So the first step in being intentional about keeping Christ in all we do for Christmas is looking at some of what we do now. There are many things that we do with our immediate and extended family and of course our church family but today I will just talk about one of the simple traditions that we have. Besides the fact that I have been known to listen to Christmas music in July, I love to decorate the house with the kids and Jason. It has become a tradition that everyone looks forward to every year. When Liam first came out of the hospital we asked him what was one of the things he wanted to do first and he said "Get the house ready for Christmas." So that first weekend he was home we started. We made some hot chocolate, turned on the Christmas CD's, sang along to the music and put on our Santa hat's....well the kids and I did, Jason is a little more reserved!
This year Caroline wanted to decorate our Nativity scene. I usually do this and tell the kids the Christmas story as I set it out. Caroline took great pride in telling the other kids who each of the figures were and then placed them exactly where she wanted them in the scene. Trinity was in awe. After Caroline had finished placing all the characters we took some Christmas lights and placed them on the roof of the creche. "It is beautiful!" breathed this little voice that came from our youngest. She could not take her eyes of the picture.
I am not sure if it was the way that her older sister took the time to tell her about the manger scene or if Trinity is just at the age where is enamoured by all babies but she seems to have taken a liking to our little Nativity set. Yesterday, we were in a store and one of the clerks asked her what was on her list for Santa. TJ said "I asked him for a Dora for my dollhouse and I thanked him for being so nice." When the clerk asked her if that was all she wanted she said, "No, I also want my own Jesus in a barn." Every time I think of it I smile and giggle a little. Maybe this year she should have a nativity set that she can play with and set up herself.
As I struggle to be more intentional about our Christmas traditions I realize that each of you probably have a tradition or two and if you share, it would enrich us all! I would love to hear about what you do to focus yourself or your family on Christ for Christmas season. Please post a comment. I would really love to hear about what you do.