Tag Archives: christmas

Turning It Up a Notch

Can someone please tell me where November went?  I mean wasn’t it just yesterday that we had summer vacation?  This Sunday Advent begins.  I have planned Advent activities for the family for years.   And well, it was fun and meaningful.  But my kids are not “kids” anymore…..One is a full fledged driver license carrying teenager and the other is a preteen, right smack in the middle of awkwardness.

So now, Advent is gonna have to be turned up a notch…..especially in the activities area.  So, I really have to step back and rethink how we are going to celebrate Advent…..teenage style!

I don’t know…. maybe I am just being a little Bible thumping….. but is it just me  or has Christmas lost it’s worth?  Hang on…. hear me out.  Or better watch this little video….

Did you see how many 0’s were in that number???  My teens are at the age where commercialism and materialism becomes a focus.   In the past, I emphasized how to rethink Christmas giving……something homemade, recycled, or even limiting the number we shower our kids with to 3….. like Jesus received.  Yes, I threw a lot of Jesus in my advent planning but I never actually thought of the worth of Christmas.

What exactly is the worth of Christmas? Gifts? A meal?  Credit Cards? The best deal?  Or is it Worship…… worshiping Christ.  See when we go all materialistic we are robbed of our worth.  It becomes an idol, something we give power, other than God.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself only worshiping God in church.  That’s why we have Advent services in church and a Christmas eve service…… I mean that is putting Christ back in Christmas, right?

Ahem…..

So what does worship really mean to you?  That’s the real question.  I want my kids to understand that Christmas isn’t just a time of year but a lifestyle worth living.  I want them to appreciate, to have gratitude, and to see Christ around them….. to feel it and to express it.  I don’t want it to be watered down to just singing a few hymns and going to church so we can cross that off our to-do list……Christ in Christmas, CHECK!

Anyone with me? Isn’t it about time we put down the credit cards and pick up the idea that we are truly God’s servants?  I want my family’s worship, showing of  reverence, to be reserved only for Him……not long lines, wrapping paper, and decorations.

So, how do I do that?  Not put up the tree?  No gifts? Hmmmm….. guess I need to reevaluate what gifts mean to us.  Is it something or someone?  Is it a service or something to receive?  Is it filled with honor and gratitude or is it just something to give so we feel nice because it is expected?

I have probably thumped enough for today….. just think about what Christmas is worth to you and your family, and then come visit tomorrow for some ideas that might be inspiring…..

God bless……

Great Expectations

Looking forward to…..

Anticipation….

Regarding to something that is likely to happen…..

To look for with reason…….

Great Expectations.

What are your expectations regarding Christmas?

Gifts?  The latest “gotta have” thing?

Perhaps, I have gotten old.  I don’t think of Christmas in terms of things.  It is love.  It is a time of remembrance.  It is a time of reflection.  It is a time to be most thankful.  It is a time for family and friends.  It is a time to think about Christ’s second coming.

God sent Christ as a gift for eternal life with Him.  He didn’t come to meet our expectations but our needs.  Think about it.  The Messiah was expected to be a great king, a great battle winning warrior, a savior from all suffering, and a leader to all Israelites.   However, in reality, He came to us as a babe, delivered in a manager, and unnoticed by so many. Trumpets didn’t sound.  Glorious fireworks didn’t explode with His arrival.  Quietly Jesus was born.   Humbled into this world.

We needed a gift of love and God met that need.  So, should our expectations be any more for Christmas?  Share love.  Not stuff.  Share Christ.  Not things.  Praise God.  Not selfishly finding satisfaction in giving.

That is what I have to remind myself every year.  Christmas should not be of this world but of spirit.  I do tend to stray from that thinking sometimes.  It is hard not to considering that Christmas decor makes it way into the stores as soon as the last firecracker is sold in July.  And now we are facing just a few days until it is here.  Sigh……  time to train my mind when I think “I gotta get” to “I gotta love.”

God bless…….

Just One Month

Can’t believe that 2011 is this close to ending! Where did the time go?  I am still in February!

((sigh))

Time flies.

Won’t be long until my kitchen will smell like homemade yummies!!  Our “kitten”-almost grown cat- Matthew (we so lovingly call Toot!) will be playing in the Christmas tree before we know it.  Thank God I finished my shopping back in January!!  I know…. I know…. over achiever!

My intent for today’s post is not to remind you that another year has slipped you by…… Nor to shame you for not taking advantage of early Christmas shopping….

But….

To help you get a jump on Advent.

See, I’m trying to help!!

Here’s a post I did back in November 2009 about Advent……  Enjoy!

I don’t know about  you but there are times when I am walking around in Wal-Mart doing my weekly shopping in September and I begin seeing the Christmas inventory on the shelves, I actually hang my head and it has to shake in disbelief.  Commercialism has converted Christmas to consume our time, energy and money in spite of the the Carols ringing in the air.  I don’t know about you, but to me, the sheer joy and meaning of Christmas has been replaced by the beeping of a cash register.  I think it is time to really take a look at an old fashioned tradition to get our hearts and minds in sync with the true meaning of Christmas.

I am talking about Advent.  It is a tradition that my family, growing up, did not practice.  I had never heard of this time of the year until we started going to our present church.  And over the past 8 years we have grown to love and cherish this tradition in our home.

Advent is a Latin word that means, “the coming.”  It is a special time for personal retrospect and growth.  This age old tradition takes place on the four Sundays prior to Christmas.  This year, it begins on November 29, 2009 and runs through Christmas Eve.  Advent is a season of reflection that can bring meaning to our season.  Many families already have Advent calendars and candles.  The calendars may have tasty treats and are used as a Christmas countdown.  But, how do we truly reflect on our faith while observing these traditions?

For the next few days leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, I will take  you on an adventure exploring the idea of Advent and many traditions you can begin with your children.

But first, I want to talk about 3 important reflections that are important to your understanding why Advent is a sacred tradition before you begin this in your home.  Remember it is a time of personal retrospect and growth as a believer……

1.  Reflect the meaning of God coming to Earth as a human baby.  It is the most humble form God could use.  A helpless child being delivered into this world in a manger, humbles my heart to say the least.   God loved us enough to come into this world as a child, a human form.  This birth changed the world and it has left an impact on countless lives throughout time.

2.  Reflect how Jesus has changed your existence.  As I look over my life and reflect on how I have grown spiritually, I am overtaken by joy.  Take a moment and really inspect your life.  Consider how God’s power through Christ has empowered your life, your actions, your way of thinking and your faith.

3.  Reflect on the fact that Jesus is coming back.  Yes, He is coming back.  And the anticipation can be the fuel to our joy…… not our fear.  You can even think about it in the way of  “Jesus is coming over for Christmas.”  If you think about your Christmas preparations in terms of God coming to spend the holiday with you, you can not help to change your perspective.  Would Jesus see Himself in your celebration?  Would He see Himself in you as you greet your guests, prepare your meals, or Christmas shop?  Would He see how His life has impacted your passion for life and for the season?  Try thinking about truly inviting God over for Christmas this year.

I would like to challenge you to really mediate and reflect on these three points as you begin your Christmas season.  You will be surprised in the changes you will be making……

God Bless……