Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Christmas Ever

Today is New Year's Eve, so I thought I'd better share about our Christmas before 2012 is officially over!
The weeks leading up to Christmas were a little up and down.  I tried to be very intentional about putting Jesus at the center of the season for our family, but it was kind of hard when my 2 and 4 year old were surrounded by santa, elves, reindeer, candy and presents, and they heard "you'd better be good for Santa" at least once every day!
We did a few things to focus on Jesus, like a Jesse Tree, reading Bible verses and doing a few Advent activities, and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas day, but the kids didn't think those things were quite as fun as making treats for Santa, or counting down to Christmas to see what Santa would bring.
I understand that.  Those secular Christmas activities really are fun!  And who doesn't like getting presents?  Looking back, I feel pretty good about my efforts in making Christmas fun while focusing on Jesus.  And I'm not saying Jesus can't be fun, but I learned that there may not be such a thing as truly balancing secular Christmas activities and Jesus.  All the secular acitivties seem to do is take away from the importance of His birth. 
I will, however, continue to try.  After all, my kids are very young and can't even come close to grasping the ramifications of Jesus birth yet!  So we'll start small.  And hopefully they're internalizing what I teach them about the Gospel, even if it'll take them a while to truly understand it.  I'm creating a foundation.  I can already see it in my son.  Praise God!
Although I can't be sure how important Jesus' birth is to my children yet, I do know they had a great Christmas this year filled with friends, family, and love.  My son made me sure of this a few days ago when he said, "Mommy, this has been the best Christmas ever!"  It melted my heart to see the look of joy on his face as he said it!  And the feeling of joy I've felt this year is greater than any other time in my life, because it's from Christ!  I pray he and my daughter feel that same joy someday too.
I really do think this was the best Christmas ever!  I hope it was for you too.
Here are some pictures from the season:

 My sweet kids by the tree!
Fun with Santa!                                           Little one favored Mrs. Claus!

I love this one!  My husband and I and our son are on the left, my sister and my niece are in the middle, and my sister's fiance and my daughter are on the right.  Great family photo!
The kids and my nephew.  Those are some super cute kids, don't ya think?!
Making cinnamon ornaments - they loved using the rolling pin!  And the little one liked sampling the non-edible dough...
Opening presents!

Fun in the snow!                                     ....or not...
Happy New Year everyone!

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