The other night while praying with the girls before bed, Arthur and I took turns asking and thanking God for things. It was kind of like a joint prayer. We were both trying to think of a way to ask God to help us remember what Christmas is really about, and all I could think to say was “Jesus is the reason for the season”. I remember wearing pins as a child that had that phrase on it. Or seeing bookmarks or bumper stickers with that phrase. It sounds so childish, but I think it really encompasses what we need to remember.
I know my girls (at least Iris and Lily), know that Christmas is about Jesus and celebrating his birth. But, I also know we get soooo wrapped up (no pun intended) in the presents and the tree and Santa. I want my girls to keep singing “happy birthday Jesus” when they’re older and not just in preschool. I want them to remember to thank God for the real reason for Christmas, to make that connection between Christmas and Jesus’ birth and (eventually) salvation.
I took them to see Santa last Friday at the mall. We stood in line for about an hour, which is something I would normally complain about. I knew full well, though, that the line would be crazy long and that the girls would probably get antsy. They, surprisingly, stood perfectly in line and patiently waited their turn. Iris even commented, “This is a really long line, Mom. We need patience.” I smiled the biggest smile ever. We’ve been working on understanding patience, so it was nice to see she made that connection. We finally got up to Santa and they all got so shy! I expected that somewhat. Lily and Iris just hid behind my legs and Addy stared at Santa with big eyes. I tried to set Addy on his lap, she sat for half a second then looked and me and started crying. Iris finally mustered up the courage to speak to him. She planned to tell him she wanted Barbie and baby dolls for Christmas, but when she did speak she said, “I want a pony.” ???? I started laughing. Santa was very soft-spoken, which I think the girls were a bit put off by. On the cartoons and movies, he’s this boisterous and fun-loving guy. This Santa definitely was not. He looked like he really wanted to take a break (it was almost noon, which is his break time we were told), so I think it was hard for the girls to want to talk to him if he didn’t seem to want to talk to them.
Overall, I’m glad we went. We’ve been talking about it, and they’d seen him from a distance before, so I was glad to get it done. 🙂 We did not take or buy a picture. I believe it is robbery, the prices they charge…and they do not allow a picture using your own camera…of course. Oh well…I saved us $24, which I think was the lowest price and only included two 5×7’s!
We finished up shopping for our last 2 gifts and came home just in time to eat and get a nap in. We had a fabulous weekend at my parents’ house and at Grandma’s breakfast. The girls had fun playing with their cousins. And that evening was our couples night, which was really great. It was so cold, but it was also very nice to be without the kids for a few hours.
This week, my brother Tyler is here with us until we go back to my parents’ house tomorrow night to stay til Christmas Eve. We have 3 different kinds of cookies to bake today, a few of which we will keep here for Santa. 🙂
Despite everything that is happening this week, I really hope I convey a good attitude toward my family. I tend to get crabby and impatient during the holidays, expecting everyone to be on best behavior and not uncontrollably excited to see family and receive gifts. Yes, I forget they are toddlers a lot! 🙂 Most of all, though, I want to make sure we keep Jesus’ birth as the main focus. Santa is fun to talk about and gifts are fun to buy, wrap and give, but I want the girls to really focus on the best Gift ever. I know between preschool and Sunday School they’ve really learned a lot about Mary and Joseph and the birth but I want it to be a focus here, too. God has blessed me so much with such inquisitive girls; I hope I honor Him by addressing their curiosities with His Word and His Son and His Gift of Salvation.
With that, I wish you all a wonderfully blessed Christmas with your families and friends. I hope we can all take at least a moment each day to stop and think of all that went on to bring Jesus into this world, all the details that came together just right to bring us such an Amazing Gift. God’s desire is for us to know Him and love Him. What better way than to share the real Christmas story with our loved ones and show them just how much God loves us!