Christmas to so many people means a time of giving gifts. For so many Christians, we too fall prey to losing sight in the reason for the season. We get caught up in the lines at the mall in hopes of getting the little picture of our kiddos on the lap of a holly jolly man in a red suit. We bust out the little guy on the shelf to place around the house to keep our young ones on their toes about good behavior. Then on Christmas Eve, we file into a local church, listen to a beautiful candlelight service, and then hurry home to get into bed so we can rip open gifts under the tree the next morning. But are we missing the real gift of Christmas — the greatest gift?
Every year I try to think of ways to create a tradition or keep one alive in our family; with three children with autism, I find it more challenging every year. How do you teach concepts like gratitude and giving to children who don’t grasp even the most tangible of ideas? What exactly do I want my children to remember, to learn, to take away from Christmas?
So as the calendar turns to December we are faced with the message of Christ versus a jolly old man and his helper placed on a shelf — I’m not here to judge or shame you into not participating in either of those things — I simply am telling you what we have considered for our family. Since our boys don’t have the foggiest clue who the man in the red suit is, nor do they have a clue who the baby in the manger is, I thought very carefully about which one will have the bigger impact on their lives.
What do I want them to remember, to learn, and to take away about Christmas? I want them to remember a home where we celebrated Jesus, not a made up man from the North Pole. I want them to learn that a baby was born in a manger, lived a sinless life, humbled himself to live as a servant, died a terrible death on the cross and rose again on the third day — all for us!
Jesus gave us all the greatest gift. That’s the story I want to tell my kiddos. That’s the life memories and lessons I want them to grow up knowing. And since I don’t know exactly what my kiddos are learning, I want to make sure I am pouring in only the best of the best into their little hearts, minds, and ears.
So in our home, we will be focusing on the gift of life, the gratitude of having a Savior, and the tiny baby who was born in a manger. My kids may never be able to tell me the story of Christmas or sing about a flying deer with a red nose, but my faith is in the sovereignty of God and His plan for our family. I trust in Him and know my job as a mom is to point my children towards Christ, teaching them about the real gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
About the Writer:
Tamie is a stay at home wife and mommy of three kids with autism. She is a member of First Baptist Dallas and enjoys spending time hanging out at home with her family or a quiet dinner with girlfriends. Tamie is passionate about encouraging other woman in their daily walk with the Lord.
Tamie’s personal blog is about her journey rearing three kids with autism and the lessons the Lord is teaching her along the way.