A current theme in conversation topics with parents is “how do we keep a Christ centered Christmas?” As one of my friends put it out on facebook “Praying that the gifts we get for our children make them smile. Wondering where to draw the line… I mean how much does it really “cost” to make them happy? Praying that the true spirit of Christmas shines through and they know that Jesus is the best gift of all.”
I know I’ve only been a parent for approximately 1.5 years so I don’t have that much of a platform to stand on but I want to remind all those parents out there that we set the tone for the holiday season in our homes. We are in a position of influence. If we’re not focusing on Christ through this season how can we expect our children to? Or as Anne Voskamp puts it: “It’s my own face that obscures the face of God. How can I help this son of mine see when I can’t see? The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they’ve held their own peace? Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the Child.”
If all we have and need is found in Christ – why are we going cRaZy acquiring stuff that’s going to end up in our next garage sale?
As my daughter gets older I want to follow the guideline of “Something to read, something she needs, something to wear and something she wants” for Christmas gifts. If I ever have a son maybe I’ll switch out something to wear for “something to work with Dad on a project” because I remember how thrilled my brothers were to receive clothes for Christmas! 😉
And if you’re looking for some awesome “something to read” gifts, here’s what I’m currently loving!
Song of The Stars – a beautiful picture book that serves as a beautiful reminder of the wonder that God came to dwell with us.
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing – a devotional book, probably good for ages 5+. These thoughts will lift your heart up – and make you stop and think and thank God for who he is. I can’t wait to read these to Miss C when she’s old enough to grasp the ideas. Below is a link to the trailer for the book. How weird is it that we live in a time where books have trailers? I often wonder what they would have done for War & Peace when it first came out.
The Jesus Story Book Bible -this is a well done Childrens’ Bible. It goes through the Old Testament and New Testament and graciously explains how God was planning on our Savior. The words often get me all misty – it’s just amazing that God is that good to me. Honestly, I’d rather read this than The Message. Especially the section on Isaiah.
If you haven’t noticed, all these books were written by the same author – Sally Lloyd Jones. I thank God for this author, I think she’s doing amazing work putting out resources helping parents to equip their children with God’s word.
C is still too young for intense Christmas and Advent traditions, but I’m thinking and planning for next year…What do you do to keep Christ at the center and focus for your family?