Friday, December 4, 2009

Works for me FRIDAY - because I forgot to post this on Wednesday

It's Christmas, in case you missed the constant jingle-belling on the radio, light displays on every store, and gigantic Santa Claus and singing reindeer in the Jones' front yard. It's Christmas. It's true.

We recently had a Family Home Evening about this ever-popular holiday. First question: what is Christmas time all about? Little Prince: Presents!

Hmmmm.

Christmas time is, in fact, NOT about presents at all, and we are making it our goal to change LP's answer by December 25th.

One of the ways we are working to put Christ back into the Mas is by keeping His bed warm.

Nothing makes the Savior happier than loving and serving our fellow man. I know. He said so. So the best birthday present we could give Him would be? You got it - loving and serving our fellow man. (I know! It's like I already gave you the answer!)

Every day this month our family is looking for service opportunities. After dinner, we gather around the nativity and report on our good works. For every act of service, we add a "straw" (in this case, toothpicks) to the manger. By Christmas Eve, the Christ-child should have a pretty warm bed.

The kids are totally into it. LP took a truckload of candy to school, begging his friends to take it so he could keep Jesus warm. Ouro Branco is shockingly sweet with the pleases and the thank yous and the sharing his toys, muttering to himself that Jesus has to keep warm. I'm tellin' ya. Jesus is much more effective than Santa Claus for behavior modification. Jesus is better, because Jesus is real.

13 comments:

Mommadj5 said...

Love the nativity :-)!! I've seen the Jesus straw done many times very effectively - love the teaching that serving others is serving Jesus. I read about a "gratitude box" that a family started on Thanksgiving. Times were really tough and they knew they were not going to have a gift-laden Christmas. So everyday every member of the family wrote on a slip of paper something that they were grateful for and put it in the box. They read all the slips on Christmas morning and had the best Christmas ever! Cool huh?!

Erin said...

Years ago, I wrote X-mas on our Christmas box. We still use this box for our Christmas stuff. When we pulled the box out yesterday, Ethan got really mad at me because I had written X-mas. He said, "X stands for Christ and you took the Christ out of Christmas!" Well, I guess I'm glad they are teaching him something good in first grade! But yes, I agree that this time of year gives us a great opportunity to remind our children what is really important.

Tiffany said...

What a great idea! I love ideas that bring Jesus back into Christmas! :)

Rachel Sue said...

We are trying something really similar. We have a service advent calendar. Every day has a different slip of paper with some kind of service on it. For my 5 and 6 year old they are things like "make a new friend," "say a special prayer for someone who needs it," "do someone's job for them without being asked."

So far, so good. And you're right. Jesus is better because Jesus is real.

Harmony said...

so, I seem to remembe your family doing this when we were kids? Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else. But, yes, I LOVE the idea. I think it's brilliant for children.

wonder woman said...

so sweet. love this idea.

Mommadj5 said...

Erin - actually, the original usage of X for Xmas came about because the Greek letter representing Christ is "X". Some say it also represents the cross. So we are not "crossing out Christ", but remembering his sacrifice while writing shorthand!

mckell said...

This is one of my most favorite memories from growing up. We did it (nearly) every year (sometimes we did the warm-fuzzy thing instead). My mom would always read the little story that goes with it and I always wanted to cry cause it was so sweet and it made me want to try so hard.

Kazzy said...

I love the "keep Jesus warm" idea. How cool (or warm) is that?

Heather of the EO said...

What a brilliant idea. Love it!

Kimberly said...

My mum had us do this when we were kids - loved it then and love it now!

Terresa said...

Service opportunities. that's what Christmas and Christ is all about.

Pass the candy. Nom nom nom!

HeatherKitts said...

I love this idea!! It always stresses me out when people put baby Jesus into the nativity scene likerightnow. It's not time! Don't put him in yet! We always ceremoniously bring him over and place him on his bed on Christmas eve, right after we get home from church. It's a big deal! I like the straw idea, I think we're going to try it.