Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Best Birthday of All!

In our Sunday School class last Sunday, we talked about how we unintentionally make our children an idol (as a result of jealousy). We compare how our kids look, act, perform, etc. to other people's kids. We turn it into this unspoken competition. We do whatever it takes to make our kids look good.

We discussed the topic of Birthday Parties. How we feel like we HAVE to go all out for our child's birthday parties. We were saying things like, "I just CANT believe some people spend X amount of money or hand make their kids party favors and poop out a pinterest perfect party." Well....Um...That's jealousy too. We trash talk how other mom's choose to do things just to hide the fact that we've been outdone and want to make ourselves feel better.

In the midst of our discussion we kind of all decided that it's ok if parties are elaborately perfectly done, and its ok if you just put up one balloon, eat a cake, and call it a day. Then a wise lady said this...

We are making a bigger deal out of our kids birthday parties than we do out of 
celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

I've been so convicted about that all week. What have I been doing? Sure we have a quick discussion about how it's all about Jesus, we read the Christmas story. Then they go nuts opening presents. Here are some simple thoughts on things that I have done or will try to make sure Jesus is the biggest deal this Christmas season. THEN I want to hear your ideas!

1. Last year, after every gift that we opened we all would say, "This is good, but Jesus is better!"
2. Last year, we put $20 in each kids stocking with a note saying they had to find a way to use the money to help someone in need. Carley chose to buy shoes for Buckner. Colin chose to buy a few toys to put in the hospital play room at Scottish Rite hospital.
3. This one got a little loud in my car, but last year, every time we passed by a house or building with Christmas lights, we would shout, "Happy Birthday Jesus!"
4. Read the Christmas Story. Make it interactive depending on their age. If they are 2-3 years of age, have them jump up every time you say, "Jesus" or "Son of God." If they are preschool age, have them draw a picture of what they visualize while you slowly read the story.If they are school age. Have them write a summary or their favorite part or what they think is the most important thing that happened. Have them act out certain parts. Play cherades with things from the story. Anything!
5. We watched a video at our church from The Skit Guys about how this man stole baby Jesus from their nativity set and hid it. He left clues all over the house for his kids... making this a week or 2 long search for Jesus. The point was to make the whole season about seeking Christ.
5. Quit asking your kids so much what they want for Christmas. Our kids are fine. They have enough. Start asking them what they should give instead. 
6. Somehow try to explain to your kids (depending on their age) the connection between Christmas and Easter. That He was born to die so that we could someday pray for Him to save our lives.

I have absolutely nothing against Santa, buying your kids presents, and all that fun that comes with Christmas. I just know that I HAVE to be more intentional about making the biggest deal out of Jesus for my kids...and myself. 

Tell me your ideas/thoughts on ways to make this happen for your family. Whether you have babies or teenagers. I want to hear it all!