“Why do I do what I do as a mom? What are the motives and purposes behind my everyday habits and our special traditions? Am I treasuring Christ in both the mundane and in the celebrations?”
Early in my life as a mom I read “Treasuring Christ in our Traditions” by Noel Piper. As a result, years later, I am still asking the above questions.
This book laid a foundation for my mission as a mom. Like many of you, Christ was not treasured by my parents and, like many of you, I had to learn as I went. Each of my kids’ milestones provided me with another opportunity to ask the godly moms around me what it might look like to treasure Christ in that specific situation.
In this, my final post about Advent for 2016, I’ll share a a few remaining traditions that we typically do in hopes of treasuring Christ at Christmas:
We throw Jesus a birthday party. At times it has been only my children and at other times I have invited every woman and child I know. This year we're going to invite all the neighborhood kids. Each party includes having a cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. The kids all bring gifts for Jesus. For gifts, you could use ideas from my second Advent post or think of something unique to your community: gloves for the homeless, handmade cards for a lonely neighbor, any gift that the kids can offer Jesus by giving to “the least of these.” The party can include crafts or a story or just playtime—whatever suits you and displays a treasuring of Christ. You may feel silly singing Happy Birthday to Jesus at first (especially when it comes time to blow out the candles), but trust me, the kids will truly enjoy it and it will recenter you.
You’ve heard it said that more is caught than taught. Your kids will see how your value of material gain (for yourselves and for them) compares to your joy in the incarnation. I completely resonate with those who want to give their kids all the latest toys and fashion and gadgets. No one wants their kids to go without. But if we serve up the latest store-bought item rather than the Savior of the world, we are not serving our kids well. Some ideas are: limit your gifts to just a couple, agree as a family to hand-make your gifts, or shop only through ministries such as the 31:20 Christmas Marketplace, which aims to promote Christian faith-based organization that help impoverished women, children, and families around the world through the sales of their handmade products.
Lastly, a great way to treasure Christ during Advent is to memorize scripture with your kids. If you work on it together each day for a few minutes, you’ll be excited about what you have internalized by December 25th. Consider Isaiah 53 or a portion of Luke 2. Your kids could even dress up as certain characters of the nativity and act it out. They could recite their memorized scripture before dinner on Christmas Day. It will be challenging, but truly worth it, I promise!
If you have other ideas, I’d love for you to add them to the comment section. I’m always up for something new and realize that because I’ve been overseas, I’ve missed out on many great traditions here. Please do share yours!