the Meaning of Christmas
If you were to ask my children what is the meaning
of Christmas, they would dutifully reply, "The birth of Jesus." But
I know them better than that. To these three little ones, Christmas
is really about opening presents, baking cookies, decorating the
tree and stringing twinkle lights with Daddy.
Sure, we read the Christmas story, attend candlelight
services and quote the obligatory, "Remember, Jesus is the reason
for the season", while simultaneously wiping tears from their eyes
and drool off their chins in the "Barbie" aisle of Toys R Us. But
if I could see into my children's hearts, I would understand that
to them, Christmas is about more than the birth of Jesus. It's
about celebrating the birth of Jesus.
I recently learned that is also not far from the
heart of God. Feeling like Jesus had gotten lost in the frenzy
of the holiday season, I asked the Lord to show me what I could
do to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was caught
off-guard when He simply replied, "Don't do anything differently.
Look in the middle of the celebration and you will find Me."
He was right. There was no need to orchestrate
moments to pontificate about "the commercialization of Christmas." Instead,
Jesus was beckoning me to come to the party and bring the kids.
In doing so, we ran into Him at school, in the living room, even
at the mall. He hid in the lights, the carols, and the cards. He
was there when we dressed the Evergreen tree, when Dad dressed
up in a red suit, and when we ate turkey and dressing!
We got caught up in all the trappings of Christmas
only to discover that it was neither the enemy nor the world that
set the bait. It is my desire to lure Christian parents into the
hustle and bustle of Christmas and then set them free to join their
children in the celebration - guilt-free.
This book is laid out with three distinct parts
in the traditional Advent formula. For each of the 24 days preceding
Christmas we will explore a particular aspect of the Christmas
celebration. It is amazing how short a distance you have to go
to find Jesus in our present-day symbols and traditions. We will
encounter the true meaning of Christmas in such unlikely places
as a candy cane, a fruitcake or a partridge in a pear tree. We
will re-discover the significance in Santa Claus, ornaments and
even the colors of Christmas.
I've noticed with my own children, (one in particular,)
that they seem to hear better with their hands! I can tell them
something all day long but if they ever get a chance to do something
with that information then it is usually theirs for life. With
that in mind I've also included one or two fun and simple activities
to help you teach the profound truth of Jesus' birth in a way that
will remain in their hearts long after the Christmas decorations
are back in the attic.
Having been an actress since I was a child, I've
often wished there was a script for life. It would be so much easier.
Many times I've known what I wanted to say to my children but I
just didn't know how to say it. Just in case you have ever felt
the same way, I've written a short little "script" at the end of
Of course you could read this book aloud to your
children but the truth is, they would much rather hear from you
than from me. I suggest that you read the interesting history and
practical application within each of the stories, symbols and traditions
first. Then catch one of those teachable moments we are always
looking for and ask a few of the scripted questions. (You, the
oh-so-wise mommy, will just happen to be ready with the answers.)
Imagine the delightful conversations you are going to have this
Christmas! Keep the book handy and while wrapping gifts, icing the
cake, arranging the manger scene and singing carols, may the seeking - and
the finding - bring you and your family much joy.
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