This Christmas has brought a new and interesting perspective for my husband and I. It’s our first Christmas with a child.
Decorating has been more fun, planning things to do together has been more fun, and shopping has been WAY more fun. But one major change is how we view Christmas traditions. There’s the Santa debate. The Jesus birthday party. The Elf on the Shelf. What to do? What NOT to do?
One recurring theme in all of the hustle and bustle that we keep coming back to is focusing on Jesus and generosity to others. It is the reason we have Christmas after all. We celebrate salvation as we realize the impact of Jesus’ human birth with the ultimate purpose of death for our sins. It is more than a tree with pretty lights and inflatable snowmen in the front yard. It is more than (as my favorite facebook status of the week noted) sweaters and antlers on our pet chihuahuas.
So, what so we do when it comes to teaching our kids what this blown-out-of-proportion holiday is all about?
I’m not really sure just yet, but one thing I do know is this. Teaching our children that Christmas is more than presents is not a lesson best taught on Christmas morning. Generosity and focusing on the impact of Jesus’ life and sacrifice are core beliefs that should be part of our everyday, not just Christmas day.
They are lessons to teach our kids when we come upon a beggar on the street. They are taught when someone wrongs us, and our children watch and learn from our reactions and the tone of our voice. They are taught when they become jealous of what their friends have. They are taught when someone is in need and we have more than enough food on our table. They are taught when feelings are hurt and we exemplify forgiveness and love. They are taught when we make mistakes and we admit them, and make home a safe environment for others to admit them too.
Instead of encouraging you to remember the “Reason for the Season,” I encourage you to remember the Reason for Life instead. Christmas is about more than gifts and lights. But it is also about more than just a season.
We get to celebrate Jesus year-round.