This is such a fun time of year! The kids are at just the right age to appreciate the little things I do to help make this holiday season a fun and meaningful one for them.
It was so fun decorating the house this year; since we moved in on December 23rd last year, we skipped the decorating. We really have a house, OUR house, to decorate this year, and it feels really nice. My favorite thing to do is still to sit in the living room with the Christmas tree lights on (all 1000 of them) and watch Christmas movies on TV or play on my phone or snuggle with the kiddos or just sit.
We have been going on walks after dinner around the block to see the Christmas lights...my kids say, "It's a Winter Wonderland out here!" It's truly magical. There is one house that has a Santa Claus in the upstairs window that sometimes is lit up, sometimes not, and our game is to see if it's lit and we can see Santa tonight.
Opening Christmas cards and seeing the friendly and missed faces of our friends and family from afar has been a highlight.
Each morning we have been opening a drawer on our Advent tree, in which are two tiny presents and a word of encouragement and truth for the day, thanks to my mother in law. It usually goes well, unless like today, the kids fight over whose turn it is to open the drawer and before I know it the entire contents of the tree are strewn on the floor. Sigh.
Each night I let them unwrap a Christmas book, some new, some old, and we read it before bed.
I have been hiding "Keebler," the Elf on the Shelf, when I can remember, which is pretty fun.
And I have let them watch an "extra" show while I get dinner ready if I need a break, one of the Christmas shows that I used to watch when I was little.
This is also a time to really think about what things I want to teach them about Christmas.
I want them to know that it's JESUS that we celebrate, that He was the best gift of all, so we celebrate His birth by giving presents to one another.
I want them to experience the MAGIC and WONDER of believing in Santa Claus, but I've been teaching them that it's not about being bad and good, because we are all sinners in need of Jesus, and we are all "bad" or "naughty" sometimes, but that getting presents isn't contingent on their "good" behavior no more than our salvation is contingent on our "good" deeds. I think the message is getting through.
I'm looking for the PEACE of Christ this holiday season, and I'm finding that I'm yelling a lot less, smiling a lot more, and sharing knowing looks with my hubby as often as I can.
This year is so much fun, like every year, and I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with my little family, anticipating the coming of our saviour.
As one of my favorite characters once said, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."