A few years ago I read a book called Christmas is Not Your Birthday by Mike Slaughter. The point of the book is to be giving to others and serving Jesus instead of just wanting gifts for yourself. That’s what I want for Clarissa (and myself). For her to understand that Christmas is not just about her receiving gifts. Two books this year that have really helped her to see that: The King’s Christmas List and The Three Gifts of Christmas.
We have a few holiday traditions this time of year to point Clarissa to Jesus instead of just ourselves.
- For Thanksgiving, Clarissa and I memorized Psalm 136:1. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” We spent several days talking about the things we are thankful for. Clarissa wrote them down inside the turkey that she drew.
- We read a lot of books about Christmas and Jesus.
- We do Truth in the Tinsel. This is a 24 day curriculum where you read a Bible story each day and focus on a different part or person of the Christmas story (Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, etc). Each day in addition to the Bible reading there is some discussion and a craft to make. This is our fifth year and Clarissa and I both really enjoy doing this together.
- We like to bake in this house so we make a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve.
- We also like to choose some birthday gifts for Jesus. We really like both the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog and the Compassion Gift Catalog. Clarissa, Tim, and I each get to choose a project to give to. Clarissa often will choose clothes for children or providing a family with some kind of animal. I like to give towards educating mothers either to read or some kind of skill that they can use to provide for their family. Tim likes to find technology projects.
- A couple of years ago I kept a blessing jar. I would write down blessings on a sticky note through the year and put them in the jar. At the end of the year, I would pull them out and read them. It was fun to remember God’s faithfulness through the year.