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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Planning to Keep Christ in Christmas

As we enter into what is termed the holiday season, our family has already begun to prepare our hearts and hands for the upcoming celebration of Christ the King's birth. I often have foud in years past that as much as I want to accomplish special activities and ministries that by the time December rolls in, we are way busier than I anticipated. So, this year we began preparing in October. Here are some ideas we are implementing this year and hoping to repeat from years past:
http://www.titus2.com/moody-family-series.html For our fellow homeschooling families you'll be happy to know the family in the series homeschools and its a nice added benefit. Or maybe some classic Winter in the Big Woods Little House books.
2. Practicing Christmas Carols now to sing around the neighborhood one evening in December. This has been a fun addition to our bedtime routing and the kids have already enjoyed practicing for grandparents.
3. Daddy and Mommy have begun to look for special Christmas eve gifts--- these are typically a book or audio series that we feel will help draw their little hearts towards a deeper relationship with Christ.
4. Christmas Kid Craft Day-- Last year we were invited to another homeschooling family's home for a craft morning. Each mom prepared a holiday craft and then all the kids rotated from mom and room making each craft. This was a delightful morning of fellowship and making treasured keepsakes. We hope to do this again as a yearly event.
5. Making Christmas treats-- last year we just did awana and some Sunday school teachers, but this year we are hoping to bring some along caroling and also to fire stations and perhaps other service workers who don't get off Christmas Eve. We are planning now what to make, how much, and hoping to begin preparing a nice meaningful note that shares the love of Christ with those in our community.
6. Going to look at Christmas lights and also putting together a mysterious first prize basket with some goodies and a reason for the season book to anonymously leave at a home with an amazing light display. We are hoping to begin assembling this soon so that we have it on hand as we begin driving around to see lights. This way if we decide to go at the last minute, we are all set.
7. The kids have been making bracelets to sell for a missions project. We want them to remember others especially other children in the world who don't have nearly as much as we do. I'm glad we began this early on as it does take a good deal of time for little fingers
8. We have also begun working on some homemade gifts for relatives. We are trying to train the children that it is more blessed to give and also to work on the gift as well. We want them to give something that is truly from them that they can be excited about. It's also led to them thinking and praying for our very special extended family.
9. Reading the story of Christ's birth. Here we are on a past Christmas morning, but this year we hope to do a special unit study on Christmas carols and the time of Christ's birth.
10. My husband and I have also begun carefully selecting the four gifts each family member will receive. We do 3 gifts that represent the three that the wise men gave Jesus and one more to represent the ultimate gift-- Christ Jesus Himself. This has become such a meaningful part of our celebrations in remembering the true meaning of the season. It also curbs the gimmies for the most part and makes our Christmas morning more about spending time together and reflecting on why we celebrate Christmas day.
We'd love to hear your family's special traditions and ways that you prepare to celebrate Christ this Christmas!

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