With each passing year, I think more and more about how our kids treat Christmas and the whole holiday season. I have been struggling so much lately with how to incorporate faith into our home more when it is just myself and Johnny that believe (and Joley some day). It is difficult to pray before meals when you are the only one. I go to church every week by myself or with Mackenzie, who has shown some interest in religion but not much.
It seems as each year comes and goes the kids treat Christmas as a reason to get presents. It is about shopping, school parties, what toys they want, decorating, and opening gifts. The real meaning of Christmas has not been mentioned in this house. That is, until this year.
I have vowed to change this way of thinking. I know that I won’t get through to all the kids, but I still want to try to change the way they think about holidays. This year, I am making a very conscious effort to make Christmas be more than presents and Santa Claus. I want my kids to know that it is the day Christ was born. I want them to celebrate Christmas… not for what they get, but for what they have been given.
Like I said, this won’t work with all of them. In my mind, I am thinking maybe Mackenzie and Johnny will try to understand more about what Christmas really is. So, I have been celebrating Advent with them. I have one calendar that Johnny opens the little window (paper). I have an Advent Village (thank you Costco!) that I filled with treats for Johnny and Mackenzie. It is actually a very pretty addition to my decorations too as there are three houses that sit on my mantel. Each evening they open up the door and find a little treat they have been given and we count down to Jesus’ birthday. We also received an Advent playset that I will be reviewing very soon. It is really a very neat idea and Johnny adores it! There will be more about that one later though.
I was trying to think of ways to do more this year to make this a celebration of Jesus and I think I finally decided on something that Johnny and Mackenzie will enjoy.
We are going to make a birthday cake for Jesus. I am going to let the kids help and we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas. I think this is a fun way to help my kids know that there is more to this holiday than things for them. This is a day to be thankful for what they have been given… the life and death of our Lord.
I know there are other things people do to make Christmas special. I read on Twitter that some people give their children 3 gifts to symbolize the three kings gifts.
How do you make Christmas special? Even if you aren’t practicing any religion, do you do anything to make Christmas be more than just about opening presents?