What do you get for the person who has everything?
If we are following the model of Jesus at Christmas, his gift was his presence with us. Therefore the best, most important gifts we can give to our children revolve around giving the gift of ourselves.
Here are 6 things you can give to your family this Christmas season.
Create enduring traditions as a family
1. Chop down a Christmas tree (together!)
2. Have a special breakfast Christmas morning
3. When you open presents, do it with a special twist
Give a creative gift of your time for Christmas to be spent throughout the year.
Here’s a thought! give your children a booklet of coupons to be used to request special time with Dad or Mom.
Ice-cream, donut shop, apple picking, sledding, arts and crafts, go to a bounce house gym, Breakfast out at the restaurant of their choice, etc. Choose as many as you think you can handle in 2010 and then give them away!
When you do them, take time to talk with them and give them the gift of being listened to in meaningful conversation.
Wrap up tickets to a special event. The nice thing is that you’ll be giving it twice—first when they open it and then again when you take them out. I love double credit!
Try this, plan a surprise outing and don’t tell them where you’re going (plan 3 or 4 stops along the way)
Have advent devotionals together
- Buy and use The Advent Book http://www.adventbook.com/
- Advent Calendar (a calendar with ~25 doors leading you upto the day of Christmas)
- Read the Christmas story by candle-light
- Advent Wreath (four candles—light one per week, followed by white fifth candle on Christmas Eve)
Begin a year-round habit of family devotions
If you take the step of gathing at Christmas time, why not keep the momentum going by doing it right through the year. My family and I we gather 2-3 times per week. (T, Th, Sat.) We are reading through a book of the bible, memorizing an age-appropriate catechism, singing 2 songs together and praying. We have a binder for each child with the songs, and extra paper for artwork
Some of the benefits of family worship are: my wife and I Model worship, be begin to balance some more formal instruction to accompany the day to day stuff (informal), we increase teachable moments—we can say, “remember when we talked about…” If you need help getting started, I would highly recommend Donald Whitney’s lecture and/or booklet on Family Worship http://biblicalspirituality.org/fworder1.html
Repair broken relationships
Maybe you’ve hurt one or more of your children by your attitudes, words or actions. If so, saying your sorry is one of the most healing things you can do. Saying, “I’m sorry,” to them rebuilds the bridge of relationship and clarifies that sin (even your own) is wrong.
Learn and practice “speaking” your child’s love language
According to Gary Chapman there are 5 love languages. We each give and receive love in particular ways (languages). If we learn to give love the way another receives it, we can hit a home run. The five languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical Touch
God bless and have a wonderful advent season!