My natural tendency during Christmas is to do nothing at all- probably due to a bad mixture of laziness and frugality and actual lack of income. Yet with Noah and Eli I want to somehow convey to them that Jesus' birth is a big deal, and that because of Jesus my life is different.
I once heard a pastor suggest that it might be fun to try to celebrate Christmas in a way that is somewhat different than your natural tendency. For me, that means putting a bit more effort into finding what the kids would consider as the ultimate in abundance. Sortof because what Jesus has rescued me from is the sense that I always have to be at work strategizing to make my life "work", so instead of feeling that things will fall apart if I don't measure up (ok I still feel that sometimes), I feel abundance- contentment- at some deep level. And I want to convey that to the kids.
So Noah and I made cookies. Last year, making cookies with Noah was easy-ish because he took on whatever small task was assigned him. This year, he had to do everything himself so it was a painful, multi-day process. He loved it. But apart from preparing cookies, we tried to convey abundance by allowing routines more flexibility, spending time with family, taking a couple of days off, and providing the experiences that we know Noah and Eli really enjoy.
|But they turned out really well. We planned to give them to all our family members but then we ate all but one small bottleful. So we had to make truffles secretly.|
|Noah got this big windmill from my parents. There's abundance, right there.|
|Eli got a little windmill, an my sister brought giant flowers that had been props for a kindergarten play she'd staged.|
|My sister-in-law's famous gingerbread house...|
|We got to take the kids swimming in my parent's pool.|
|And after we had run out of things to do, and the kids were completely exhausted, we turned on the sprinkler for a bit.|
|Then today, we visited Newland's forest, where two helicopters were landed.|
|Contributing to erosion?|
|They were completely covered in red clay soil by the end, but joy is a river, rocks and some soil.|