Today, my longtime friend, Kristie Christie (yes, you read her married name right) is sharing a beautiful message here at Mother Of Knights. Kristie and I have known each other for more than a decade-long before either of us was married. We have been bridesmaids together, laughed our heads off over anything and everything, and we share a mutual passion for Jesus Christ. Will you give her a warm welcome--I love what she has to share about a Merry Family Christmas!
When I was a little girl I used to lay on my belly looking at the cover of the Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas album. I liked my family, but printed on this album cover was a large happy family in holiday sweaters posed in a house in the snow. It looked like heaven—or at least like a Hallmark movie—I wished they would adopt us into their wintery family. I lived in Burbank—-a bit of a departure from Franklin, Tennessee. As hard as I prayed for a white Christmas, we didn’t get one. Not even once.
The good news is that you don’t have to have snow or perfection in order to have great holiday memories—-just creativity and the commitment to slow down and to savor the moments you’re living. I don’t know why it is, then, that I always think it’s going to take maximum effort to make Christmas really super special. God just wants me—-present-to-my-life—-“me.”
I’m so good at filling up Pinterest boards. I love collecting ideas and dreaming of the moments I could create if I would execute these whimsical ideas. You too? Christmas approaches each year and I dream, “this year…I’m gonna…” and just as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are finished it feels like it’s New Years again and think, “Oh next year, I suppose…maybe next year.”
The funny thing is that my favorite memories of Christmas were simple, they were cozy and I look back on childhood with wide-eyed wonder because something special seems to happen at Christmastime. I remember cutting down a Christmas tree with our friends from church and loading it on top of their station wagon. I loved putting out the nativity each year and planning where I thought each person should stand. Christmas memories are made by quality, not quantity. Rather than squeezing it all in—-I want to notice our life and savor it by the Christmas tree with the ones I love.
I have created Sunday School curriculum for the last 10 years—-creative, multi-sensory, and meaningful—-but fun. It’s been my greatest joy because I wanted to help kids know what Jesus meant when he said he had come to bring us “Life to the Full” (John 10:10) and that God isn’t boring like Sunday School had a reputation for being. Because of this, I received a few emails in recent years requesting I create a Christmas devotional for the family at home. I thought this was such a great idea—-but of course, this ended up on the list of “things I meant to do…but didn’t get to.”
This year, I’m making this dream happen and I’m gathering a group of loving, fun parents who want to do more than put an elf on a shelf—-and want to have some fun, meaningful moments that center around what the heart of Christmas. I have nothing against the elf on the shelf or Santa—-all so much fun—-I just want to make sure that we are having conversations that can help us pause together. I want to make sure that we’re not too busy to slow down to think about what this all means—- that God came to earth to love us.
I hope you’ll consider joining us for Merry Family Christmas. Here’s how it will work: each day you’ll receive an email with a daily devotion (story, good questions, scripture verse to read). You can do this around your table, before homework, before bed or in the car before you rush off to school. Next, you’ll receive a well laid out colorful guide to a weekly Family Night. This one will be a little more involved—-but not overwhelming. During the week you can gather a few items and be ready to spend time together in your living room—-making some memories and reflecting on the week together.
Join families across the country and some around the world who are already committed to have a Merry Family Christmas—-a time of intentional, focused time with people you love the most: your family
YOUR TURN! What are some other ways that you focus on Jesus during the holidays? I'd love to hear about some of your favorite traditions!