Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Celebrations

This year we sought to find ways to celebrate Christmas that would help us and our kids focus on Christ's birth, sacrifice, hope and love for the world. So I thought I'd briefly...I mean briefly share a few ideas we have discovered.
1. We will create a book list soon! We have found some amazing books I didn't know existed, but one that I love and it way too hard to get unless you can get it from your library is The 12 days of Christmas: the story behind the song. Did you know the 12 days...doesn't start until December 26th and extends to Jan 6th which was a holiday to celebrate when the 3 Kings brought gifts to Jesus. When Christians felt oppression in by the Church of England because of their religious regulations, parents would use the 12 days of Christmas song to teach their children about Jesus. Every day have a very profound meaning! "The 1st day of Christmas my True Love gave to me was a partridge and a pear tree"...My True Love is God because no one loves us more...and the partridge bird will protect her baby birds even if it means her life...Jesus and the pear tree represents the cross Christ came to bare. Seriously now, this song is amazing. My mom told me it was...but I'm a slow learner. Anyways...there is still time to celebrate the 12 days of can even use one branch from your Christmas tree, put it in a pot, and place little paper numbers on it each day when you read the story. The book it better, but here is a link to the story. This same author's actual book has some helpful questions so children can understand even better and great illustrations compared to this link, but still wonderful and easy to print out...12 days of Christmas.   I'm going to print it out in case we can't rent it from the library because its out of print and going for $150 resell on amazon!!! Yeah, crazy...yet the library has it...I wonder how much they'd sell it to me!?

2. Jesse Tree- I only found out about the Jesse tree a year ago...then my amazing sis, Kate Marshall, made me this insanely wonderful one. A Jesse tree is a unique advent calendar of sorts. Each ornament describes something about the genealogical of Jesus through the line of Jesse, while learning about the great story of God's love and all the messed up people he uses, really. It's pretty amazing. There are lots of ways to do the Jesse tree and you can sit down and read about all the ornaments at once or you can read one each day, you can find a place to print out little ornaments to color, or make your own, or buy some. Anyways, my sis' present to us it pretty amazing. Thanks, Kate!

3. Our church has also been doing this thing called Advent Conspiracy... Christmas can (still) change the world . I have a feeling our church will do something like it every year, as will we. They have been helping our church community focus on how we can actually share Christ's love with hungry orphans (or other's in need). Our church sought out to feed 1500 orphans in a year in an African region we support. It only costs $40 to feed an orphan their for a whole year!!!! CRAZY. It has been very convicting fo our entire church for sure. we can change a LIFE for $40. Ava even raised her own money, not $40 but a good portion of her allowance and went to donate it last week. Our church gives you a little gift box with a ribbon and tissue paper inside with a magnet you can put on your fridge to remind you that an orphan in Chikudzulire, Malawi, Africa is being fed today. The gift you put under your Christmas tree to open on Christmas to remember the gift you gave. It make me cry. It also puts everything back into perspective.

Have a very Merry Christmas!