It's December and this absolutely, positively my favorite time of year. I love the cold (or rather cool) weather here in South Texas. An escape from the humidity and steaming hot temperatures. I love the cozy feeling of having the Christmas decorations up. Something more important that I love is the time of renewal. The time to re-evaluate your traditions or even your life. This year we are doing Christmas in a whole new way. In the past, although in the back of our minds we never really took time to appreciate "the reason for the season." Christmas morning we have always taken the time to read the account of Jesus' birth but aside from that there was no true examination of what we were celebrating. **note: I know that this is not technically Jesus' birthday HOWEVER I do think it is important to take time to celebrate the day that our Heavenly Father came down to earth in human form to make the ultimate sacrifice and this is the time of year we choose to celebrate.**
So, this year I really started to ponder what traditions, values, and ideas I wanted to instill in our dear son during this season. For starters, I desperately wanted to get away from the materialism of the holiday. Unfortunately, I was not as successful as I wished to have been but I did manage to get my shopping just about finished before this month so that my focus can be on actually celebrating (rather than rushing frantically around trying to fulfill wish lists). The second thing that we are doing is a Jesse Tree. In case you are not familiar with this (I had never heard of this until a few weeks ago, thanks to my SIL) a Jesse Tree is meant to be an Advent celebration. Each day of Advent you place an "ornament" on the "tree." Each ornament is a symbol representing some aspect of Christ's lineage. Along with the tree we are doing a daily devotional that relates to that days symbol. We started these studies yesterday and all of us had such a great time doing it I am excited for the rest of them.
--As the Christmas season progresses I hope to come up with more ideas to emphasize the aspects of the holidays that I want to embrace, while I work to minimize the aspects that society has pushed us to embrace.
May Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.