..for spending, spending and more spending. At least that is what it feels like sometimes. Everytime I turn around there is another something to buy.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas. And I love choosing and giving gifts that people will enjoy. I try to make things personal to the receiver.
But sometimes I worry that we are forgetting the meaning of the season. This past weekend at church Father Scahill was talking about advent. The point that struck me the most was how he empasized that advent is not simply a countdown to Christmas. It is a season itself. Advent shoud be celebrated and we should be getting ready for Christmas, not simply counting down to it.
It made me think. When I taught Catholic school and CCD I did treat advent as a season. Now I don't as much. And how sad is that? I taught the meaning of advent better to my students than to my own children.
I also find myself empahsizing Santa more than Jesus when talking to Madeline about Christmas. Part of that is the kid in me and just enjoying that this is the first year she really "gets" the whole Santa thing. But is that what I want her to grow up thinking Christmas is about? In order to begin to teach her the true meaning of Christmas I looked for books at the library today. I found TONS of books about Christmas, but very few about the real meaning of Christmas or the nativity. I am having Jon drag out my box of Christmas books tomorrow becuase I want to read her and Owen stories about Jesus and the season of giving (not just getting). When choosing Christmas books I choose some fun ones, but I also try to choose books that have a lesson about Christmas as well. Even the Berenstein Bears and the Grinch have good lessons in them if you look.
Somethings I am planning to do with Madeline (and Owen as well) this season to help them learn the real meaning of Christmas:
*go through their toys and choose some to donate to children who don't have what they have
*involve them in creating gifts for family members, things that are memories not just things
*attend mass as a family each Sunday and on Christmas Eve as well
*teach the religious Christmas songs as well as the popular Jingle Bells, Rudolph and such
*involve the children in donating gift cards or food to our church for the Christmas baskets they are creating
*starting next week involve a bible verse and coloring page from dltk-kids.com that teaches the Christmas story
*look for the meaning of Christmas in all videos that we watch and emphasize them as well as the fun
*try and find the meaning behing the christmas tree and the candy cane (I had them when i taught) and involve them in our holiday plans
*take out our little people nativity and set it up correctly after reading a Christmas story
*create traditions that involve family and time rather then just things
I am not perfect, I get caught up in the gifts at times as well. But I am hoping to take this time when I am trying to teach my children to teach myself as well.
How do you keep the meaning of Christmas from getting lost at your house?