This is the third part of my Christmas Blog Series
What do you think of when you hear… Christmas?
Is it the smells, gifts, snow, decorations, or the fun activities to do?
What ever the thoughts may be, there is always one that people tend to put last. The birth of Jesus Christ. I am not going to preach to you, because this is not why you are here. BUT, it is important to keep Christ in Christmas. To summarize the birth of Jesus Christ, I have included an article from “My Treasure Box”, a blog based off of Christianity.
“a) While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.
b) Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary’s story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God’s will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.
c) When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah’s earthly father.
d) Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
e) At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.”
Now the Bible does have multiple books on the birth of Jesus, so this is just a short summary.
When we ask our children what they think of when they hear the word “Christmas”, we will more than likely hear Santa, gifts, stockings, candy, and more gifts. Which there is nothing wrong with this. You do not want to take the joy out of the children in this wonderful time of year. This is the same for the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Saint Patrick. Although these may be made up wise tales, the kids jump for joy just thinking about them. In our home, I like to state that these characters are helpers of Jesus so that Jesus can do his work in Heaven. Now my three-year-old might not fully understand this concept, but she does know the story of Jesus’ birth.
When it comes to gifts, how are we to raise children that are appreciative and grateful? Being in a blended family, it is harder to do this because we do not know what their bio mother does with them on the holidays. Therefore, we do our best and push through. We have to teach them that the holidays are not just for presents. It is time with the family and to celebrate this magical time. If a child is ungrateful of a gift, what do we do? We return that gift. They have to understand that they do not get to act in such manner. No this is not neglect, rather it is a lesson on appreciation.
I remember as a child, I was grateful for EVERY toy or gift I received. Whether it be a small purse or a barbie doll, I did not complain.
Since we are on the topic of gifts, let us talk about giving. My absolute favorite thing during this time of the year is the look on someone’s face when I gift them something. It does not have to be a physical item. It can be a nice, simple gesture. I love the feeling of being able to provide for others! I use to think my daughter needed the world for Christmas.. No, just no. That will develop expectations and spoiled actions within her. Now that I am in a blended family, we set a stern, appropriate budget for each child (we have five total). So how do we prevent the spoiled ways of children? We need to limit the gifts given to them, and teach them that if they are ungrateful for the gift, that they will not receive the item. It may be harsh at first, but I assure you, they WILL learn.
A great way to teach children how to give back to the community, is to get them involved with the community! Locally, we have the Salvation Army Red Bell Service. This program is where volunteers ring a bell, next to a cash bucket in front of businesses or restaurants. People then donate dollars or change and it goes to the less fortunate. This teaches that:
- Not everything is for THEM.
- They are doing a good deed, for FREE!
- They are helping the community and others.
We will be having the children on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day this year. The date does not matter, so we cherish the day no matter what. Before we jump into gifts, dinner, and hot cocoa; we will be sitting down reading a kid-friendly picture book of the birth of Jesus Christ. Sure talking about Santa and the gifts he left will be fun with the children, but we are a Christian household and they love the Lord.
So, as we enjoy our Christmas; please remember the true meaning of the holiday. What ever religion you believe in, their is a Lord that loves you. As an open-minded woman, I assure you that your religion is not to be judged by me. This world has so many beliefs, morals, and individuals that we cannot judge.
I hope that you take home the following:
- Get the children involved with community service.
- Teach the children the true meaning of the holiday.
- Teach the children to be grateful for no matter what gifts are given.
I hope you all enjoy your Christmas and loved ones. Please cherish every moment you get with your family, because some one out there does not get the chance to! Giving to others, cherishing others, and loving others is in Christ. Have a Christ filled Christmas.
Be grateful, momma.