December 15, 2016
Dear St. George Families:
Traditions that we establish in our families shape who we become and form the foundations of our values and priorities. Our kids need these traditions to help shape their identity - to identify as a part of the family.
Christmas can be a great time to establish your family traditions. Advent wreaths, tree decorating, Advent "pals", and doing special things for others help keep the focus on Christmas.
In one classroom, one of the students offered as a part of daily prayer intention the prayer that everyone would get what they wanted for Christmas. This is what kids will focus on and it is only natural. However, as we mature, shouldn't that prayer be that we all receive what we need, not want, for Christmas?
As a society, we are very materialistic and have much more than we need. We need to teach our children that focusing on what we want will never be satisfying. It is human nature to want the newest and best of all things but we all know in our hearts that we can never be satisfied with these material things.
This Christmas season give the gift of time. Take time to do family activities, visit friends or relatives you haven't seen for awhile or visit shut-ins at our local nursing homes. Take time to talk to your kids about family and what your family values and priorities are.
Most importantly, make Christ a major focus and theme of Christmas. Take some quiet time each day to think about Advent and the blessings of Christmas.
God Bless all of you, merry Christmas!!
MORE FUN, LESS STUFF
In Hundred Dollar Holiday, (Harper San Francisco) author Bill McKibben shares his secret for successfully selling the idea of a simpler Christmas. "The most subversive thing to do is have more fun than other people. To the extent that your celebrations are more joyful, it may rub off a bit." Especially on kids: "If you make the holiday joyful enough," says McKibben, 'with enough points of real pleasure, parties, hikes, special activities, spending time together, then the focus won't be so single-mindedly on how big the pile under the tree is."
McKibben's favorite fun on Christmas Day? Bringing breadcrumbs and birdseed into the woods or a nearby park. "It's an old tradition of St. Francis, who said that animals deserve to celebrate this joyful thing," with "a day when they have access to food. It's a wonderful way to remind yourself that this day is about a lot more than you and your desires."
(Article courtesy of At Home with our Faith)