It is quite the topic this year-Christ centered Christmas!
I am not ready to "kill" Santa Claus for my kids, but I like the idea of educating them about the original St Nikolaus. I only have one Santa decoration and it reminds me of our days in Germany so I am not going to put it away.
I love to give. I love to give my kids gifts, but Christmas isn't about gifts. I need to be more focused on educating my kids on where gift giving started, and remind my kids it isn't about getting it is all about receiving. We have decided to let each kid pick a random act of kindness and spend the week befor Christmas serving others to better remind them its all about giving.
I own quite a few nativities (something I inherited from my mother). Every year we add another one to our collection. Some big, some breakable others are small or durable enough to survive being played with daily. Christ is well represented in out home around this season. They know the story of Jesus and have daily reminders of his humble beginning.
This year I have wanted to make this craft since I first saw it back in November sometime, but have yet the energy to focus on it. I had no really connection with the word JOY so I kind of put it off as a "if I have time" project. I think I will be making it this weekend with the kids!
Our youth group had an assignment to do a service project tonight that wouldn't take too long and I was looking for a lesson to teach the girls on the importance of service and let them know how proud I was of them for all they have done this past month in service. As I trolled the internet I came across this site and found a lesson on J.O.Y. (its the fifth little dot down). I loved it! I think the girls enjoyed it. And I am thinking I am talking to my kids about it come family night!
Here's the idea...
J is for Jesus. He had a purpose here on earth no one else could fill! He lived and died for us. I went into a little more detail then we watched this video clip
O is for others. It is a time for service and time to focus on others. There never is an easier time to find ways to serve. A time to give back. Give Christ the gift of service, find every possible way to do small random acts of kindness this holiday season. I spoke of how they more than willingly spend money on making holiday meals tonight for shut ins and elderly people in our congregation, how they made 90 quilts for a homeless shelter for Christmas, how they jump to serve every time I ask them to. It is that service that builds up and strengthens others, that makes a difference in the world, that is the Saviors work here on this earth.
Y is for you. "YOU?" you ask. Yes YOU! Not you as in what you want, not as in you time but You as in taking the time to reflect on your own testimony of the Savior. Recommit. Accept his message and build up your personal understanding of who Christ was/is and what his teachings are. Accept him into your life, not just when you are going thru a trial or are extremely overjoyed, but everyday in everything good or bad or just because.
After our lesson I had the girls cut out some of these to hang as a banner or as Christmas decorations to remind them of the true reason for the season. We cut out the balls and hung them with grosgrain ribbon.
I printed off these ones and hung them in my kitchen as my own personal reminder.
I may not have it all together but I am certainly going to focus more on educating and talking about Christ with my little ones this year. I am going to find every opportunity to serve others big or small. I am going to recommit myself to being a better disciple of Christ. I am going to find JOY this year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.