Each year at Christmas I wonder if my kids get it. We try to teach them what Christmas is really about though our Advent readings, the Jesse tree, lighting the Advent candles, shopping for others, finding special ways to help others, spending time together away from the hustle and bustle - but it seems as if everywhere we go people are asking them what they want for Christmas, if they've talked to Santa yet, what they want for Christmas, commercials telling them to ask for more, etc.
Every year I wonder.
But this year I KNOW.
My neighbor stopped me the other day to ask if I knew that My Big Helper was in the newspaper. When I replied that I hadn't seen it, she ran to get hers - and there was a full-page spread of about 8 schoolchildren from around the county, mine being one of them. Each child was asked by a reporter in school about Christmas, and she answered, "It's about Jesus being born."
I didn't even start wrapping presents until just a few days before Christmas this year, and to save myself some sleeping time I wrapped cousin- and husband-gifts while the kids were playing. My Little Man wandered by as I was struggling with the paper - making a box look pretty does not come naturally to me - and suddenly asked, "Mommy, what does baby Jesus get for Christmas?"
Of course, both kids were very excited about opening their presents but didn't seem to notice that they received significantly fewer (at home) than in other years. They wanted to open the biggest one first, of course, but they also wanted to give the gifts that they had made before opening any of their own. They were each excited about giving and making personal gifts for their family members.
So this week, I'm grateful for the opportunity to worship in two beautiful services with my family, to see them happy about lighting the candles at home and hear their voices eagerly singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus; but most of all, I'm glad they understand.
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