What a magical moment when we pause every evening as we light our advent candles before dinner as a family. I’d like the boys to come away learning something truly meaningful every year as we celebrate this time of waiting for Christ’s birth. This year my goal is for them to understand the light piercing the darkness just as Christ’s life on earth brightens the world and gives us hope. We’ve also been singing “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” as we light the candles every night and thinking about waiting for Jesus who was both king & servant, both God & man. Each week we add a candle that focuses on one more aspect of who Jesus is and we look forward to lighting all four and the white center Christ candle on Christmas Eve.
We do enjoy thinking about Santa and presents and treats and parties, but every day as we encounter the world’s Christmas we try to emphasize Jesus’ birthday and how he is God’s gift to the world. I don’t remember where I heard it, but I’ve been repeating (drilling!) to the boys the idea that Jesus is way better than Santa…because Santa’s gifts are dependent on your behavior and Jesus was born and lived and died to give each of us the most wonderful gift of eternal life…and it’s totally free and not dependent on how we behave. Praise God!
I know the boys are too young to fully grasp the importance of Christmas, but every conversation counts. I just hope and pray that they’ll understand that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year because of who we celebrate, not what we get. It’s a lifelong process, I know. But every journey begins with small steps, right? And before you begin picturing our family singing in harmony and our boys with halos over their heads, let me just say that the lighting and blowing out of the candles results in arguments and squabbles almost daily. Thus is the life of the family of little ones. But they certainly do look angelic when photographed, don’t they?