Monday, December 12, 2011

Intentional Family Traditions - Jesus

Last year when I was back in Michigan for my Grandmother’s funeral, we spent some time at her house going through things. I was looking for something special to keep in our family that would always remind us of my Grandmother. She was very neat and tidy and didn’t keep any extra things that she didn’t have use for. We thought we’d gone through everything until I found a styrofoam box in the closet. When I opened it up, I might as well have found a million dollars! It was my Grandmother’s nativity set. I must confess that I don’t have any memory of this nativity. I don’t think I ever saw it in her home. But I’ve always wanted a special nativity set of my own and now to have found this one that belonged to my Grandmother – it was a dream come true! Even better was the manger that was with it!

This year I wanted to include the children in setting up this precious visual of the true meaning of Christmas. They have a few plastic nativity sets that they love to play with - but I was clear that this one was not to be touched! As I opened the box, they gathered around and I invited them to point to which figure they wanted to place in the manger and I’d be the one to pick it up and set it down! They were thrilled. As they selected a figure, I asked them a specific question about that figure. A shepherd was selected, “Why were there shepherds there?” Joseph was selected, “Who was Joseph?” Baby Jesus was selected, “Why was Jesus born?” It was a wonderful time of walking through the Christmas story with a beautiful visual presentation. I’m pretty sure a new tradition was born!

This weekend we had 3 Christmas parties, a Christmas movie night, overnight guests who we enjoyed breakfast with and a family Christmas dinner with our dearest friends who are moving out of state in only 3 weeks! As much as that sounds like a nightmare – it was most lovely. I sat in church yesterday a little tired from all the activity, but I woke up when a woman sang Sweet Little Jesus Boy. As many times as I’ve heard that song, I’ve never really listened to the words. Tears ran down my face as I listened to the powerful, convicting, tragic words to that song. I then asked myself, “do I know who Jesus is?” “Do I know who he is right now?” “Am I mindful of Jesus in this holiday season? Or would one say of me, ‘she doesn’t even know who he is?’”

Take a moment to listen to the song by Casting Crowns. Listen intently to the words. Focus your heart once again on the reason for this whole season – it’s Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
It was a blessing to get to share our weekend with so many friends. Some of those friends don’t know who Jesus is, that sweet little Jesus boy who came to save them. And some know him very well and encouraged us as we focused our hearts on Jesus together.

Christmas is wonderful because we get to see “faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us, once more!” Sharing the holidays with friends and family is so special and important. And sharing Jesus with all of them is even more important than that!  As we laid our baby Jesus in the manger, I realized that this will be our most important tradition - focusing our hearts and home on Jesus.

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite Holiday Traditions? Link up your posts for all to enjoy!
This linky party will be open until next Sunday night, so feel free to link up more than one post.
1. post something about your holiday traditions on your blog
2. add the intentional family traditions button
3. link up here
4. visit other posts and get some great inspiration!

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