Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas means what?!?!

The things that Evangeline picks up and then pieces together never ceases to amaze me, and crack me up (she was adamant the other day that in school she learned that God turned red and then he cried- I assure you, this is NOT what she learned).
She is VERY confused right now about the whole Christmas thing. I guess it's because everywhere you go, and everyone you talk to, you find a new perspective, tradition, & definition altogether. I am working VERY hard this year, and will for every year hereafter, to impart to her vulnerable little heart what this celebration is all about. I'm not a Santa-hater nor am I anti-presents, but those things are NOT what Christmas is all about. Eva told me a few days ago that Christmas means "sparkly lights and jewelry on the trees"- of course! We do call them "Christmas lights" and "Christmas trees". A few days before, Christmas meant "Santa brings presents"- she saw him at the mall and kids were telling him what they want. We have had several more very sincere answers since.
However, today when asked, "What does Christmas mean?", Eva said, "Baby Jesus was born. It's His birthday. We do things to praise Him because He is our KING!!!" (She points to baby Jesus in the nativity and says, "See, here's baby King Jesus!") Bam! She has it! She listens!!! She said this with such joy and confidence, it melted me big time.
I'm going to do my best to use the days leading up to Christmas to reinforce this. It's not about the presents or Santa, or even the beautiful sparkly lights or the tree jewelry (which is her personal favorite- we've decorated 3 trees now). It's about praising King Jesus!
In order to do this, my sisters and I made this Advent Calendar last year. It was an insane amount of work, but I am so glad we did it! Each day until Christmas, Eva opens one pocket (Sam will join when he can understand). Inside she finds a small trinket that will represent an activity we will do that day to celebrate the gift of Jesus.

She was positively glowing today when I told her she got to open the first pocket. Inside she found a Christmas ornament. Today we decorated a Christmas tree (Grammie's tree)! Not just for the sake of decorating it, but because this is one way we praise King Jesus. I explained to her the meaning of the Christmas tree. I really believe that she understood pretty well, too! I researched the meaning of the Christmas tree and found that there are lots of them from different centuries and countries, but the "modern Christian" meaning is this (in 2 year old talk):
"Trees like this are called 'evergreens'. That means they stay green forever, not like the trees where the leaves fall off and turn brown like the ones in the yard. We use this kind of tree because it reminds us that, because of Jesus, we can live with God FOREVER! The green color helps us remember that Jesus brings us new life when we trust Him, like when the trees bud- they are green, right? The lights on the tree remind us that God's light is inside us! That is how people know we are Christians. There is a star on the tree because when Jesus was born, there was a beautiful star in the sky so that people could find where Jesus was so they could praise Him. And, where does the top of the tree point, Eva? To God! To Heaven! We put ornaments on the tree to symbolize the gifts and blessings that God has given to us- like the ornament that we got when YOU were born! God gave me the gift of YOU, so we put that ornament on the tree and Praise the Lord for you!"
It's going to be a very fun month! I'll post our activities as we go...

Here are a few terrible* pictures of today and the Advent Calendar:

 *Mike took my Nikon and all I had to take these pics was an ancient camera that I don't even remotely know how to use.

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We're the Wells family. We currently consist of Michael (husband and daddy), Lauren (wife and mama), Evangeline (daughter and princess), and Samuel (son and prince). We live a pretty simple life loving the many blessings that God grants us each and every day.
Mike is a genius carpenter/contractor and works throughout neighboring counties. Lauren stays at home with Eva and Sam most of the time, but works a few days a week as a therapist.
More than anything else, we love being together as a family- trips to the gardens, swimming at Grammie and Papa's house, and bike rides & walks are probably our most frequent activities. We're surrounded by our family (siblings and parents); they all live within 30 minutes of us!
That's us in a nut shell.
We're thankful you dropped by our site!