Welcome to Christmas at the Perry House. Yes. I mean you. :)
Christmas is in full swing around here. The tree is up and decorated, complete with presents! My Nutcracker collection is out and hopes to grow this year. (Chris has been giving me one most every year since we got married... SO sweet. I got to play Clara when I was 11 and have loved it ever since!) My small nativity scene is out and Joseph's head got glued back on after it's unfortunate incident last year. Whoops! The mistletoe is hung and has been put to good use (while the kids were turned the other way of course!)! I made my Pinterest project and turned my summer time tomato cage into a lit up Christmas Tree on our front lawn! We have a beautiful doorway surrounded by the garland we got last year on sale 75% off hung around the door! (LOVE those sales! I've been waiting all year to hang it!) Stockings are up! Oh my... we even made Christmas cookies last week and took them to a few places near where I work. So fun. I love this time of year. I love watching my kids eyes as we go out into the living room every morning and they see the tree all lit up. They get excited EVERY morning! I love driving around looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot cocoa. I turn into a little kid again, all giddy and excited about my presents. Yes. I love presents. Presents are a big deal in my family. They are fun. I like giving them more than receiving. But receiving them is fun too.... I won't deny that. I'm really excited for my present this year.... I'll reveal it after Christmas. Let's just say that I have big plans for my living room.
All of these things are so fun. And I don't want them to be a distraction for my own heart or my kids' hearts... I want them to be a street sign, pointing them to the reason for the season. We've been teaching our Little Man about Jesus this year. I meant to do an Advent calendar, but never got around to making one. I'm putting that on my to do list for early January to prep for next year. I'm serious. I want to be preapred! But for this year (my kids are only 1 and 2) I'm settling for just taking about it. Telling the story, over and over again. That the star represents the star that lit up when Jesus was born. Jesus.... our God who became flesh to save us from our sins. It's created some great conversation opportunities with Landon to tell him the gospel.
The other day I was gently reminding Landon to obey. His response: "I don't want to obey!" Oh my.... so I explained to him that his desire to NOT obey was exactly the reason that Jesus came at Christmas. In our hearts we fight against God, so he had to send Jesus to earth to live a perfect life, and become the perfect sacrifice, dying to pay for our sins. I cried. Little Man looked at me gently and started to obey. I think that maybe, just maybe, he's starting to get it. He's only 2, so he has a ways to go. I hope that we can continue having these conversarions.
Last week at church our pastor was teaching through a Christmas series and was focusing on Joseph but he pointed out Matthew 1:21--where the angel was speaking to Joseph. The angel made it clear who Jesus would be. "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Those words have just been ringing in my mind for the last week and a half. "For he will save his people from their sins". He will save his people form their sins. That was the whole reason Jesus was born as the sweet little baby, to save his people from their sins.
I loved this post I read today on Desiring God by Rachel Jankovic called Of Kids and Christmas. And I so agree with her. ENJOY Christmas and all it's craziness. Stay up late making cookies. Give your kids presents. Decorate. Decorate. Decorate. But let it all point to the reason why we do it all. Let your traditions in your family point your kids to Jesus. He is the one who came to save them from their sins.