Does this time of year have you feeling frazzled?
Do you sometimes feel like hiding?
There is so much to do and so little time!
Shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, taking pictures for the annual Christmas cards (and then addressing and mailing them), checking and rechecking the gift list, church activities, school programs and parties, ….the list goes on and on.
How can we possibly keep Christ in Christmas?
He is the reason that we celebrate this special holiday, so why do we so often put Him last?
It is so easy to get “sucked” into the commercialism of the “holiday season”. We are bombarded daily with pictures of beautifully decorated homes and commercials showing every “must have” gift and gadget imaginable.
Over the years our family has adopted various activities that have helped us keep our focus on the true reason for the season. I want to share some of those with you tonight.
Each year we try to incorporate some sort of Advent activity. Some of the things we’ve used include the traditional wreath and candles, “What God Wants for Christmas” kit, calendars, and various devotional books. This year we are reading a short verse each day from a printable that I found:
And then we are reading Bartholomew’s Passage which is part of a wonderful Advent series by Arnold Ytreeide. I love that Justin is willing to read aloud to us every night at dinner…he is a good sport and I enjoy just being able to listen to somebody else read 🙂 .
We also try to be intentional about serving others and enjoy activities like packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, caroling at a local nursing home, packing food for our local food bank, collecting toys and making cards for St. Jude’s Hospital, etc. I think it really helps the kids (and mom and dad 🙂 ) to remember how blessed we are and how we are called to be a blessing to others.
Other traditions that our family likes to participate in include live Christmas pageants, going to church on Christmas Eve, having a birthday cake for Jesus, and watching Christian movies (like The Nativity).
These are just a few ideas that help our family stay focused on Christ. There are many, many other ideas out there! I hope that you have fun finding special ways to keep Christ in your family’s Christmas!
Ok, so the worm experiments were FUN this morning 🙂 ! Ryan and I went to a bait and tackle shop yesterday to buy red worms because he was having a hard time finding any earthworms in our yard.
We put them on a wet paper towel and tested their sense of touch and smell. We tried four different substances: vanilla extract, lemon juice, nail polish remover, and white vinegar. The worms reacted to each one, but seemed to dislike the nail polish remover the most.
I promised a picture of Brendan, so here ya’ go:
…and here is a picture of him throwing a worm into his brother’s lap 😦 :
Thankfully, Ryan “saved” the day 🙂 :