I am going to blog every day for the next 25 days. (but it is highly likely I will miss one or 8 days. Just a warning.) It is my Christmas gift to you... or your first lumps of coal depending on how you feel about this here blog. This is for all the people who like to remind (read:hassle) me about not updating more regularly. Regular is for bowel movements. I am a spontaneous (read:lazy) blogger, hence the irregular pattern of my posts.
So, December is here. That means three little boys are getting excited about waking up at the butt crack of dawn and opening gifts. Two of the three think a fat man in a red suit left them. One of them was far to logical to ever believe that one. (remember the "Santa is dead incident?It is still something we chuckle about round the casa.)
I still struggle with the gifts.I mean... what about buying each other gifts says "Welcome to the world Jesus"??? Please, don't e-mail me about how the wise men brought Jesus gifts, or it is like a "birthday party for Jesus". Really? I would personally not enjoy a birthday party where everyone else, but ME got gifts. Talk about your sucky celebrations.
So, in light of all that cold water I just threw on your Christmas plans, what is a family to do? Well, here are a few ideas...
1. Just ignore the above and buy gifts you can't afford, running up credit card bills and spoiling your children. Don't bother to mention Jesus, that would be like asking him to bless your super sized McDonald's meal. Yes, that is a slam to gluttony too. (that is what we call a sarcastic twofer.)
2. No tree. No gifts. No Nothing. This would be the purist approach, and though it may make your legalistic side feel good, if your kids ever see a childhood photo of you in front of a tinsel laden tree surrounded by wrapping paper bits, you are parental toast. This what we call the Hypocrites approach to the holidays.
3. For real, this is what we do.
A)We have a tree, decorate, watch Christmas movies, etc. We even buy gifts... in MODERATION. The one year we bought alot of gifts, was a total let down. More toys does not equal more happiness. We now buy each kid one nice, larger gift and a few smaller ones. When they get less, they actually play more. Honest.
B)Celebrate Advent. I know, anyone of the baptist persuasion reading this is gasping for air, but hang with me. Each night you read a passage of scripture, light your advent candles, and actually pray and talk about Jesus. It is not a ritual, it is good solid tradition. I love the memories of the advent wreath from my childhood, and hope my boys will too. I do have a struggle with the purple candle, but we press on anyway.
C)The Earn and Buy. I give the boys extras chores. Hard ones. They earn money and we go buy toys for either a shoebox/stocking/etc for someone else. This year I am going to see if they want to just donate the money to http://www.hopechest.org/ , the group our church works with in Africa. The key here is making them work to earn the money. If I just toss them a $10 bill to buy something, it really has not cost them anything. Giving away something they earned, that is where they learn about true giving.
So, there you have it. There are lots more things we do to celebrate, but I am saving those for other days. We have to stretch out this material the way your mama used to add water to the ketchup to get that last little bit to make one more hot dog.
Welcome December. All you fun people (read:nags) may regret (read:painfully regret) reminding me to update more regularly... I feel like I should mention raisin bran for some reason...