Image by ishane
For this week's Celebrate with Joy post, I'm going to take a pause from giving more ideas or activities for adding to your Christmas celebration. Instead, I would like for you to be encouraged and inspired as you press on in learning to make these "holy day" celebrations more meaningful and alive for your family.
Meet Sondra, the author of the book Celebrate with Joy. Over the last two weeks, I've shared with you many of her ideas and quotes from the book itself, but today I have something that Sondra just wrote this past week. She wanted to share with you her thoughts on how their family celebrations have resulted in fruit in the lives of her grown daughters, and her reflections on what she would do differently if she could go back and do it all again.
"Sitting in the glow of candlelight, this Christmas season, I find I have more time to reflect. My Mommie category is changing... I am almost an empty nester.
Over the mantle in our living room is a sign that reads Bethlehem Bound. An old Jewish proverb says "put something where you can see it so your eye will remind your heart". We believe that is true, that is why we decorate with things reminding us of where we are going each Christmas season. Back to the place where it all began... back to Bethlehem, to make room for Him, preparing our hearts to welcome Him.
There are definitely things I would do differently if I was raising my family over again, but not in how we celebrated! As I watch the girls today, I can trace their hearts of compassion, gratefulness, love for the Babe of Bethlehem and giving to others to the joy we had as they were growing up in our celebrations.
Spreading out our meaningful traditions during the month didn't leave all the expectations on Christmas day, and added richness to the whole season. Our version of St Nicholas Day taught us to think of others and to give without thought of return. We learned what the symbols of the season meant and discovered the many names of Jesus. We made giving lists, not receiving lists, and wrote love letters to Jesus. We sought to savour the moment... even on Christmas morn as we awoke to St. Lucia singing "Joy to the World the Lord is come".
Our desire was to develop Christ-honoring traditions. Traditions that helped set our values into patterns that would outlast us and remain with our girls and their children and their children's children.
If I had to do it over again... I would do even more. Cannot wait for my grandchildren!"
I don't know about you, but I am so glad that I am beginning to learn how to create more meaningful traditions and to use these holidays to teach my children more about their Heavenly Father and our merciful Savior. What a blessing!
It's getting close to Christmas now and you may feel that it's too late to change the way you're doing things. I would encourage you to see if there's even just one new tradition or practice that you can add to your celebrations this year, nad then purpose to pursue this further next year!
Sondra's wonderful book can still be purchase for the remainder of the month. You can see more of the ideas and topics covered in the book in my previous Celebrate with Joy posts, Week 1 (Advent) and Week 2 (Symbols of the Season).
Celebrate with Joy can be purchased for only $24.95 US including shipping. Books can be purchased through my site only. Supplies are limited, so if you'd like to get one, make sure to place your order quickly!
What fruit have you seen in your family by incorporating more meaningful and Christ-honoring traditions in your own Christmas celebrations? How has God been speaking to you this season about the way that you celebrate the holidays?