Friday, December 9, 2016

Keeping Christ in Christmas by Dana Hamilton

When I first told my husband my title for this post, his response was, “isn’t that conversation played out.”  Funny he said that because I felt the same, but I also felt it still is an issue each and every year. I love this season. I love everything about it and having small children makes it even more exciting!
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~Norman Vincent Peale
I noticed early on that my kids were very specific about their wants this Christmas and very vocal about it. I completely understand their sweet minds and those bright eyes looking in amazement at the latest toys. However, our job as parents is to allow them to see beyond the excessive commercialism of Christmas. I keep a Nativity Scene in our home ALL year. A few Christmases ago I went to put away the decorations, and I felt that the Nativity had no place in the attic.
Our family is blessed to participate in Journey to Bethlehem at St. John’s this weekend. This is always a special time for our family and now that our children are getting older they can experience it with more understanding.
I’m thankful for a Christian mate who also wants to make our children aware that Christmas is not their birthday but Jesus’ birthday and we begin our Christmas morning by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus before going downstairs. I love that we do that and aim to limit the gifts.  I’ve heard of others having a birthday cake for Jesus and a special seat for him at dinner.
We will continue to learn how to make Christmas special in our own way and to keep Christ present in our home during a time that is easy to become distracted by the search for the perfect gifts and doing all the things we “should” do as a family. God wants us to live happy lives and sometimes that just means being present with those around you and loving one another in the simplest ways.
We look forward to church on Christmas Eve each year and this year two of our children will be a part of the nativity scene that evening. All of these opportunities for our children are one of my biggest praises to St. John’s. I love that the children, the future of the church, is our number one focus. That is evident in all we do as a church family. 

The Hamilton Family hopes everyone has a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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