Thursday, December 1, 2011

That's What It's All About

When I get too caught up in buying gifts and making treats and all of the busy hustle and bustle that surrounds the Christmas season I start feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with all of the emphasis on materialism.

This is what brings me true happiness at this time of year.

I try to bring the true meaning and spirit of Christmas into our home each year - but it is so easy to become distracted.

I would love it if you would share with me in the comments what traditions you have in your home to help focus on the 'Christ' part of Christmas.


Rachel said...

This brought tears to my eyes. A few years ago I sent in an article I'd written for the Ensign. It was rejected :D but I think it applies to your question. I'll post it as a blog post today so you can read it.

Anonymous said...

This may sound silly to some but we don't have a tree at Christmas. We use the money that would have gone to buying one, and gift it to someone in need. It's always anonymous because that's the best way to give a gift anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

We have a Christmas book we use every night. It has a song, scripture, and story that focuses on Christ. It is a nice tradition that we enjoy. We all love it. Jerri

Kara said...

We also have the Christmas book mentioned but aren't very good at using it every night. We just try to read lots of stories during this time of year.

We have two nativity advents that the kids do something on each day. I posted about them last year. Here's the link if you want more info

Another thing we do is the first part of the month we have a family home evening lesson on the gifts Jesus has given us and ways we can give a gift to him. Each person then picks one thing they are going to try and focus on doing during the holiday season. We write these down and put them in a small gift box for each person. We have a small tree next to our piano and the boxes go under this (in fact one of your girls was asking me about this at lessons). They then have a reminder of what they are working on. On Christmas Eve we open these boxes again and personally evaluate how we did and commit to try and continue to work on that thing during the year.

Sarah said...

We saw this idea in the Friend and we loved it so much we have been doing it every day - my boys and I make ornaments every day and write something about Christ on the back of each one of them and put/hang/place/stick them to our tree. It's so sweet to see my boys be crafty, and after the first few days, you have to think hard about all the things that Jesus Christ really did do for us and for others on this Earth while he was here. It's very inspiring.
We also choose a name from the giving tree at my husband's work, and we make shoebox gifts to give to the orphanages just on the other side of the line.
I LOVE watching my son pick up something he would love to have and play with, then place it in the box for the child who might not have anything else on Christmas morning.
This time of year is sooooo, so precious, thanks for helping us see what it's all about, Gerb!

Teachinfourth said...

Gerb, this. was. awesome. I think I shall steal it from you and use it as a Media of the Week...

Dancing in the Rain! said...

Thanks for that sweet video! Can't wait to share it with my children!
One thing that has really made a difference for us to stay focused on the Savior is getting THREE presents each. The three presents represent the three gifts the wiseman brought Jesus. We LOVE this tradition and it was the best change we made. It has taken the focus off of the gifts which allows room for the real reason of the season to be in our hearts. The children all know that they get as many gifts as Jesus. Getting three gifts makes them really think about and decide what their favorite things are. We noticed that when we switched to just three gifts that the children played with these gifts much longer, rarely losing interest in them. We always try to make one of the three gifts a surprise too. I love shopping as it's so easy to know exactly when we are done for each child. It has kept Christmas SIMPLE. The gold gift is the biggest/grandest one, frankincense a moderate gift, and mhrry a smaller gift. Sometimes a child will spend most of their budgeted money for their gold gift, so we add two much smaller gifts to make sure everyone still gets three. Labeling the children's gifts gold, frankincense, and mhrry would carry the theme even further. We always open them smallest to largest and the kids can't wait to open their gold gifts. However, before we open gifts, we show our children what REAL gold, frankincense, and myrrh look like and talk about their significance. Since we only put three gifts under the tree, we wait until Chrismtas Eve to do so. During Decemeber, instead of presents under the tree, we put ALL of our Christmas books there. We read a new one each night, letting the children take turns which book to read. You could even wrap these books to make it more fun. Reading in front of the tree with sparkling lights and sweet music makes a wonderful ending to the night. Enjoy your Christmas!
Kate Bassett