Reader Spotlight is one of my favorite series here on Lil Light O’ Mine. It’s a chance for me to spotlight the readers that come here so often – that write! My regular contributors are dear friends, but there are mounds of awesome moms out there – stories, insights, ideas and tales that need to be told. This beautiful Christmas idea is one of them. Thank you Renee! – Courtney
A Hands-On Way To Teach Children The True Meaning Of Christmas
The green and red plastic totes from the attic made their annual appearance in the family room. Artificial garland peeked through the cracks of those worn boxes in need of replacing. Opening each one was like finding my favorite sweatshirt, coffee mug, and fuzzy blanket. Comfort and familiarity enveloped us. Treasures of memories with our children each year were stored away awaiting their opportunity to do it again.
I wanted to stay parked there. Right there. At nostalgia. But pulling me away was this racing list in my head of everything that needed to get scheduled, bought, planned, packaged, shipped, decorated, baked, and wrapped. ‘
As I picked up my pen and began jotting notes, I heard 2 of my little boys exploring the memories hiding in those boxes. “Oh, remember this, Zachary!” “I remember this!” “Look at this one!” “Remember when….”
The energy escalated with each discovery. They began rattling off all their favorite things about the season. Setting down my pen, I silently observed my 4 and 6-year-olds discussing the magic of Christmas. Not one gift made the cut. Not one material possession was cited. Not one extravagant display or party was credited. It was all the tiny, simple moments, the traditions that had been taking place year after year of their little lives. Nothing had come from Pinterest. Nothing about the super cute teacher and friend gifts I stressed about.
What did they remember? Paw-Paw calling to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. The scavenger hunt daddy sends us on that ends with hot chocolate and a Christmas movie. Looking at Christmas lights in pajamas. Spending the day decorating the tree together.
Time together. As a family. Celebrating what Christmas is all about.
Stop! Wait! Pause time! I wanted to capture this. This innocence of Christmas. This belief in the wonder of the season. The goodness. The peace. The joy. The thanksgiving. I wanted to bottle up every ounce that flowed out of them and pour it anew every single year. I wanted them to grow each year remembering this is what Christmas is all about. I didn’t want the pace of Christmas in my own heart to steal the joy of it from my children. I didn’t want the commercialism to overshadow the heart of the season in their little lives.
Christmas can’t be missed in America. But the true Christmas we must seek. Christmas is more than a baby born in a manger. It’s more than the stockings we fill. It’s more than the calendars we pack full. It’s more than all we can fathom. To experience the fullness of the season takes less than we can imagine.
The clinking of ornaments rose and fell with their giggles and shrills. I watched. Sweet boys, how do we teach you that despite all the surroundings of Christmas, and the way it seems to take over our November and December, we must still seek Christmas? To fully experience the true gift of Christmas, we must seek it. How can we model this and bring it alive?
A Savior born to die for our sins. A gift beyond comprehension. How to bring this alive?
The Bible shows us a beautiful picture of ones who went seeking Christmas before it was called Christmas.
The wisemen believed in the King, they knew He was there. And they went to find Him. Christmas is here each day. It’s alive.
Over 7 nights that Christmas season, we sent our kids on a hide and seek adventure. Each night we hid an ornament that told a piece of the Christmas story. Each night we sent them tearing through the house, eyes wild as they hunted the hidden ornament.
“I got it! I got it!” one would scream.
“What does it say?” another would ask.
And then quietly they sat curled on the sofa, ornament held delicately in their hands, as they listened to us read about the gift that was given for them.
Christ doesn’t hide from us, but in the midst of a culture that overshadows the gift He has for us, we must set out to seek Him and find Him and unwrap the gifts He offers. Salvation. Joy. Hope. Peace. Love. The true gifts of Christmas.
My children have not outgrown seeking these ornaments. Though one day they will. And they won’t race to find them, rather we may slowly place them on the tree together. I will sit and reflect and treasure in my heart the days we did.
Don’t let Christmas race by you. Set out to slow it down by unwrapping the true gifts of Christmas.
I invite you to intentionally seek Christmas with your family this year. You can receive a free download here to create your own Seeking Christmas ornaments with your family. Step by step instructions for crafting your ornaments can be found here.
Seeking Christmas – Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions is a 7 day devotion that gives the gift of memories and traditions to families. You can find it on Amazon or any bookstore.