Saturday, December 17, 2011

How do you do it?

Keep Christ in Christmas, that is. This year in particular. SO Christmas is on the Sabbath this year, which I think is an amazing and beautiful thing. This year I am struggling to know what to do to keep Christmas about Christ. I am all for Santa (and won't be getting rid of him, so don't suggest it) and the magic that comes with him. I guess here is what I feel about Christmas on Sunday. One of 2 things happens-- you open all your presents and say 'ok kids, have fun playing with them tomorrow!' Or you allow them to play with them, and they yell, play, fight (come on, you know it will happen, don't kid yourself) and do other things that aren't in accordance to the Sabbath. (at least how I was raised). You make an exception since it's Christmas. I feel like making an exception and not maintaining the Sabbath spirit since it's Christmas is what Satan wants us to do. I understand quality time with family is important, and a great activity on the Sabbath, but I feel I would be kidding myself if I think I can maintain the proper Sabbath Spirit when I'm making an exception on Sabbath day standards. I feel like it would be such a shame to waste the opportunity to have that added Spirit with having Christmas on Sunday.I feel like Christmas Sunday (whether it's on the 19, 22, or 25 or whenever) is a special day to truly reflect on what Christmas means on the ultimate gift that our Heavenly Father gave us when He sent His son to this earth so that we can have eternal life. I feel that this year it can even more easily be overrun with Santa and presents and the worldly side of Christmas than most years.
I GET that yeah, we should keep Christ in Christmas no matter what day of the week it is on. I get it. It's more important to me this year, because I feel like now my Christmas Sunday is going to be overrun with worldly things. I also get that there is a middle ground, which we are going to try to do.
So what are YOU doing to keep Christ in Christmas this year? As a child I remember our parents telling us that they wrote Santa a special letter to see if he could come on Saturday so that we could focus on Christ on Sunday. Unfortunately, that isn't an option this year. I struggle with what to do. Obviously we are doing presents Sunday since that is our only option, but I think we are just going to do our best to treat it like Sunday. Only let Samantha play with toys she would be allowed to play with on Sunday, and I think for awhile before we go to church (at 1) we will get into Church mode and prepare for it properly. But my question is still out there: What are you doing this year to keep Christ in Christmas?? And do you have any ideas on what we can do to better improve the spirit of Christ this week, and change our focus? How do you teach that to a 3 year old? And also, what are Your thoughts on doing presents and Santa on Saturday?


Cynthia said...

We keep Christ and Santa separate by making Christmas Eve all about Christ. We read the Christmas story and make luminaries to light our driveway and to symbolize there is room for Christ in our home. I didn't want Christ to take a back seat to Santa, so we learn about Him first, because He comes first. Someday I will explain to the boys that Santa is a demonstration of the love of Christ.

As for how we will keep the Sabbath, that's something I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure out too. Good Luck.

Angela B said...

We are going to do stockings before church, and open presents after... I think. Mostly to break it up and make it so it isn't overwhelming about getting, getting, getting. I think kids can tell a difference even if they might be allowed to play with toys they usually don't on Sunday.. like ride a bike. It might be a good idea to do a service project later, or maybe do some of the traditional Christmas Eve stuff on Sunday instead.... like the Nativity and caroling. Maybe you should try to focus on ADDING to the Christmas activities instead of removing things.

Melanie said...

Well, we are going to be doing activities. Yeah, we'll open presents (inevitable, because we'll be at someone else's house) but then we'll probably make cookies or decorate a gingerbread nativity together in the break between church and nap times. I don't know how it'll work, but I think that, with Min at least, she wants to hang out with us more than she wants to play with toys, so I hope this helps her focus more on the eternal aspect, rather than the material aspect of Christmas.

Sara @ Untold Stories of a 20 Something said...

I bought a book a few years back called "I Believe in Santa Claus" It's no longer in print, but it really brings out the symbolism between Christ and Santa, I know it sounds odd. But I will quote it for you, then if you want, you can find pictures portraying each page, sort of making your own book. It doesn't help with the toy scenario but I think it's definitely a way to keep Christ in Christmas.

"I believe in Santa Claus."-Picture of claus
"Imagine Santa"
"What is he like?"
"He wears red."-red santa outfit
"His hair is white"-Santa's white hair
"He comes in the night"-Santa, sleigh, and reindeer
"he loves little children"-santa and child
"He wants us to be good"-list
"And he brings gifts"-Santa making toy
"Now imagine Jesus. What is He like?"
"He wears red"-Jesus wearing red
"His Hair is white"-Jesus coming from Heaven
"He comes in the night"-Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus
"He loves little children"-Jesus and child
"He KNOWS we are good"-Jesus forgiving sin
"And He brings gifts"-Restoring blind man's vision
"Santa Claus is a symbol of Christmas. The symbols of Christmas remind us of the true meaning of Christmas."
"The symbols of Christmas remind me of Christ."
"So, I believe in Santa Claus."

I like it. It's a simple story connecting the symbols together to represent the greatest gift and blessing...ultimately, "the reason for the season".

-"I Believe in Santa Claus" by Diane G. Adamson

Briana said...

No matter what the day is the Sabbath should always come first. Doing things that are Christ-like and bring you closer to the spirit of Christmas should always come first. I think your idea to have the material part of Christmas be on Saturday so that we can really focus on having Christ in Christmas.