The countdown has begun 11 days until Christmas. The stockings have been hung, the Christmas tree cut down and put up and decorated and now our snowman has been placed in our front yard; its official Christmas time is coming to our home. I have written the Christmas cards and decorated the house. I have not shopped for one present yet! I like it this way, having the decorations and the Christmas joy but no shopping. Two of my children have been taking piano lessons since September and they have been playing Christmas songs for a few weeks. My husband and I love to listen to them play. I can just imagine how relaxing Christmas would be if gifts were not a part of the tradition. What if we just celebrated the day with family and scripture, church and memories? There is not a choice in the matter. Our culture demands that gifts must be purchased, wrapped and given to others. Luckily Santa only brings 1-2 gifts to each of our children. They receive gifts from so many others in our family that they are overwhelmed without receiving 15 gifts each from Santa.
My children are counting down the days until Christmas break. We are anxiously awaiting our traditional cookie baking day. My children will have their gingerbread house building day this weekend. Then there are the O’Antiphon advent prayer services to attend and so many other Christmas traditions to partake in this season.
I love the Christmas season it is rich with tradition and family. I believe that as parents which ever tradition or part of Christmas we emphasize is the example we set for our children. If we are stressed to the max and overwhelmed they will believe it is a stressful time. If we get wrapped up in the shopping they will think mostly about the gifts. If we try to slow down and concentrate more on the togetherness and Jesus Christ then so will they. I know it is a rat race at Christmas time to get it all done. But try to make the next 11 days different this year. This year consider what you want your family to value the most and really make that the prominent part of your family’s Christmas. We can’t change the commercialism in the world but we can change the emphasis in our own homes this Christmas.