Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preparing for a Different Kind of Christmas

With best intentions I bookmarked a few ideas for this coming Christmas.  This was the year I would make Christmas spectacular, making fabulous memories for my children.  I bookmarked a few good movies like Nativity.  I looked up information on Advent.  I bookmarked an activity called the Jesse Tree Advent Celebration.  I have a few (ahem dusty) books off my shelves, such as Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins and Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas also by Ace Collins.  I had visions of truly getting into the REASON for the SEASON.  

I thought about this before Thanksgiving.  Knowing I needed to prepare both materials and my heart.  Having done this in years past, I vowed "THIS is the year I will get it all ready and actually do it!"  Once again, I fell short.  I realized today we should have lit the Advent candle yesterday.  Opps.  I meant to find sheet music and recordings to listen to and try to play that go with Ace Collin's book.  Opps.  I meant to have all the Jesse Tree material cut, pasted, assembled and ready to go.  Opps.  I meant to have meaningful activities about each tradition Ace Collin's book talks about.  Opps.

But you know what?  I forged ahead anyways with what little I did have.  We read the story about how Advent came about.  We read about the first song on the list and listen to a hastily googled song.  But you know what?  It was something.  It was more then last year.  And my kids told dad all about the advent wreath, even though we didn't light anything or make anything.  Tomorrow will probably be another "wing it" since today is done and I am so done.  So, I will forge ahead, do what I can do.  And try to focus on the meaning of the season.  Love.  Love for Jesus Christ.  Love for my husband.  Love for my kids.  AND love for myself even when I fall short.  =)  After all, Christ's message is all about Grace.

 Luke 2:8-14 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas ya'll.  What are you doing to bring a bit of the real meaning into your school room or family's life?

1 comment:

  1. We did the Jesse Tree and Advent one year. The kids loved it. I just am so ill prepared for Christmas ever since my mom died. I should make more of an effort to do stuff with the kids since extended family isn't an option.

    John Piper had some stuff about the Jesse tree either on hopeingod.org or desiringgod.org. I think his wife, Noel, wrote it and they had Bible verses and information about how to incorporate it. Also, the book Treasuring Christ in our traditions is online for free that Noel wrote at the desiring god website. She talks about Advent in there I believe and gives more ideas on how to celebrate that with the kids.