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  #1  
November 26th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 36
to keep your Christmas Christ-centered?

I have to admit that DH and I almost did not put up a tree this year. We deliberated and prayed over and after a while I felt like He was telling me that the tree doesn't matter but what's in my heart.

So, this past weekend we put up our tree. Now it's a scrawny, fake tree lol but it's our tree!
We wound the lights around talking to DD about how Jesus is the light of the world. The star at the top is how the wise men knew He was born and they had to travel for a very long time.
Then I got a great idea from Pinterest. I bought cheapie gift tags and letter stickers. On each tag, we put different names and descriptions of Jesus.

My advent calendar is supposed to come in this week. Nothing like waiting til the last minute!!!
It's plain and I have to do the scrapbook paper and mod podge thing with it. I feel like I won't get it done in time. Procrastination FTW!
So, we will do the advent calendar verse and wreath candles.

I also found ideas for a Jesse Tree. I love the idea of teaching DD Jesus's family tree and lineage. We are just going to hang those ornaments (DD will scribble on the paper, I will cut and she will paste onto construction paper, punch hole and hang with yarn) on our Christmas tree.

Don't get me wrong, we aren't Santa-haters lol.

What are your ideas?
I'd really like to incorporate some volunteer and giving ideas. I thought about taking DD shopping to buy gifts for other kids a la angel tree (stuff like coats, shoes, etc.) but I would also be interested in giving time and love instead of material gifts.
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  #2  
November 26th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,084
At the church I attended in the city all the kids church kids took home a cake mix, some icing and decorations, and candles. They encouraged each family to bake a birthday cake for Jesus. I thought that was a pretty fun idea.

I doubt we'll do Santa gifts, and we hope to limit gifts at Christmas anyways, but I've heard of families who give 'birthday gifts' from Jesus to us... The logic isn't quite there for me, but I see what they are trying to do.
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  #3  
November 26th, 2012, 12:05 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,305
I went through a period last year where I wondered about celebrating Christmas the normal way. It never really occurred to me that it originated as a pagan holiday (along with Easter) and that Christians kind of just took it over. After all....Jesus was probably born around September and not anywhere close to Dec. 25th. A friend of mine from an old birth club doesn't celebrate any of our normal holidays but celebrates the old testament Feasts from Leviticus. Now, I believe the Bible teaches that the Feasts are no longer a "required" part of the law...but this friend believes they are for her.

Anyway....I kind of hate that Christmas is all about spoiling our kids to the max and them thinking "its all about me and what I get." Its really hard to overcome what's normal in society and extended family.

I know some people who only do 3 gifts to represent the 3 gifts the wise men brought to Jesus.

We normally do some giving to needy families and volunteer at an outreach to a local apartment complex. We always give to the salvation army people and food bank drives.

I think I will make it a point to teach my kids that Christmas WAS originally a pagan celebration of Winter Solstice but that Christians decided to take over the holiday and make it into a celebration of Jesus' birth. I definitely think you can point to Jesus as the Light of the World (with all the lights) and the Stars as being the one the Wise Men followed....the gifts as either Jesus' birthday gifts OR representing the wise men gifts. You could even say that the trees represent life and the ornaments represent blessings. Our ornaments have our families names on them or they remind us of a trip we took....etc....

Christmas is the start of the winter solstice and winter is really a time of death or dormancy (at least for plants and bugs) but it's only temporary until Spring comes and everything brings forth new life. For older kids, you could parallel this to how we are dead in our sins and have to die to self when we choose to follow Jesus. Our sins and our old self "die" with Christ but then we are reborn and have new life.

I've come to realize after thinking about it and praying about it that its okay to take something meant for evil and turn it into something good. I don't think it's wrong to celebrate the holidays that began as pagan.....because to us...they aren't pagan....they're now about Jesus.
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #4  
November 26th, 2012, 01:52 PM
lupti's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dallas, TX area
Posts: 3,896
With the boys being 3, we are going to read some children stories for advent and talk about Jesus and his birth. We have already talked to the boys and told them that Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus' birthday. We will also talk about Jesus being the light in the world and sharing His love with others.We will add to the story as advent progresses and make "Happy Birthday Jesus" cupcakes.

I am hoping to talk about Santa in terms of Saint Nicholas and continue to relate it to Jesus. I want to find a mini statue of Santa kneeling before the manger so we can teach the boys that even Santa Claus kneels before God.

When they get a little bigger we are going to transition to 3 gifts like the 3 wise men (Something I want, Something I need, Something to Read)
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  #5  
November 26th, 2012, 02:52 PM
Buggymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,117
We'll be donating toward the canned food drive because that's what we always do. We try to go through the house and make some donations. I'd like for us to volunteer some time at one of the ministries that caters to helping people. I'm trying to get my mom and niece to go and do it with us.

I've taught Kayley that Christmas is Jesus' birthday and that's why we celebrate it. We read the stories out of her bible about the birth of Jesus leading up to Christmas. Of course she is excited about getting presents but that's okay....as long as she understands the meaning of Christmas.
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  #6  
November 26th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 36
mamaginger, I have a couple of friends that are Torah Observant. I've tried to see it from that perspective but I can't.
I've told DD that Jesus was born in Sept/Oct but she's so young, she just looked at me lol. I tell her that at this time, the wise men are on their journey to Jesus and how we are awaiting when He returns to bring His kingdom.

Thanks for your post as it is still something I kind of struggle with.
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  #7  
November 27th, 2012, 06:25 AM
Countrymom4's Avatar Chrystal
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 3,583
Love this topic !!!

We do have a tree and santa presents. The children(older ones) know why we have christmas. We also only buy the children santa present, and one from us. We then adopt a family in our area and we buy then a meal and presents.
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  #8  
November 27th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 182
hello,

i was also raised a Christian and Id like my child to be God-fearing as well. We havent put up a christma tree for years now, only lights in our windows. To keep it Christ-centered, we volunteer in church activities like Sunday school parties. I try to get involved in the kitchen to cook food for the party and for the Church Christmas party. It is tiring but it's labor of love. Our fam also participates in Caroling wherein we give gifts to the poor people in the community.

Christmas isn't about Santa...it's about Jesus and im proud I was aware of that since I ws a kid...
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  #9  
November 27th, 2012, 10:06 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,289
I love a Christmas tree, lights and decorations, it's part of the celebration.

We have always kept our Christmas low key, and never do the gifts on Christmas day. We have a birth day cake for Jesus that day. I've been told I'm scarring my kids by not doing the Santa thing, but whatever, he's never been a big deal around our house.
We draw names within my family, so everyone buys one thing for everyone, there's a $20 limit, and you have to do kind acts for whoevers name you drew. We go sing at the old folks home as a family. We're part of the Christmas program at church.

I deliberately limit the amount of gifts, and partially for myself, it's easy to get caught up in it, but it makes no sense to spend money we don't have on things we don't need.
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  #10  
November 27th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 36
rhiane, I'm not sure we will put up a tree next year. I am looking forward to putting up our Jesse Tree ornaments though.

#5, I would love not to do gifts but the peer pressure is hard. My IL's are very giving and generous and they love to give to us. It would break their heart to not to gifts on Christmas.

Partly the reason I had a hard time with the tree and gifts this year is because I would like to step back from that and stay focused but my own selfish wants got ahead. Maybe next year I can be stronger.
I don't mind if we don't do Christmas at our house but we go to the ILs and it's like the North Pole over there with decorations, gifts, etc. I just didn't want DD to think our house is boring and the grandparents house is awesome, you know? *sigh*
I know that stuff doesn't matter.
We are doing 3 gifts over here as well.
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