Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Jesse Tree

I struggle with Christmas.  I hate what it has become so I generally tend to stay away from the modern day traditions.  We put up a tree for the kids and Jeremy, exchange gifts, and have a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner but my heart is not in it.  I don't want my children's first thought of Christmas to be-- I want.   I want them the know why we celebrate Christmas.  That is is Jesus' birthday.   And that we give gifts because he gave us the greatest gift of all.  We haven't started Santa.  And frankly I don't know if we will.  I like the idea of Saint Nicholas much better.   I really love the Veggie Tales version.   I want my kids to want to give.  To share all that we are blessed with because we may not have much but we have a lot compared to some.    So while I struggle with how to celebrate Christmas with kids I do know what I want to achieve   How I want my kids to feel.   So tonight we talked about what Christmas really is.   We told them how it is Jesus' birthday and we celebrate by giving gifts to each other because he gave us the greatest gift of all.  I am not sure Bristol really understood and I know for sure Eldon didn't but we have started planting seeds.  I want them to find much more joy in giving than receiving 

We also started our Jesse Tree.   My first year at MOPs our table talked about Christmas traditions and I expressed my hesitations.  My MOPs leader told me about the Jesse Tree.   Fast forward 2 years later and we finally decided to do it.  It is a type of advent calendar but instead of little gifts for the kids each night we are giving them something longer lasting, lessons on what God did.   The First lesson started with Jesse and on Christmas day it will end with Jesus' birth.  We do a short scripture reading, talk on what we learned, and a prayer.  Then we make our ornaments.  Ours are just printed out designs but some people have real ornaments.   We will let the kids each color an ornament every night and then we put it on our paper Jesse Tree.  I found all of my stuff at this website,  I got the devotionals from here and the print outs from here.

So while I struggle with how the holidays play out we are trying to change it for our little family.

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