Giving the Best Gift This Christmas

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In our home, we will always remember the Christmas of 2014 as the most unpleasant holiday (so far). We went to my Aunt’s house to celebrate Christmas Eve like we do every year and then we came home to prepare for a lovely Christmas morning. But all throughout the night, my two girls were sick, constantly throwing up. We went through multiple pajamas and gave many baths and changed sheets all night long. All I could think was, why is this happening on Christmas?!? The perfect day that I had planned felt ruined, and it made me sad.

Now that I think back on this Christmas it feels silly to be that upset about things not going my way. I know that the real reason to celebrate has nothing to do with Christmas pajamas, a french toast breakfast, or perfectly happy children. It’s not about us at all. It’s about worshiping and remembering the birth of our Savior.

This feeling of wanting perfection makes me think about the Christmas season that is upon us. We scroll through Pinterest, where recipes and crafts bombard us. We feel pressure to make Christmas perfect with homemade treats and finding the right gift hampers. There is nothing wrong with these things, but often, Christmas itself becomes a god in our life that we worship every year. We take on so much that we end up feeling more stressed and empty when it’s all over.

So how do we avoid this feeling of sadness when the holidays are over, and the children don’t love their gifts as much as we thought they would?

We must balance our expectations and our reality. We live in a fallen world full of selfishness and the desire to constantly have things that are new and different. When we get shiny new toys and they fail to make us happy, it can cause depression and frustration. When we acknowledge that we will never find satisfaction in anything other than the love of our Savior, we can see actual happiness this Christmas.

When it comes to doing all of the crafts and making all of the recipes, do what you can and what you enjoy, but don’t try to do it all. It will only make you tired and keep you from actually savoring the memories with your family.
Each Christmas I make a realistic list of some fun things I would like to do that season. A few examples on this list are: make a treat for our neighbors, look at Christmas lights, and focus on kindness in our home. It doesn’t have to be complicated because we should still leave plenty of time to reflect on the birth of our Savior and how we are waiting for the second coming.

But Christmas gives us a unique opportunity to serve those around us, and I encourage you to focus on that and less on your Pinterest goals. Focus on how waiting for Christ is so much more meaningful than waiting to see how your child reacts to that new gift.

Jesus is the only gift our children need

I admit that it’s fun to search for the perfect gift for our kids. We think about their personality and what they enjoy. I think it helps us appreciate how God made them and encourages us to find a way to help them flourish.

This year we have decided to get each child only one present because they get so many gifts from family and they don’t need anything. I’ve learned over the years that gifts are fun at the moment, but our children need so much more than a new toy.

They need the gift of presence, the gift of being heard, the gift of laughter, and most importantly the gift of Jesus. The best gift we can ever give our children is the teaching and knowledge of the Word of God and how His love is indeed a gift like no other.

Joining together as believers

Another way to make this holiday season focused more on Christ is by joining together with other believers that are striving for the same thing as your family. There is something special about gathering together as a community to worship the One, true King. I’m not just talking about at church but in our homes, inviting others in to celebrate this special time.

We can put aside what our homes look like and make a mess in the kitchen by creating a special feast to share. We can practice hospitality and teach our children to consider the guests in our home. Commit to celebrate together this holiday season and join together as the body of Christ.

If you want to create a more Christ-centered Christmas this year, then I encourage you to join along in my 4-day Instagram Challenge starting on December 21st. Each day, we will post a picture on each topic and then use the hashtag, #adorehim. Also, make sure that you tag and follow me at @parentingwithhumility. I can’t wait to see how you make this Christmas more about Him! For more information on the challenge, subscribe to the PWH newsletter.

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