I’m honored to welcome Brittany Salmon to the blog today. Brittany and I haven’t had the chance to met in person (yet), but we’ve connected online over one of our favorite subjects – adoption. She feels like a dear friend and older sister to me. Today, she chats about three ways to pursue a cultivated Christmas with children.
We are those obnoxious Christmas people. We listen to Christmas music in August and unashamedly get excited when we see Christmas décor up early in stores. And in light of our fierce love for Christmas, I didn’t realize it would be such a difficult battle to cultivate the true meaning of Christmas in our kids.
You see, it is so easy to get them excited about Christmas. Who wouldn’t be thrilled about Christmas trees, cookies, lights, fun parties, and let’s not forget about gifts?! Our kids naturally love those things, but truth be told it is an uphill battle to raise children to see Jesus as the reason for the season rather than an excuse for presents and parties and holiday cheer.
Our children are young and our traditions are still being formed, but there are three things we do during the holiday months to pursue a Cultivated Christmas:
- We try to keep the primary things primary. What this means is that the Christmas story and the miracle of the God-child who came to earth to rescue us is the center of all we do. In order to accomplish this we love resources from Sally Lloyd Jones and Ann Voskamp that help shape our children’s perspectives and understanding of the Gospel story. We teach our children from an early age that every thing we do this Christmas is because of that miracle in the manger. Every gift received and given points us to the greatest gift we ever received in Christ.
- We celebrate Advent BIG. We spend intentional time in Scripture as a family celebrating the first coming of the Messiah and joyfully awaiting His return. I love Advent because of the daily and weekly disciplines it creates in us to look upward at our creator, backwards at what He’s done for us, and forward to when He comes again.
- We give to others generously and let our kids get in on the action. We love lavishing our children with gifts, but that comes naturally! What doesn’t come as naturally is setting aside resources to spend time and money on others. We partner with a refugee organization year round, and every Christmas they give us the opportunity to adopt a refugee family for Christmas and purchase gifts for them. And because we have an established relationship with our refugee family, it’s been amazing to teach our girls to try to think about something their kids would enjoy.
Christmas is a magical time of year, but we want to cultivate the true spirit of Christmas in our children and family. Intentionally keeping the primary things primary, celebrating Advent, and setting aside resources to give generously to others are three ways we choose to cultivate Christmas not only within our family, but also to display Christ to a broken world.
Merry Christmas and May God Bless you as you pursue a #CultivatedChristmas!