I noticed the pictures first appearing on Facebook a few weeks ago announcing how many more weekends until Christmas. I’m sure you’ve seen the ones I mean.. they usually have an elf or a minion holding a big sign. I’m not sure if the pictures are well meaning or meant to drive parents into panic. I have 5 children so those pictures tend to have the latter effect on me.
My first thought when I saw these pictures was ‘wow Christmas already – I need to get organised!’ and then I disregarded it because it was still some time away.
Then I went down the shop with my youngest boy. The Christmas trees and decorations were out in full supply. The shops certainly were spreading the same message.
Just this week I ordered my groceries online. As soon as I logged in, I was prompted “Get Ready for Christmas!” and there was a list of Christmas food supplies ready for me to order.
Everywhere I go, I’m being told to get ready because Christmas is coming.
My children are also susceptible to this. At school, they are planning Christmas parties and making Christmas decorations. Our family has already received several invitations to Christmas events. My children’s excitement is building as they look forward to everything that Christmas entails.
So rather than disregard the “Christmas is Coming” message, I’ve decided to get organised this year.
But not in the way you might be thinking. I’m not talking about making lists of presents and buying them, or organising parties and catering for all the friends and family that we will see over the Christmas period.
This year I want to be prepared for the actual lead up to Christmas. The time of “Advent”. I’ve never done anything for Advent before but my children are getting older and they are more aware of the world around them. At the moment the world is telling them to get excited because “Santa” is coming soon and they are going to get all these wonderful presents.
Now don’t get me wrong – I want my children to be excited about Christmas but not because of “Santa” or presents.
If you look up the definition of “Advent” it means:
1. a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: (the advent of the holiday season.)
2. the coming of Christ into the world.
3. the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.
Now the coming of Christ into the world is something I want my children to be excited about! I want them to know and remember that Jesus humbled Himself and came to this earth.
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Phil 2:6-7
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
He came to bring us eternal life if we believe in Him.
So this year while the world is trying to saturate my children with the ‘magic of the holiday season’, I want to point them to the biblical truth of the birth of Christ.
Each day of December we are going to look at a bible passage or event that points to Christ, starting at the beginning of creation through to Christ’s birth. We are going to make a Christmas ornament for each day and hang it on our tree to remind us of what we learn, and I hope that by doing this, I will be teaching my children what their excitement should truly be based on – a faithful God who loves us and sent his Son to this earth that we might have eternal life through Him.
I hope to post updates on our “Advent” activity during December so stay tuned!
If you also do a similar activity with your children then I would love to hear from you. Please comment and share with us what you do as a family at Christmas time to point your children to Christ.
On a side note, please don’t mistake this article as against gift giving at Christmas. My aim and desire is only that the focus and excitement of Christmas should be associated with Christ and His wonderful gift to us.