Monday, December 20, 2010

Immanuel, Christmas, and a craft idea. :)

Phil and I made the decision to focus on "Immanuel" at Christmas time with the kids, and not teach about Santa (other than to explain he's something pretend).  A lot of families are making, or have already made, the same decision with their children.  I thought at first that it would be hard, since I believed in Santa as a child and wanted to share the "magic" of Christmas with my kids.  But lately, the Holy Spirit seems to be touching so many of our hearts and opening up our eyes to the reality of Immanuel - God With Us.  It's really what the whole thing was about, after all.  The Saviour came down to Earth to be one of us, to be with us.  And when He ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and remain with us.  I want my kids to grow up knowing this and seeing it as the focus at Christmas.  Immanuel is what we celebrate.  God came here.

Later this week, we have 3 Christmas Eve concerts/productions/services (I can't remember the exact word being used...:-P) that are focusing on God coming to Earth, as a baby, and how that applies to our lives now.  I am honored to be a part of it, and I will post more later (I also have rehearsals tonight and tomorrow, and as a result, this whole week is CRAZY).  But...the point of my post is that taking Santa and glitter and distraction out of Christmas isn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I will be giving my kids each a gift and a stocking, and Phil is giving them about the same.  We explained that it's a celebration of Jesus birth, and since He is not here to give birthday presents to, we each get one to celebrate.  :)

I've also found some awesome Christmas crafts and coloring pages.  I don't know that I will have a minute this week to do these with my kids (super bummed, but I'm going to see if I can fit a couple in on Christmas Eve), but I wanted to share them here, with anyone who may want to do them.  :)

I will post more later, if I get a second.  And since this is my blog (ha ha ha), let me take a sec to say that this week I have Andrew's speech therapy, a playdate, milk pick-up, a coffee date with Bethany, 2 evening rehearsals at church, 3 performances, a house to prepare for my brother coming into town and our annual Christmas open house, laundry, schoolwork (since we got behind before the divorce), and I still have to get a gift for Aimee.  That's a lot!!!  We also wanted to handmake some treats with the kids to wrap and give as gifts.  To say that this week is overwhelming me is an understatement!!  Thankfully, next week I have NOTHING on my schedule!!!

Christmas Craft 1, from Kaboose

Here's the link, for instructions.  I'm sure my kids would love to make the little manger with baby Jesus.  There are other ways to make the baby, if you're like me and don't want to purchase a wooden doll body.  Pipe cleaners bend into people shapes, or a large flesh-toned pompom snuggled inside a felt blanket.  The straw can be made out of spanish moss, rafia, cotton, or even shredded paper.  A paper cup cut in half makes a little manger, or you can construct one out of popsicle sticks, depending on the age of your children.  It's so easy to use what you have on hand.  :)

Coloring Pages here.

I will post another craft idea later. Have an awesome week!!!

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