Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent

As followers of Christ, Jason and I desire to raise Grace and Jeremy to know Him and to have a meaningful relationship with Him. Holidays such as Christmas are significant times in which we are able to teach our kids more about God and His love for us. A few weeks ago, Grace made the comment that she couldn't wait for Christmas so that Santa could come and give her lots of presents! I realize that this is developmentally appropriate and pretty normal, but as Christians, we want her to associate Christmas with the birth of Christ and not of Santa Claus, with a spirit of giving, not of receiving. Since that conversation, there have been many more related to both Christ and Santa Claus.
I have actually been talking with several people about this. Should we go ahead and encourage our kids to believe in Santa, or explain that he's make-believe, or just flat out deny his existence? We know of and have heard of so many children who grow up believing in Santa and then are crushed when they discover he's not real. Neither of us had issues once we found out Santa wasn't real, but who's to say that Grace or Jeremy won't?
I would really like to help my kids learn that Christmas is when God gave us the ultimate gift-His Son. Advent is a time of waiting, a time preparing, a time of anticipation. Grace frequently asks, "How many more days until Christmas?" I thought about getting an Advent calendar, but then I noticed a special one at the Wiens's home last week. I immediately thought about how it would not only help in our countdown to Christmas, but would be such a great tool to use to teach Grace more about Christ. Christa immediately offered to help- I bought from her a set of 25 Christmas tokens. I then went to the Dollar Store and purchased mini gift bags, cut up paper, and printed off numbers to assemble a Christmas Tree Advent Calendar. The tokens symbolize something significant about our faith and they each come with corresponding Bible verses. Each day leading up to Christmas, we open up one bag, read the verses, and see how the verses and token relate to Christ. We started our countdown on Dec. 1 and Grace has been excited to open up each little bag, to listen to the verses, and examine the tokens. We just put up our Christmas tree today, so the bags are now hanging on our tree. Each night, Grace will have to find the appropriately numbered bag. For example, today is the 5th day of Advent. After finding bag #5, inside was a slip of paper that reads: "You could make some noise with this, but it would not have bothered a certain man until he met Jesus. Read Mark 7:31-37." The token is a little bell. Isn't this such a great idea?! If you're interested in getting a kit of tokens for yourself, let me know and I'll get you in touch with Christa (or you could visit her blog, Wiens World- there's a link on my Blog List).

2 comments:

Christa said...

It turned out so cute, Jane! Thanks for the publicity :)

sarah (di dao) said...

wow! that's a really great idea! i'm sure this is something the kids will cherish...
kudos to christa for such a neat idea!