Bringing The Reason Back Into The Season
Christmas is not about Christmas trees, Santa Claus, presents, or lights. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. As most probably know Christ was not born in Dec. It's believed He was actually born in the spring. Can you imagine a Christmas without snow? Many in warmer climates probably can, but here in Wisconsin that's all we know. However, without Christ and Saint Nicholas you have no Christmas, there would be no Saint Nicholas Day. Being a Christian I think it's important to remember the reason behind the season. For without the reason, there would be no season.
The gift of giving
Growing up my parents always bought us gifts for Christmas. We weren't wealthy and couldn't afford much, but each year there would be three gifts under the tree for each of us. We had three because Jesus was brought three. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, each gift with equal importance. It's believed that the gold represents Jesus as being precious and worthy across cultures and times. Frankincense symbolizing priesthood or prayer, and myrrh His suffering for our sake.Each year we got one thing we needed (clothes, shoes, bedding, etc.), a learning toy/tool (books, flash cards, child play computer, etc.) and something we wanted. Every Christmas we were reminded of the gifts that Jesus received. Why He was so important and how we could give during this special season.
Another great giving experience was going shopping and being able to give to the Salvation Army. Every time we came back out of the store we each got to put a little bit of money into those red buckets. I remember thinking that I was giving so little how could I help, but it's not the amount that matters. It's the thought and giving what you have that truly matters. One of my favorite stories is about a down syndrome boy who gave his whole check to life102.5, because he wanted to help them.
The last thing we do at Christmas is give to Goodwill. We take up all our toys, movies, and clothes that don't fit or we don't want anymore and we box them up and donate them to Goodwill and other drives for children who are in need.
Teaching your children to give is a great way of showing Christ's love to them and others.
The Candy Cane
The candy cane was created to be a witness for Jesus. The shape of a shepherd's staff to represent the Good Shepherd of Jesus. Flipping the candy cane upside down makes the letter "J" representing the precious name of Jesus. The candy is made of pure white solid candy. The color signifying Jesus's sinless nature. The hard candy representing the rock of salvation we have in Jesus Christ. The three red stripes represent the blood that was shed on the cross. Through His stripes we are healed.
Many do not know the meaning behind the Christmas Candy Cane. It has become a favorite Christmas treat and decoration, but how many know the true meaning? You can teach your kids the meaning of the candy cane while teaching them about the gift of Jesus and the wonder reasons to celebrate this Christmas season.
There are so many traditions you can build with your children while teaching them the true meaning of Christmas. We can have the lights, and the trees, and the presents and still have a Christmas centered on Christ.
Baking and frosting cookies to share them with neighbors or donating them to a bake sale. Bake stars and teach your children how the shepherds came to find Jesus. You can make animals and teach them how Jesus was born in a manger.
Something as simple as hanging lights and decorating a tree can be learning experiences for children. There are so many options to bringing the true meaning back to Christmas. The holiday season is not meant to be stressful it's meant for rejoicing in the truth of a Savior.