Using Christmas to Teach Christ
Over the years, my wife and I have toned down gift exchanging dramatically. One year we were so broke that nothing was exchanged at all. (It was not by choice though.) Since then, we have made the decision of toning down for some good reasons.
Each year we have focused more on Christ and so gifts are becoming really a thing of the past to us. It is just easily overlooked in our house. However, since our families are still doing it, we succumb to the Christmas trade.
I have found it helpful to have gifts for our children to illustrate the idea and remind them of why we celebrate Christmas; namely, the giving of our Savior, Jesus Christ. So as Mommy and Daddy give, so did God. It has assisted us in explaining the reason for Jesus’ birth.
We have also decided to give our children only three gifts to be placed under the tree. (This was my wife’s idea, so I can’t take the credit.) The giving of three gifts is one more way to help us communicate the birth of Christ. As the Magi gave (stereotypically three gifts), so we give three gifts. This is not implying that our children are little Messiahs, but to give them a reminder of the past. It is sort of a object lesson.
So our family gift giving is really small. Besides the three gifts to our children, one gift to our siblings and parents (however that is arranged) and some small stocking stuffers for each other. We don’t really participate heavily in the “trade” of Christmas. It is much more to our pleasure (as well as the Lord’s) that we use everything possible to point to Christ.
So like baptism points to Christ’s death and resurrection, our Christmas practices help point to the birth of Christ. We have found this to be effective in teaching and reminding our children (and ourselves) as well as keeping us from spending too much money.
So we save our money and our children (Lord willing).
I wonder, what things you do in your family during this Christmas time of the year? Let me know.