Instead of stressing out about the money your family will or will not spend on Christmas gifts, make plans NOW to ensure your family uncovers and celebrates the true meaning of this holiday. Don't fall into the same patterns of the years past (except for those treasured family traditions) and make sure you don't miss out on how your children will enjoy Christmas differently now that they are a year older.
As Mark Driscoll says, "Our children grow quickly and if we miss the sacred moments God opens up for us to connect with and bless our families, everyone suffers and we set in motion generations of missed opportunity."
- Mom, you need a holiday plan to make sure each child knows they are loved despite the busy-ness. What is your plan?
- Mom, childhood memories of Christmas seem to come back more easily, whether good or bad. What memories do you want your children to have of THIS Christmas?
- Mom, what community events are you planning to participate in this Christmas? When is your town's Christmas parade? What about Santa's Workshops and snow events?
- Mom, Christmas traditions can be sacred or fun. Some can be both. What sacred and/or fun traditions does your family have that point to Jesus?
- Mom, are you grumpy about the spending on gifts this year? Either because you don't feel you have enough or because you feel the creeping excessiveness of it all? How are you going to control it all to find joy in the real reason for the season?
- Mom, experiences often make better memories than gifts. So why not follow our recent giving tradition and give an experience instead of a gift? Tickets to a show? To a game? Coupon book?
- Mom, you are most likely the gatekeeper of the family's schedule. Are you over scheduling your family? Is there time marked on your calendar to just rest and enjoy one another? To whom or to what do you need to say "no" to?
- Mom, particularly when children are young, they look to you as an example of generosity. They probably spend more time with you than any other person. How are you going to demonstrate a generous spirit this year?
- Mom, do you have one on one time planned for each of your children? A special date with your daughter to have tea? A set apart time with your son to help him shop for his girlfriend?
- Mom, are you decorating for the holiday? This is the first year I've put up any Christmas decorations in a long time. And I was motivated to do so by my daughters. I want them to feel the specialness of the season and know that something is different about this holiday.
- Mom, does is smell like Christmas in your house? Does it sound like Christmas? Find a candle and a Christmas CD and relax at home a little.
- Mom, what special snuggle times will you enjoy with your children? You can introduce them to the classic Christmas movies like It's A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street.
- Mom, have you talked Dad into taking a drive to look at Christmas lights? Get some hot cocoa ready and bundle everyone up for a trip out around town.
- Mom, this is a great time to get real about Jesus with your children. Try to have a kid safe nativity they can play with on their own. Teach them how to act out the nativity story with their kid-sized set. Let them play Sunday School with you and retell the story to you.
- Lastly, Mom, repent of having a Martha attitude. Are you a servant like Jesus to your family?
What are you going to do different this year?