Thursday, January 08, 2009

Celebrating Jesus

After last year's failed attempt to celebrate Jesus' birthday we spent more time planning to make it a memorable day. Starting on the Sunday before our Friday celebration we began doing the "What God Wants for Christmas" activity. Each day we opened one gift and placed it on our coffee table. All through that week the excitement was building and we kept talking to the boys about what was going to happen on Friday. When Friday arrived it was a grand day! Unfortunately Philip was sick and thus participated from his recliner. We started with a special breakfast and then opened gift number 6. The boys wrapped their presents to Jesus and placed them under the tree. They were wrapping shoe boxes and gluing pictures of the items that they were going to give Him. Allan wanted to get chickens and both boys wanted to give Bibles. Each boy was to collect money from family members over the holiday to fund their project. We had a special dinner and then had a birthday cake. As we sang happy birthday to Jesus you could tell they felt like they were celebrating! As a side note: I had always though of a birthday cake for Jesus as being a little "hokey." But after our miserable failure last year I realized that children understand birthday celebrations because they remember how their birthday was celebrated. A birthday cake is a big part of that celebration and something they can relate to. Now we have a new family tradition! After lunch we let them open the few gifts that we had purchased for them. The afternoon was spent napping as usual and then supper. After supper I took the boys to the live nativity at the Creation Museum. They LOVED it! It was terribly cold and windy but they had several fire pits along the "road to Bethlehem" and they enjoyed the fire. They also got to pet a camel which they had never done before. Baby Jesus enthralled them and I didn't have the heart to tell them it was a fake baby. While we were there the donkey bit the lady in the stall which also added to the experience. Their favorite part were the Roman guards... probably because of their swords! We didn't stay too long because it was so cold and Philip was home with Stephen. When we got home we had family worship and then opened the last gift. The day was just very, very special and when we asked Allan if we had celebrated Jesus his reply was, "Oh Yes!" That made all the planning and work worth it!


Kim M. said...

I enjoyed this post. I have been trying to think of some better traditions for our family too. You are right, it just doesn't happen without a lot of planning. I am hoping to do better next year. It's hard when you travel too (which we do every other year).

Toots said...

Beautiful... living the real thing. Blessings to you all.

Kelly S said...

Every year at Christmas time I feel more and more convicted. I've been praying for guidance on how to make Christmas a more meaningful time - like you said, "to celebrate Jesus"! That's what it's all about! Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.