Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Traditions

As Christmas gets closer it is easy to get caught up in all the hoopla and business that is the Christmas season. We often forget about the real reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have noticed that I too have been guilty of focusing on the wrong part of this holiday and have wanted to change that. Last night Erik and I had a family home evening where we read a story by C.S. Lewis that talks about the silly traditions of x-mas versus celebrating Christmas. Some of the stressful traditions including buying gifts for everyone at the value you think they will give you, regardless if you can afford it or not, sending out tons of Christmas cards to everyone in your address book regardless if you have talked to them in years or not, tons of holiday parties, and all the other business that takes up all of our time so we have none left to focus on what really matters about Christmas, Christ.

 Our Savior is the healer of all mankind, his birth, life and death made it possible for all of us to live again with our heavenly father and make right the things we could not otherwise. He descended below all things and because of this he knows how to succor his people and to help us through whatever trial we are going through. He is the only one who understands the pain we feel, and the only one who can take it away. He taught us how to live more perfectly, and how to be truly happy. His teachings help us to live a joyous and fruitful life full of meaning. It is his spirit that brings us peace in a world full of confusion. It is because of him that we can find meaning and joy. I am so grateful for a Savior who loves us, and I am grateful for a chance to celebrate his birth and life this holiday season.

 Erik and I decided that we wanted to focus more on Christ, and create Christmas traditions that will help us teach Eli and our future children about the Savior during this season. His birth is central to all mankind and the most important event in history. We want them to understand the importance of learning about and focusing on this, So we brainstormed a few traditions that we are going to implement, some this year and the rest next. Here they are in no particular order.

 1. Read Christ Centered stories the week leading up to Christmas, and a Christ centered scriptural thought every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
 2. Buy a Christmas movie at Deseret Book every year that focuses on the Savior or his teachings.
 3. Set up our manger scene in stages over the course of a week and read about each part that we set up with our children. Ie the wise men and who they were, etc.
 4. Pick a gift to give to Christ every year.
 5. Attend the Temple at least once during the Christmas season.

 Well that is a good start anyway. I am sure we will add more as the years go on. If any of our friends reading this blog have any good suggestions about Christ centered traditions, feel free to leave them in the comment section of this post.

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