Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas at our House

Like all mothers, I am proud of my children. I happen to think they are the sweetest, cutest, most delightful kids I know. (And I hope you think the same thing about yours; if not, give them to me, and I'll think that about them! Being the apple of someone's eye is the very least that each little child deserves, hopefully from his/her mother.) But being cute isn't exactly a virtue. And it's those special times in life, when your children step out on their own and do something with the knowledge and values you've tried to instill in them, that give a parent that kind of "humble pride". It's so fulfilling when you, who have spent your life blessing your children, in return receive a blessing from them.

Listening to Caleb & Madelyn quote chapter after chapter of Holy Scripture has been that kind of blessing to me. I appreciate their hard work and commitment to memorizing the Bible, and their high regard for God's Word. I know the Lord will bless them for it.

As our children began to get older, we struggled with keeping Christmas simple and real in our home. We decided against Santa Claus (whom Seth hilariously calls "Paul Bunyan", I guess because of the stocking hat!), not because we were offended at the tradition of St. Nicholas as it originated, but because of the modern day commercialism associated with him now. "Look, kids, Jesus came down from Heaven and was born of a woman in a humble manger, and to celebrate, we're going to buy each of you a thousand dollars worth of material things!" Even as I fell under the mesmerizing spell of the holiday shopping Christmas carols, I just couldn't quite come to terms with that.

So, our Christmas looks something like this, and it's still a work in progress as the Lord teaches us new things each year: The children get 3 gifts each, in memory of the three gifts brought by the Wise Men (whom, we realize, were not there at the birth of Christ, but came 1-2 years later). They are allowed to have one gift each on Christmas Eve, which was handpicked by other siblings. This is always a fun tradition for them, since they are each other's best friends. Each year, Scripture is memorized, beginning in about October, to add to what they already know of the Christmas Story. This year in church, in addition to the Scripture they quote in the video above, the children also quoted John 1:1-14 (ending with, "and the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us"). This was special to me, because it was handpicked by Caleb. I suggested that they add some from Matthew about the Wise Men, and Caleb said, "Mom, this just seems more important to me, like this [referring to John] is the REAL Christmas story. Jesus doesn't have a birthday like we do, He was God becoming Man for a short time." How can I argue with that?

Technical note: This blogger is very computer illiterate, and I had a hard time making my video file small enough to upload. Therefore, I couldn't post my original video I had made of their entire quotation that included John. So, I had them just do the part from Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-20 so I could post it. I hope the video above is a blessing to you.


Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Deborah said...

You are an inspiration and such a great example.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and humble heart.

It is an honor to be your friend.