Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Last year Caleb was 8 months old at Christmas and could have cared less about anything that we were doing. He's still a little young but, at 20 months, he is much more aware of the fact that something is going on. He notices the Christmas tree and sees them at other peoples houses (he points at it and shakes his head because he knows he's not supposed to touch it). We had our Christmas celebration with my husbands extended family yesterday and he understood that a gift was for him and that certain gifts were for others. He even handed his cousin the gift that "he bought her."

This year Adam and I wanted to start making our own Christmas traditions. We want to celebrate Christmas with our own little family. The original plan was to go to church Christmas eve and then do a nice brunch of Christmas morning. After brunch we would read the "Christmas Story" and give gifts to Caleb (Adam and I didn't get any for eachother). Then Adam could go out a milk while Caleb napped and in the evening maybe we could watch a family movie or something. That would have been my ideal "schedule" for this year.

Once again, God had different plans which means that I needed to rearrange my plans. There is no church Christmas eve, just Christmas morning. We are spending Christmas eve with Adam's family and will be going to church Christmas morning. Which means we have a couple hours before Adam milks to eat a nice meal and then we will have the evening to give gifts and read. I'll be honost, I don't like that my perfect plans were turned upside down! But we are certainly blessed that we have family around to spend Christmas with. (We go to my parent's place next Sunday for lunch and the afternoon).

One thing that we really want to teach Caleb is that it's not about gifts. Don't get me wrong, I love to give gifts! But so many kids get excited for Christmas because they know they will get gifts. I want Caleb to get excited for the right reasons. I love Christmas because it's a reminder of our Saviour's miraculous conception and humble beginnings into this world. It's a reminder that although Jesus is still the same God that He was all year round, He's also human. In short, He's been there, done that. And most importantly, He's overcome it all.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love. Adam and I have talked about how to move the attention away from getting presents to giving love. One thing that we decided was that every year Caleb can choose one (or more) of his toys to give to a little boy whose parents can't afford toys. Our hope is that he will be reminded at Christmas that not everyone is as blessed as we are and that one way we can show God's love to others is to give them gifts. (As an added bonus, it will also help prevent our house from getting overflowed with toys.) So the plan is to have a box to put "give away" toys in and after we take care of that we will open gifts.

What are your thoughts or some ideas that you would like to try or some traditions that you already have in place?

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