Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love this time of year! I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. When I was younger, I really looked forward to getting a whole bunch of "stuff". In fact, I couldn't stand to wait to find out what I was getting so I would try and unwrap my presents before Christmas. Now that I'm older and much more mature (well, maybe not so much), I don't get near as excited about opening a bunch of stuff. Now as a parent, I have way more fun shopping for Carter and my other young family members than I do for any adults (sorry guys, no offense). I figure the adults in my family all have jobs and can essentially buy anything they want. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy giving gifts, but I'm no longer obsessed in getting/giving stuff.

Christmas has become so incredibly commercialized that if we let it, all of the material things can easily overshadow the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Theo and I saw on the news that a lot of stores do 30% of their business for the whole year on "Black Friday". (Yes, we did go shopping that day but bought very little) I want Carter and any children we may have later to know exactly what Christmas means. I don't want our family to be so caught up in acquiring things that in a month's time won't be that imporant anyway that we forget to stop and celebrate Jesus' birth.

How did the two most important events (Jesus' birth and resurrection) turn into Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, candy, presents, etc etc? Yes, I want Carter to enjoy the innocence of believing in Santa and the Easter bunny. But I want that to make up a very small percentage of what he believes about Chirstmas and Easter. I want him to be more focused on Jesus' birth than Santa showing up. I want him to understand the eternal significance of the Messiah being born when he's old enough to comprehend such concepts. But in the meantime, we are practicing singing "Happy Birthday" to Dedus Jesus.

Now more than ever I am so grateful that God sent His only Son to die for me. Everyone I know and every single person on the planet has access to heaven through Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection. All they have to do is confess and believe. How amazing is that! The best part is that God gave me salvation even though I'm completely undeserving of it. And God loves me just the way I am. Talk about unconditional love!

So this Christmas, you will find presents under our tree and a very excited two year-old Christmas morning. You will find a beautiful Christmas tree in our living room and decorations throughout our house. You will find me shopping in various stores and on-line to find gifts for my family and friends. You will see us gonig to look at Christams lights. You will hear Carter singing Happy Birthday Jesus. You won't find us breaking the bank in order to give Carter to biggest, newest, most expensive toys. You won't find me buying many new Christmas decorations because the ones we already have are special to me. You won't find me obsessing over finding the perfect gift for someone because whatever I choose to buy will be given out of love. You won't find me trying to outdo the "Jones'". You won't find me saying "Happy Holidays" because I'll be saying Merry Christmas. You won't find me too stressed out because I have a peace that passes all understanding. And more importantly, you won't find me forgetting the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Carter's first Christmas and my, how things have changed.......

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