Christmas is almost here so it just makes sense that INFO for Families would continue to provide some insights and tips for making your Christmas season incredible.
I haven't been blogging much lately, but it doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I continue to put a lot of creative energy into my book project (dealing with the necessity for a parent to talk openly and often about sex and relationships) but not so much time into the blog. I ask you, our faithful readers, to extend some grace...and to pray that God would have His way with the book project.
But back to Christmas...
Hopefully your family is putting the Advent guide we recommended to good use. Whatever you are doing this December, make sure you are doing something to keep your family focused on the right things this Christmas. This requires real intentionality. Why? Because there is just so much to distract us.
The pressures of the season, the busy-ness of our lives, the financial obligations...all of these things can very easily distract us from the wonder of the incarnation. And it is doubly true for our kids. If we are not deliberate to keep our kids focused on Christ, our emotions (or our desire for a new i-whatever) will steer us far away from Him.
There are a couple of things that I recommend you read. First, Orange Parents has posted a great little list of Twelve Keys to a Miserable Christmas. It kicked my butt a bit, so be prepared to come under conviction of a few ways that you are already blowing it. Secondly, Mark Driscoll's wife Grace has posted Four Things Not to do This Christmas. It, too, reminded me of some basics that I want to get right over the next few weeks. Finally, FamilyLife has posted an article called Eight Ways to Pressure-Proof Your Holidays. It contains four things to DO and four things to NOT DO.
In these three articles, I have resourced you with 24 different tips for keeping the hearts of your family turned toward Christ this Christmas. That's a lot. Pray that God would give you one or two to take an action step on immediately.
At our house, the greatest tradition we have that reflects the generous heart of Christ is in how our kids give gifts to one another. Since they were very little, we encouraged them to save their money and buy unique gifts for each of their siblings (and mom and dad, too). The presents are never elaborate and rarely cost more than about $5. But they always put some thought into them and they are always excited about wrapping them and putting them under the tree.
I think our kids' favorite part of Christmas morning is getting to see their siblings open the gifts that they picked out for each other. As I have watched this in action over the past few years, I think they have finally come to embrace the reality that "it is better to give than to receive."
Whatever you do, be sure to ask God to give you ideas and direction about celebrating Christmas with your family in a way that glorifies Christ.
Do you have a family tradition that makes the most of Christ at Christmas?