Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A different type of Christmas

I love Christmas! Everything about this season is so much fun! But since Dave has been working at UPS, this has become his very busy season. He works long hours and is usually working Christmas Eve too. This has been a hard adjustment for me. I have often gone through this season with a grumpy chip on my shoulder, feeling like I was robbed of some right that I had to happiness. That was ugly to admit, but it was true. This year is different though. A lot of it has to do with our tree. How you ask? Well I have to admit that it started out ugly. Dave and I were trying to decide what to do for a tree this year. We have done real trees in the past. But we are in a rental this year and he was concerned about any possible damage the tree could cause. Plus, we decided to go artificial and get a pre-lit. We went in search of one, but to our dismay they are REALLY expensive! We know that they will be deeply discounted after Christmas, so Dave suggested that we just go without a tree this year. That didn't go over so well with me. That was just one more thing to give me fuel for my Christmas season, UPS fire. And THAT bothered me...a lot. I looked at my attitude with complete disgust. Dave also said that this was a great opportunity to really teach our kids what Christmas is really about. Hello guilt trip. For a few days, I was in a horrible grumpy funk. My stubborn selfish will was declaring a full out war with my reason, conscience, and heart. And it was UGLY.So I set out for some serious heart examination. And after lots of prayer and thought I knew he was right and that this WAS a great opportunity, not only for a teachable moment for the kiddos, but for ourselves as well. It's so easy to get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle of the season and lose focus on the true meaning of Christmas. This sparked my "advent tree" idea. I made a tree out of construction paper and am having the kids make an ornament that represents the Bible story that we read that day. I found online that someone had figured out that the number of stories in the "Jesus Storybook Bible" is the exact amount for the number of days in Advent! The last story falls on Christmas Eve and is the birth of Christ! How cool is that? We already had the book (its a REALLY great kids Bible story book!) so that was easy! I read a story while the kids make the ornaments. They really have enjoyed doing it and so have I! The funny thing is, is that once I decided to do this, the desire for a Christmas tree was gone. We even have had at least 3-4 offers for a tree! Ha! We turned them down for now. We will still plan on doing a normal tree in years to come, but I also want this "Advent tree" to be a new tradition that we start as a family. It really helps to recenter our focus on why we celebrate this beloved holiday! Merry CHRISTmas! :)
Our Advent Tree