Last week, right after Thanksgiving, we started decorating the family room for Christmas. As I thought about what I had already placed around the house and what we had planned for Christmas in terms of the elves, activities, letters to Santa, etc., I thought, we need to balance this out a little bit more. We need a lit-tle more Jesus around here. Then, I did it. I added some advent readings, nativity viewing and more Christian-focused decorations around our home. I felt good about this. I took a pic and thought, “this is good.”
The next day as I was exercising in front of our mantle (with my little guy playing behind me) I fixated on a little block that said, “Christmas is All About Jesus.” Always looking for a teachable moment, I said to my 5-year old, “hun, can you fill in the blank for me — Christmas is All About What?” He said, “ah, Santa.” When he realized that wasn’t it, he said, “Elves.” Sorry son, try again. This time he said family. When I told him family wasn’t right either, he was beside himself. I said, “No son, Christmas is all about Jesus.” Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth — like his birthday. He was like oh, Jesus’ birthday. (I promise you we have this talk with the kids every year but he’s the youngest so we’ll cut him a little slack.) This was not a first time conversation but it made me think about how easy it is for kids and adults to lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Nothing wrong with Santa (in my opinion), or elves (we love the shenanigans of our little Bubbles and Blitz), or any of the other traditions that we all have at Christmas, but we have to remember with each day that those things are side items, accompaniments and it is really All about Jesus.
While we are for the fan fare of Santa, the elf scenes and shenanigans, Hallmark Christmas movies, Olaf Paint n Sips with the kids, building gingerbread houses and decorating gingerbread people, we have to remember that this thing is all about Jesus. These things are all just mini celebrations leading up to the biggest birthday party of the year. Celebrate Jesus all month. Celebrate him big. Celebrate his heart, his giving nature, his love, and the joy he brings to the world. Celebrate with fun, giving, laughter, parties (virtually this year), but just remember who we celebrate and why. Remember that Christmas is All About Jesus. The more our actions and heart align to what’s really important, the less likely we are to forget.
How will your family celebrate Jesus this advent season? How will you keep him first?