Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{Celebrating & Giving} Happy birthday, Jesus!

In a where commercialization often drowns the real meaning, I don't want my kids to forget what Christmas is really about.

Simply, it's Jesus' birthday. 

This season is set aside to celebrate the birth of a baby who changed the world. This baby grew up to be a man that gave us the ultimate gift of eternal life. And he's coming back one day.

Now, there are tons of ways to celebrate all of that. Give to people to you love and the people down the street or across the world you've never met. Give anonymously and randomly as your go about your ordinary life that brings you to gas station stops and lunches at restaurants. Read the Christmas story. Read it from another version, like the Jesus Storybook Bible, which I highly recommend. Sing songs around your house, in your car and while standing in hallways of nursing homes. Bake treats for your friends, family and mailman.

And I pray this is the heart of my family even when it's not Christmas.

But because it is Christmas, I want to focus on the goodness that abounds this season and instill the things that really matter in my kids' hearts.

One way we've decided to do that is with a Jesus Birthday Party. The tradition started two years ago with two of my closest friends here and our families. And then it grew to include more families last year. This year, I had the {slightly crazy} idea to have live Slugs & Bugs music as we celebrated Jesus' birthday. Randall Goodgame helped me make it happen.

The Slugs & Bugs Christmas album has been a great addition to our family. Turns out it was a great addition to the party too. We were so glad four-fifths of the Goodgame family was part of our party.

Let me give you a little back story. I had a hard week that was full of relatively small things that weren't going as I had planned or hoped or expected. Then my momma heart was shaken with the seemingly senseless tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Truthfully, I was excited to have a party with lots of kids whose innocence and joy make the worldly problems fade. And, really, there's not much more fun than a birthday party in my world, even when some families had to cancel because of sickness. Unfortunately, December is full of busy schedules that conflict and sickness and these things kept several families from coming. But God had a plan and was present at our party. 

Part of our celebration was giving. We collected donations for a local food pantry and money to buy gifts from Compassion International's gift catalog.

The kids also made cards and I encouraged them to give them to their neighbors or someone else who may need a Christmas blessing. My sweet girl gave out four cards while we were caroling in a local nursing home Sunday. Her saying "Merry Christmas" has she handed strangers handmade cards is a snapshot of giving if I've ever seen one.

In celebrating with these joy-filled, innocent friends who aren't ashamed to shout "Happy birthday, Jesus!" wherever they are, I was reminded of cliches that really are true. God is in charge of all the details, even party planning. Jesus is the reason for the season. And two {or 12} are better than one.

This goes along with Compassion International's #ItsAboutGiving campaign. Read an earlier post about my gift-giving love language. Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

No comments:

Post a Comment