Black Friday. A day when millions of Americans wake up early or maybe don't even wake up because they never go to bed, to find the best deals on all kinds of gifts for Christmas. This year my husband had to work so I opted out of doing this but decided to get up a little early to go to Walgreens and CVS to get some of their freebies and a few good deals on toys. I thought they opened at 6am, so I set my alarm for 5:45.
If you don't know me very well, I don't like mornings. I especially don't like mornings when it's cold. I also firmly believe that if the clock doesn't have a 6 in the beginning, this is an ungodly hour and you need to be in bed. 5:59 NO, 6:00 YES. So to get up before 6 is big for me.
Of course when I got to Walgreens......CLOSED! Same with CVS. They didn't open until 7. I decided to head over to Target since I had time to kill. While I was sitting at a stoplight looking at all the filled parking lots Moody was on the radio. The man was talking about the commercialism of Christmas. As I sat there, I thought, how many of us would get up this early to go to church or spend time in God's word or to pray. If I'm honest, I know I wouldn't.
My point is, how much time do we spend shopping for presents, wrapping presents, baking goodies, cooking elaborate meals, decorating the house, addressing the Christmas cards, and the list goes on and on. We have joined the world in the commercialism of Christmas.
As my kids get older I see them excited to look through the toy catalogs, pick out what they want, ask over and over what they are getting and when they get to open presents. Will I ever stop this from happening? Probably not. My kids are sinners just like me and I haven't been able to cure my coveting and my selfishness. But what I can do is point them to what Christmas is really about.
I'm not talking about just telling them occasionally when they start getting greedy or bringing them to church Christmas day or listening to Christmas carols. It's about truly preparing our hearts.
To be honest, it's not just doing this for them. It's also doing it for me and my husband. It's so easy for me to get so busy with all this other stuff that I forget to take time to prepare for Jesus birth. I need to take time myself to reflect, to slow down.
A few weeks ago at my MOPS group a couple came and spoke about an advent book that they had published. I ended up purchasing one and I absolutely love it! It has 25 days with 25 doors to open. Behind each door is a Bible verse and all together they tell the story of Christ's birth. It has really been a blessing to spend a little time together as a family each night reflecting on this. Each night we read the previous nights verses and then open a new door. This has really helped the kids remember the story. We sing a few Christmas carols and pray as a family. We often pray for the families that we have received cards from in the mail that day. Just know, if you send us a card our family will be praying for your family. The kids really enjoy doing this and look forward to it every night.
I would love to hear how your family prepares for Christmas.