When our older children were very young we realized that if we were not careful, Christ could very easily be overlooked at Christmas. Of course not completely overlooked, there would still be the Sunday morning Sunday School lesson and the reading of the birth of Christ on Christmas morning. But the every day Christmas happenings would really not be about Christ but about stuff.
About 11 or 12 years ago Carl’s mom gave us a book called Jotham’s Journey. It is a story you read each night of Advent, which lasts about 4 weeks. The author has since published 2 other books, Tabitha’s Travels and Bartholomew’s Passage (which we are reading this year). Each year we read one of the books and since it is a 3 year cycle they don’t get stale. Every night, we gather together, forget about all the things that still need to be done, light the candles, and Carl reads us that day’s story and the pondering thoughts at the end of the story. All the children (except Esther) have candles that we light off the Advent candles and it lights their way to bed.
Every day we are reminded that Christmas isn’t about gifts or decorations or santa, but about a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son as a baby to teach us the ways of God and to ultimately die for us.
Christmas is really about Easter.