23 December 2009

Honoring Christmas: gifts for the birthday boy

As mentioned in my previous post, we want our kids to understand that Christmas is about Jesus. It's his birthday. Kids may not have the capacity to fully understand the implications of Christ's birth, but they definitely understand birthdays. Yummy food, lots of fun, and... gifts!

I don't know why I never thought of this before, but I was reading a blog about another family's Christmas traditions this week and adjusted their ideas to suit our situation. So tonight after dinner we're going to pick a gift for baby Jesus. We're going to talk about what Jesus would really want for Christmas and then pick a gift that we can put under the Christmas tree for him. We could summarize by saying that Jesus would want world peace (along with every stereotyped beauty contest competitor), but that's not in our budget. Instead we're going to try to come up with a gift that encapsulates one piece of his love for the world and the reason he was born. Maybe we'll show love to an orphan living with HIV. Maybe we'll help a Worldlink missionary share God's love or send a homeless kid to camp. Maybe we'll fund an orphan's education for a month. Maybe we'll bless a family in Asia with warm blankets or an animal that will give them new opportunities. Maybe we'll give the gift of clean water. Or maybe our kids will have an even better plan. Once we all agree on a gift, we'll take something that represents it and wrap it up together.

Our family has already chosen to give in different ways throughout the year and this Christmas season, but I think choosing a gift for Jesus and symbolically placing it under the tree is an incredible way to honor his birthday. At this point in the season, it would be easy to say that we don't have time to research another project or money to buy something else, but then I look around at the time and money we have spent on gifts for our families and celebratory food and festive decorations and think, does it make any sense to say I can't do one small thing for the guest of honor at this week's party?

I don't know if this idea will excite any of you the way it did me, but I figured it was worth sharing. Better late than never, right?

Our Christmas festivities start tomorrow, but I've already scheduled several random posts to go up over the next few days. Then sometime after the weekend I'm going to post a final post for this series and share what worked well for us and what didn't this year. I hope you'll come back for the conclusion.

Previous Posts
Honoring Christmas: a series
Honoring Christmas: the hard work
Honoring Christmas: advent
Honoring Christmas: giving better gifts
Honoring Christmas: the cards are coming
Honoring Christmas: a baby is born

No comments: