Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey Mom! You're Setting the Pace This Christmas!

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“What do you want for Christmas, Isaiah?” I asked my six-year-old neighbor. I was anticipating his reply of action figures or the latest video games when his answer caught me by surprise. “I just want my family to be together again.” Isaiah’s dad was hospitalized, battling cancer. The situation, however, had given Isaiah something most children his age don’t have: a right perspective on what’s really important.

Every Christmas, Christian families struggle in a culture overcome with materialism. How do we teach our children the worth of a true, lasting gift versus the temporary thrill a mere toy or game provides? Have a Christmas season family meeting and walk through these steps:

Gather around the kitchen table and spend some time defining the true meaning of Christmas.
After everyone offers his/her perspective, express the ideas as a vision statement. (Word it simply for younger children.)
Lead older children look up Scriptures that summarize the significance of Christ’s birth. Try these (All Scriptures are from the NLT):
  • Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! (Psalm 126:3).
  • For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
  • All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14).
  • Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken! (Isaiah 40:5).
  • …but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (Luke 2:10-11).
  • Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12 ).

Write these on pieces of poster board, decorating with Christmas colors and craft media like stickers, glitter, and ribbon. Display the messages in prominent places in your home, or rotate one each week of Advent, serving as gentle reminders during the holidays of the true reason for the season. Together, you may even choose to memorize one of these verses each week. Meditate on it throughout the busy days.

As moms, we set the pace for our families. Hectic holiday schedules along with the pressure of our shopping lists can quickly zap us of our strength and energy. We can easily lose our perspective on what is really important. This Christmas, bring your family together and resolve to focus on Christ, getting utterly wrapped up in His presence of love and peace.

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