Christmas Memories

I was having a conversation recently with a new-found friend and she was sharing all the things she had to do yet before Christmas. She was getting a little frazzled because she was running out of time. Then what she shared next shocked me. She said that she just found out what Christmas was really about…the birth of Jesus. She is now in her early 30’s and this is the first she’s heard about this? Really? How can a child grow up celebrating Christmas every year and never know the true meaning behind it until she’s in her early 30’s?

It got me thinking about how many families are out there that really don’t know the true meaning, but celebrate Christmas anyway. It’s one thing to choose not to believe and, therefore, not celebrate. But are there really people out there that think it’s all about a guy in a red suit sliding down a chimney leaving presents? They really don’t know the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior?

Could it be some parents get so busy with preparing for Christmas, the baking, decorating, cleaning and the shopping, that they forget to take time to teach the reason for it and lose sight of what’s most important. It’s as if the Christmas traditions got passed on, but the meaning got lost along the way. I can’t say for sure and I’m not passing judgement, but I guess I just assumed that either you’re a believer that celebrates or you’re a non-believer and don’t.

In preparation for our Christmas celebration my daughter and I have been doing some baking and trying out some new recipes. Some turned out great and others, not so much, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed talking about Christmases past and future things we want to do.

When I asked her to share some of her favorite memories not one of those memories had to do with a gift she received. Every memory she shared had to do with time together with family. Playing games, baking, making up plays and reminiscing with relatives.

So I started thinking about some of my favorites memories. I couldn’t remember even a handful of gifts I had received in my lifetime. Most of what I remembered was the quality time together. So if that is the case, why do so many people go into debt for Christmas? Spending so much money they end up taking the whole year to pay it off, or not even getting it paid off by the next Christmas.

Rather than getting the kids a bunch of stuff that they’re just going to forget about anyway, what we have done is give the gift of quality time and creating fun memories together. For example, ski trip with the boys and a concert with the girls (to see one of their favorite boy bands). Making homemade gifts for family and friends, and helping others in need. And of course, having birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

There was an email I had received years ago titled, “Teach The Children”. It goes through all the symbols of Christmas and the meaning behind them. So we had decided that we would include the reading of that on Christmas and place an ornament on the tree to go along with each symbol to remind us and to teach our kids what it all means. I believe the best gift we could ever give our kids is to teach them about a Savior and our Savior can give them the greatest gift of all…their salvation.

I want to encourage you to take time to think about the memories being created and the messages it sends. The memories we create with our kids will stick with them for a very long time, maybe, forever. Are we teaching them to just be busy, or are we creating memories that teach them values and focus on what’s really important?

Here is the link to the poem,“Teach the Children”

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and created some great memories.

God bless,

Jennifer Blomdahl

6 responses to this post.

  1. Great post Jenn! I couldn’t help but comment about this one. I can relate to the lady you mentioned never knowing the meaning of Christmas until recently. It wasn’t until I was about 22 yrs old that I found out about the birth of Jesus (and that was learned through my association with TEAM). You are right. There are a lot of people out there who celebrate and don’t know the reason they are celebrating. We were one of those families. When I found out I was angry with my parents. They knew all along but because they are not believers they chose not to share with us. We have a lot of work to do because I know I am not the only ‘kid’ who can relate to this situation. Because of this, my brother still chooses not to believe in Christ. Christmas Day carries a whole new meaning for me now and since it’s not an important day to my family, I enjoy spending it alone. It’s hard to celebrate with people who don’t share your beliefs. Thank you to you and Eric for sharing the real meaning of Christmas with your children and creating lasting memories that they can reflect upon in the future. Merry Christmas and God Bless!

    Reply

    • Hi Kristen, thanks for sharing. I have to say that even though as a child I was told about the birth of Jesus I didn’t truly understand until I was an adult. As I continue to grow in my faith and relationship with Christ deepens this day becomes more meaningful. I want to encourage you to stay strong in the Lord and to love & forgive your family. All we can do is be an example and pray that they see the Light. Have peace knowing that God is in control and things happen on His timing not ours. Jen

      Reply

  2. Posted by Drea Renkas on December 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing… It’s funny, I have been thinking about this topic as well. I recently read on a blog about a mom who’s kids asked her if they could pray to Santa that night… She immediately sat them down and had a discussion (should never have gotten to that point,which she admits). That article hit me and really got me thinking.. It makes sense those kids and many others would think that way with how society, media treats this season if they don’t know better.. “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when your awake….”. I read well meaning people letters to Santa that they want “world peace, hope, love and forgiveness in the world.. Etc” These words should be prayers to God, not Santa. I feel, like you, many people are missing the point. It makes me realize that while Santa is a fun thing with kids, there is one reason for the Christmas season. We will spend our time focusing on the reason for the season, Jesus’s birth, and invest our time with family instead of focusing on gifts. We plan on teaching our kids this as well. Thanks again for the article Jen. Merry Christmas!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Chad Sutkay on December 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for writing this. I have to say that until you really come to know Jesus, Christmas is just another time for fun, family and gifts. Now I love all the joys of the Christmas season but this year was different in my heart. For the first time I really thought about what an incredible celebration it really should be as the only one who can offer eternal life was born. We celebrate our own birthdays with exciting parties and lavish gifts, but do we celebrate our Savior’s birthday with as much attention? Thank you for making me think!

    God bless,
    Chad

    Reply

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