Friday, December 16

christmas in our house

in my few years blogging i have come across, and read, many posts this time of year on how Christmas is celebrated. all of them have wonderful points, ideas, traditions, and ways of celebrating Christ's birth. i don't think that there is an exact or right way to celebrate Christmas as a christian. but i do think that there is a right way, for my husband and i, to teach our children about christmas.

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because the boys are so little, and home with me full time, they have no idea who santa is. not because we are specifically trying to avoid talking about him, but because it's just never come up and they have never been exposed to it. the dvd we have about christmas is Boz the Bear: A WowieBozowee Christmas (buy this for your kids - awesome christmas movie) and it teaches about Jesus' birth. their friend's are my friend's children...who are being taught similar to what my children are being taught, and the only other place they are is church - where they, of course, are taught of Christ's coming into this world.

what i desire for my children to know about christmas is this: the story of Christ's birth. the beauty and the messiness of it all. about mary and joseph, and the star that guided shepherds and wise men by night. that this was the greatest gift the world could ever recieve. that He was born so we no longer have to die. that we can go on to live eternally with Him. that this perfect, little baby came and changed the world.

i don't teach my children things that aren't true or real in every day life, and i don't change it for christmas. would i stomp my foot down and tell them that santa wasn't real if they heard about him and were questioning me? no. i would probably put the question back to them, and ask if they truly believed santa was real. and i would ask them what christmas is... which i already ask and talk about with them. but, i'm not going to go out of my way to teach them something false, something that may take away their true understanding for what this season is all about. don't get me wrong, i love imagination and i love seeing life through the eyes of my sweet boys. they imagine and pretend every day and it is truly wonderful. i don't think that i am taking away anything from their childhood, or ability to imagine, by not teaching santa claus.

i do think many are scared of robbing their children of the wonder of christmas by not going along with the santa stuff. and that by only teaching Christ's birth, their children would be missing out on so much. however, i don't agree with this. where was there more wonder than on that first christmas morning? where is there a story more beautiful and more amazing than the birth of our Savior by a virgin? a story that has become my own through accepting Christ as my savior. and, prayerfully, this will be my children's story one day as well.

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we bought each of the boys two simple gifts for christmas, and we will fill their stockings with little treats and goodies. i am so excited to see them on christmas morning, i am so excited for them to get something new to play with and enjoy. hopefully it will entertain them long enough for me to have an hour or two myself… say what. they don't get new things often so this is a special day for them. i love the "something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read" gift giving idea. that, or three gifts like the wise men brought, may be what we do with our children as they get older. i don't think by them getting a couple gifts, rather than thirty, it will make them sad. hopefully it make them more appreciative. also - both of our families buy presents for our children. they are blessed with more than they need. quite frankly, compared to others, we don't have much.

but we have SO much.

i am excited for when the boys are a little older and we can better serve others at christmas time. right now we are able to do things like operation christmas child, or support world vision and similar organizations. but at their young ages, they don't fully understand. when they are older i would like to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and serve, hands-on, during the holidays. that is something i want to instill in their minds for christmas time, and something i am so looking forward to for them, for our family, and for myself.

we love the lights, the music, the decorations, and buying gifts for our loved ones. these things are all wonderful and special in their own ways. most of all, we love Jesus Christ. and this day, this season, our lives here on this earth, are all about Him.

27 comments:

  1. Amen! Love this post, thank you so much for writing it. I wish more believers took this a bit more seriously, it's so important!

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  2. PERFECTly said. I love this. Thanks for taking the time to write it and to speak truth in such a beautiful and graceful way.

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  3. I LOVE THIS. My husband and I talk about this all the time, but with a 5 month old we have some time before we have to put it into practice. I was actually thinking about blogging about it & requesting opinions. But that could get scary. My husband read an article where JRR Tolkien talks about this. He and his wife made it a tradition to only give their kids presents, and never let them buy anything for them. They wanted to represent the way God gives us good gifts, without asking us for anything in return, and that it wasn't something you could "earn". I really liked that too. Anyways, thank you for taking the time to share. Your blog is beautiful and I always enjoy reading!

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  4. beautifully written. such a great and important lesson to teach our children.

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  5. This is awesome, and I very much agree with this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Santa and the true meaning of Christmas!

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  6. well said, my friend! well said! very beautifully written!

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  7. This is what we are doing for our boys. And we don't buy them very much at Christmas either. But they are SO appreciative when they gets presents as opposed to 'sure great, what's next?' I love that I hope to keep that for them. My older son is just old enough to start hearing about santa & my husband and I were talking like why in the world would we lie to our kids to tell them something less important that the true story? It doesn't makes sense! But to each their own! I grew up believing in Santa when I was young and I'm okay!

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  8. I agree with you full heartedly. It is so important to instill the true reason into their hearts so that they can carry it into their lives and share it with others. Great post!

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  9. We don't do 'santa' with our children either. I so badly want for Jesus to receive all of the praise from my children's mouth and not have to share any of it with another. I agree with what Natalie Lynn said about telling them something that is less important than the true story.

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  10. This post is wonderful! When I have kids one day, I'm going to do the same thing. Too many kids today just think Christmas is about getting presents and don't realize the true meaning of it at all! Love this post.

    xo,
    jessie

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  11. great post! we haven't talked much about santa at our house either, and like your kiddos they don't really go anywhere where they might hear about st. nick. i hope my girls understand the true meaning of christmas and that will be my focus as they grow, not teaching about santa. we are starting the four gift idea this year as well. merry christmas.

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  12. I love what you guys are doing. Love the three gifts like the wiseman ...we don't have kids yet {we are workin'on it! } but we are talking about this now...and I love to hear how different families handle the whole Santa thing...and love how you guys are sharing the real meaning with your kids.

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  13. so good! also been wondering how the adoption process is going!

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  14. Beautiful post, Danielle...and what a precious family picture.

    Happy Holidays!!

    xo,
    jennifer

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  15. love this post friend.
    when my boys discovered santa i told them the story of st. nicholas, and how he gave food and money to people who had none. he was doing christ work here on earth being a christian example to all. they do get gift from santa however the gift tag reads st. nicholas and the gift is one that will promote their spiritual growth such as a book or a cross to wear...they know it's their armor.
    i also think it is good to get them involved in service projects so they can also spread God's love and do his work at this marvelous time of year.
    happy weekend.

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  16. love it and totally agree! operation christmas child shoeboxes have been a wonderful way to implement doing for others...my kids are totally into shopping, packing and sending, and now you can track where your box goes (ours went to botswana this year). you're doing a terrific job! :)

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  17. For 25 years, we have practiced what you have described and if you ask my grown children (or my 4-year-old!) if they felt robbed of any of the wonder of Christmas I am positive that they would heartily say, "No!" When questions of Santa arose, we, like Kelly, told them the story of St. Nicholas. Now, performing a St. Nicholas play has become a bit of a family tradition, along with our other unifying family traditions that surround our Christmas celebrations.

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  18. Preach it, girl! I love this. You've given me a lot to think about for when the hubs and I have kids. Thanks for your honesty-without-judgment, and for being yourself. Beautiful!

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  19. I really REALLY love this :) We have never taught our kids about santa but they hear about him from other kids and that's ok, but he's not our focus. Our focus is Jesus and HE is who this season is All ABOUT. They know the "real" story of Santa (from the Veggie Tales version) and they know the very real life of Jesus.

    P.S. LOve these pics of your boys!!! Too cute with those hats and sweaters!

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  20. I have received criticism from other friends and relatives who think I'm ruining Christmas for my children, just because I don't do Santa. I told one friend that I don't want my children to focus on Santa, but on the reason we celebrate, JESUS! It gets harder as they get older and everyone is asking, "What did you ask Santa for this year."

    I am trying to focus on Jesus, activities at church, family, and lighting Advent candles and reading Scripture. It may not be as glamorous as Santa, but it's real and it's the reason for the season. I do tell them not to spoil Santa for other kids, but that they can share about Jesus with them when asked why we don't do Santa.

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  21. I love this post and agree 100% on it. JESUS is the reason for the season. Enjoy your Christmas, sweet lady!

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  22. love this. love you. praise jesus for your family! xo

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  23. I grew up with my parents teaching me the same way you are teaching your boys... I never believed in Santa and I never felt left out. I'm 25 and Christmas is as wonderful and magic to me as it ever was growing up.

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  24. This is great!! I wish I would've know Jesus like I do now when my kids where little!! Thanks for sharing this! Jesus loves you and your family!!

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