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Time to Think about Christmas - Issue 324
November 22, 2013
Hi there! ....

This weekend we have a crazy time ahead; the boys have taekwondo grading and their wrap up party and Naomi is involved in 2 performances with the local drama group and their interpretation of A Christmas Carol (a play with a local twist I’m led to believe). This is a busy time of year. For us, it starts with this weekend, then next weekend we have the local Christmas Carols (where we all sing carols/songs), then there are neighbourhood parties, catch up with friends, youth group wrap up, and on and on it goes… A very social time. I find this a challenging thought – we find so much energy and time to spend with people at this time of the year (and I love it), but then we dwindle off during the year. We get busy and getting together isn’t such a priority. Admittedly we may push it too much just because it is Christmas, and the end of the year – there must be a balance somewhere.

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Time to Think about Christmas

I don’t know about your town, but here in ours Christmas decorations, and even Christmas foods have been out on the shelves for a while now. I noticed them – an isle of cakes, crackers, wrapping paper and fruit mince pies – when they first went up, commented how ridiculous it was to start so early, and then blocked it all out each time I go to the grocery store. But they are still there. My Gift App reminds me that Christmas is only 5 weeks away. So it is about time that I started thinking about Christmas. How do we want to celebrate it this year?

This year is a bit different for me – I have suddenly realised that my children have grown up. It isn’t that we are still practicing the same traditions as we did when they were little (necessarily), neither are we doing the same Christmas-time studies, devotions or reading the same books, cause our family ways have grown up with our kids, but I’m not so sure I’ve been as intentional with our family Christmas since my kids have grown up (into the upper teen years). Realising this has made me want to stop and think – what does Christmas look like for my family this year?

You may not have reached the years when everyone is a teen (or older), your family may well have changed in different ways – maybe grown with a new baby, maybe moved house, moved community, maybe grandparents are now living with you, maybe this year you’ve moved away from family or moved towards family – life brings changes, and with these changes if we are to be intentional about taking every opportunity to teach the heart, and live from the heart, we need to re-evaluate what we do; we need continue to be intentional.

Our family is going on a little holiday this week, so I’m going to have some time to think this through. These are some of the questions I’m going to ask myself (and my family as well):

  • Is there an aspect of Christmas that my children need to learn more about? This may be spiritually (as in God’s Word), or relationally (how they relate during this time with siblings, friends, community)
  • Christmas time is a time in our culture where we think of other people, how is our family thinking of others in the community at Christmas time, and throughout the year?
  • What fun traditions, what memory making activities do we want to maintain?
  • What are the traditions we have had in our home, and are they relevant for our family this year?
  • Does our home reflect our beliefs and purpose in celebrating Christmas?

We have talked much in our family about why we celebrate Christmas. And there are two reasons: both based in our culture. First, it is a celebration that reminds us to remember God’s story. Secondly it is a cultural celebration that remembers the joys of family and community. Though there is a push to remove Christ from our Christmas in our culture, in our family Christ is a part of all that we do.

One of the things that we talk about often in our family is the call to be culture changers – to be people that influence others around us. To influence their beliefs, which will in turn, change behaviour. It is therefore important to us, that at this time of a cultural celebration, that we take every opportunity to show Jesus; to show our friends and community that the joy of life, family and community isn’t about parties, gifts, and having a good time, to show that there is more to life than that. Life after Christmas, in our culture, is fairly empty. But life after December 25, to the Christian is full of purpose, joy, and peace.

Does how we celebrate reflect that?

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I've posted:

Or maybe you'd like to read something from my website:

  • How to Read Aloud Do you feel awkward reading aloud to your children, do you get the feeling that your children would rather be some place else? Learn to improve your skills.

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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