My boys and I watched 'A Christmas Carol' the other day - the Muppets version of course :) - and it made me think back to Christmases Past and think about some of the reasons I love Christmas so much. I thought I'd take a wee moment every Monday to share one or two of those memories and hope you can remember some wonderful things about your Christmases Past as well.
This week we are looking at hope.... The hope of a sinful world - a Saviour who is Christ The Lord. What better way to look at hope than to focus on the One who gives us that hope and the One who IS the hope for all nations.
One of the most important traditions we had when we were younger was that we always attended the Church service on Christmas morning - in fact everything about our day revolved around it. We had certain things we did 'before Church' and others we didn't do until 'after Church'. It was usually in the morning - at about 10/10:30am - but it was truly the centre of our Christmas. No matter who invited us where, we didn't do anything until we had gone to worship and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Even though my parents didn't come to know Christ as their Saviour until slightly later in life, it was always a focus.
In our family now, we have taken it one step further, adding to it to help our boys focus on Jesus rather than their Santa presents - which they are all ultra excited about!! Each year we gather at the top of the stairs and my eldest son reads out one of the Christmas passages about Jesus's birth. We then talk about the reason we are celebrating, and give a 'gift' to Jesus - one from our hearts. Last year one of the boys said he wanted to fight less with his brothers and I said I wanted to encourage us to be more peaceful (with less mama shouting!). Then we put them in a box, pray together and the following years we see how it went! It's interesting to see how astray our plans go, and to remind them that this might be a gift to Jesus, but we need His help to actually do it!
We need to make sure that this Christmas our focus is on the King - the hope for our salvation and the only way that we can spend eternity in the presence of God - the baby Jesus Christ who grow up to be the man who bore my sins on that tree...
I think I'm going to have to get the craft things out and make a decoration like this - such a great reminder of who we are worshipping. Why not take some time to think back on some of your Christmas traditions from years gone by and think about who and what you focus on each year.
Keep shining xx