Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What God Wants For Christmas...

I am telling you God has really been up to something in our lives for the last few months. He has been opening my eyes to so many things that I never took the time to see before. For so long I have been ok with the status quo...I have always felt like since I am a Christian and I go to church, I am married to a preacher, and try to do what is right that I must be doing my part. I am thinking now that must be one of those subtle lies the devil likes to sneak into our lives.
I have settled for the bare minimum of life with my Savior when I have a God who has promised life and life ABUNDANTLY.
To be honest I have settled for that with my kids as well. Yes...we say prayers at the dinner table, and before bed, we even read bible stories and talk about how important Jesus is. But recently I have just felt this tug on my heart that it is so much more than that. It is SHOWING them how important Jesus is by my actions, attitudes, words, and my priorities.
So this Christmas I have really tired to make Jesus THE priority. We have had very little talk about S-a-n-t-a in our house this year but oh we have had so much fun learning about our Savior's birth and how so many of our Christmas traditions seem to point back to Him.

Thanks to some great friends we have found some really great resources to help with this. We started with this book:

It has great ideas for how to celebrate for the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. I will be honest and tell you that we did not get to all of the book and were not able to do most of the crafts but it was a great starting point.

In our first week we learned about the ANTICIPATION of the people of they knew the promise of a Messiah and how they waited excitedly for Him to come. After our story we made Advent count down calenders out of Hershey kisses. The boys loved this...especially Karter who ate about 12 that night!

In our second week we talked about the Christmas tree. I never knew the Christmas tree had anything to do with Jesus. In the book we learned that the tree is in a triangle shape representing the Holy Trinity. The trunk is made of wood just like the cross where Christ died. The evergreen branches represent the everlasting life found in Him. The tree points toward heaven and the branches stretch out just like the arms of Jesus. And the star on the top of our tree is like the one the Magi followed and a reminder that Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star. After going through all of these we made ice cream cone trees. Really fun and really messy!

Honestly, week three came and went and here we are almost through week four. But rest assured my sweet friend Kasey showed me something we will be using at Christmas time for years to come.

It is a box called "What God Wants For Christmas". I found it half way through our Advent adventure and just knew we had to use it.

Inside this box are 7 little present boxes and a nativity stage.

Inside each of the 7 presents is a different character from the Christmas story.

Box number 1 holds Gabriel the angel and he gets the story rolling. Each time you open a box there is a poem to go with that character. The end of every poem talks about box number 7 and how that box holds the surprise of what GOD wants for Christmas!

My boys are loving this...we have been opening a box each night and adding that character to the story. Kaden even brought Gabriel along on a trip in the car so he could watch over us!:) They take turns opening the boxes and playing with the characters. Tonight after putting the boys to bed I found the characters sleeping!:)

Kaden cannot wait to see what box number 7 holds tomorrow night...I will give you a sneak peak.It's a see because what God wants for Christmas is you and me. For us to know Him, to trust Him, to believe that He sent his son for us on that very first Christmas!

I know that Kaden may not understand all of this now but I want to make sure I am doing all that I can to point him to our Savior and the real meaning of Christmas!
Merry Christmas!


Stacy said...

I love the what God wants for Christmas box. We have tried to focus more on Jesus too this year. Last night before our big Birthday party for Jesus at my sister's house Reese asked me exactly how Jesus came to leave in his heart. I did my best to explain, and I'm sure he didn't understand but it gave me comfort to know he was listening to things I told him. Good job with your boys!! Merry Christmas to you guys.

Keri said...

How sweet! I got all teary eyed. These are great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Allison said...

We used this Sunday in kidz praise and the kids loved it! it is such a simple way to share the true meaning of the season,and of christ's love with them!

Jennifer said...

I love that! Where did you find that? I really have tried to focus more on Jesus too. My Maddie is completely wrapped up in Santa and presents but then when we ask her what the most important things is she always says Jesus birthday. Maybe some of it is getting through. Thanks for sharing and we will have to check out your cool resources next Christmas season especially since we will have two that are more into what is going on.