesus! And on Christmas morning, we eat CAKE! Yep, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus and eat it for BREAKFAST! We even sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We read a kid friendly Christmas story (when they get a little bigger we'll read Luke 2). And then we open presents.

Is it a perfect system? Probably not. Will it change year to your as the kids grow? It already does! Are my kids learning about Jesus? Absolutely. But they're experiencing the "magic" along with it. It works for us!

Merry Christmas, all! Happy birthday, Jesus!


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