Advent is upon us. I want to get an Advent wreath this year. I remember when I was younger having one in our kitchen, and I’d like to start making it a tradition at our house. This month in Sunday school the kids are learning about Advent and the Christmas Season, and we can bring it home and reinforce what they are learning. Taking time each week to light the candles will give me time to sit with them and talk about the meaning of Christmas.
I took the kids out and about this evening, and we listened to a radio station that is all Christmas, all the time. Let me back up a bit—I’m one of those people who is CRAZY for the Christmas season. My tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, and I reluctantly let my kids help out with the ornaments (they just don’t know how to get it just right!!! I know, I know, perspective…), and I blasted Christmas music the whole time. I discussed a Christmas decorating budget with my husband this year. He thought going into foreclosure on our house wasn’t worth what I wanted to do, so we settled on a reasonable figure. I maintain that he is unreasonable. Anyway, back in the car….Jacob and I started talking about how Christmas is Jesus’s birthday. (Sidebar quote from Jacob: Wow, Jesus’s birthday happens to be on Christmas? COOL!!) He asked me why we give out Christmas presents, and the best I could tell him is every year we have a birthday party for Jesus, and we give presents to family and friends in honor of this.
“Mommy, why is his birthday so important?” I asked him to think back to Easter, and what Easter is all about. He remembered that Jesus died for our sins, and he died so we can live in heaven. It was hard to get the message of Easter across to him, because it made him sad that someone died. I told him that we celebrate Christmas because it marked the time that an amazing person was born who would save us all. “Wow.” He wants to make a birthday cake for Jesus, and I think that is a good tradition to start as well.
In our house, we give presents, we have a Christmas tree, Santa visits our house, and among all of this, I want my children to know why Christmas means so much to me. I love getting together with family. I love the time of year when there is snow on the ground. I love walking into my house when it looks and smells like Christmas. I love the yearly Christmas cookie making sweatshop my sisters and i put on, where we try to make as many cookies, breads, and fudge as efficiently as possible an thus suffocating all of the fun out of the event (but we love it!). I love taking my kids to see Santa, and seeing the looks on their faces after they see what Santa has left. And one of my most favoritest things of all is the Christmas Eve caroling service at church where the story of Christmas is told among beautiful songs. I haven’t attended this in years for one reason or another, but I will be going this year if it kills me. I love the music. I love the Christmas story (and A Christmas Story, but that is SO unrelated to this post).
There are songs that make me tear up when I hear them. I feel a tug at my soul thinking of Mary, a woman who faced shame to give birth to a Savior, whom she then had to lose for the greater good. There is so much emotion for me that comes along with Christmas. I want to give my kids an all encompassing Christmas, where they learn the lesson, learn to be grateful, have a great time, and enjoy the beauty of the season.