Yesterday at church we had a great lesson about Christmas, which inspired me. The sister giving the lesson mentioned a really neat tradition she's had in her family since she was a young girl (by the way, she was homeschooled). Some of you may also have this tradition, but I'd never heard it and thought I'd share because I love it!
All year long they kept a wrapped Christmas gift on their piano to help them remember Christ and the real meaning of Christmas. The gift represents Christ and his gifts to us. The gift of his life and his perfect example and the gift of his atoning sacrifice for each of us. For Christmas, each member of her family discussed what they were going to give to Jesus each year. Things we might all have a desire to do all the time but don't make it a priority.
Here are some examples we discussed in our lesson:
- Show increased love to someone who you might have a difficult time getting along with.
- Be more understanding of others
- Show more charity
- Pay for the person behind you in a drive-thru
For children the list might look more like this:
- Be kind to my friends
- Read aloud to my little brother or sister
- Hug my family more
- Be obedient
- Smile more
As you can see, it could be anything that would be a Christ-like attribute or kind deeds we can all work on throughout the year. I love this idea for kids! When we discuss with them how much Jesus Christ has done for us, then explain that doing good things is how we give back to Jesus. What a great lesson. The sister giving the lesson said it didn't really impact her until she was older but having that foundation was important too.
Don't we all fall short in many areas of our lives? When we work to improve ourselves and those around us, it is a gift to our Savior. He did and still does so much for us! As Christians, we are all disciples of Jesus Christ. We are his hands here on earth... he counts on us to do good each day and be a light to the world.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5:14
I know this tradition will bring so much more to our Christmas season and it's great to have a meaningful goal for the new year.
What are you going to give Jesus this year?
I created some note cards so your children can write a little note to Jesus - something tangible that you can display somewhere so they remember what their gift to him will be.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16