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Old 12-26-2008, 11:39 AM   #1  
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Default is it too late to celebrate Christ's Birthday?

We have just finished Christmas with my parents in Alabama and will be driving back home to Florida tomorrow. I have 3 Children, 12, 6 and 5. We have been recently explaining to the 5yr old what Christmas is really all about but yesterday felt very flat. Christ wasn't mentioned at all, no one prayed over lunch, we just ate, opened gifts, and that was it. It didn't seem special at all. if not for the fact, I told them why we celebrate Christmas, there was nothing in our day that said it. I feel like I have really let my family and my Savior down. One thing my family and I are doing different this year is we left all our gifts to each other at our home in Florida and we will be having our gift exchange after we get back. Can someone please give me some ideas to show my children the real reason we have Christmas and to show honor to Christ?
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:48 AM   #2  
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I know this may not fall under those lines, but this is what my family did.

As my parent are divorced, I spent a lot of Christmas breaks at my dad's. His family would often join us or we would travel to my grandparents. For some reason (I asked my dad about it yesterday and he just said, "because that's just what we've always done") we would never go to church on Christmas Eve (which I learned this year was a shame because the service at my church now was spectacular). We did, however, always go as a family to whatever Sunday service fell closest to Christmas. While there is a big difference in the service itself between Christmas Eve and Sunday, giving thanks and recognition of the birth of Christ was always the subject (I guess this would depend on the denomination, we're Episcopalian).

So even as a child I associated Christmas oustide of Santa and stuff
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:08 PM   #3  
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Willow, the day you choose is not important, the important thing is to teach your children that we are celebrating the birth of Christ, our saviour. You can read the story from the Bible, Luke 2 : 26 -33 also Matthew 1 V 20 -24 and many other scriptures , and maybe some Christmas songs. A five year old can easily learn "Away In A Manger".

Last edited by bargoo; 12-27-2008 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:14 PM   #4  
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Hi, Willow and Merry Christmas!

It's never too late to show the children what Christmas is all about. Before you open gifts, read the story of Jesus's birth from the Bible. Make it a very reverent time-light candles and play some soft Christmas music. Or, in a more playful way, have a birthday cake for Jesus and say praises for Him aloud before blowing out the candles, then opening gifts.

It's hard to keep the focus where it should be when visiting others who don't observe the same idea. We've had many years of just biting our tongues while listening to all the relatives ask what our kids wanted from Santa. They knew we never ever taught that Santa brought the gifts, but they just couldn't get their minds around the idea that we kept Jesus as the main focus.

Have a really nice second Christmas when you get home!
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:27 PM   #5  
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As usual GREAT ADVICE form our 3FC friends!

Willow I think the greatest birthday gift we can give our Lord is the message He wants us to share. We can do that any and all times.

Tell the story....that will make it Christmas...

We all share in the birth in different ways and traditions, those are important things...

traditions change...

the STORY doesn't.

You will do a great job because you know the story.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:44 PM   #6  
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My daughter and family are coming Newyears eve and we are celebrating Jesus birthday then! This may help you!

True Meaning of Christmas
> Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.
>
> "What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .
>
> "TEACH THE CHILDREN!" I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children!
> Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. "Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."
> He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."
> He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."
> Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."
> He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."
> He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.
>
> Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
>
> Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."
> He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."
>
> Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL,. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.
>
> Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."
>
>
>
>
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:03 PM   #7  
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Sorry, was told it was untrue by K8-EEE deleted it, don't want to post something that is untrue and may offend someone. Please forgive me.

Last edited by Nita Ann; 12-26-2008 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Was told it was untrue
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:00 PM   #8  
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I agree with BARGOO and others that the actual day isn't as important as celebrating the true or original meaning of Christmas with our family and friends. I am often roped into saying a short grace at dinners now, so I made one up and memorized it: keeping it short so that I won't forget becuz of stage fright ...

My husband is Catholic and they have little games that they do with prayer time: each person says one sentence ie Thank you for the gift of bounty (food); thank you for the gift of having our family and friends with us on this day; thank you GOD for sending us the gift of your Son, Jesus; bless the cook this day ... and so forth ...

I esp love the idea of the birthday cake; some people serve Christmas cake for that very reason, and many use their own favorite cake recipes, making it as special as they can. I like spice cake with lite maple cream icing and coconut, sprinkled with walnuts or pecans; this is very popular in the states and is called the LADY BALTIMORE CAKE, I think. My mother made her own recipe for our family and used the base for a lemon loaf, and added crushed pineapple, golden raisins, and nuts (almonds and walnuts) because many in our family didn't like all the waxed candy.

THE CHRISTMAS GAME ~ A couple of years ago, at a family Christmas gathering, I made a game of a list of questions based on the story from Matthew and Luke in the bible. We would go round our guests in a circle and small cute prizes (whether gifts or gags and costing only about $1-2 each) were given to those who get them correct. I made a list of about 24 questions. This went over very well; and helped to share the true meaning of Christmas with all my family. You could read the story from the bible first, to make sure they know it. ie How many kings came and worshipped the infant Jesus? answer:3 and What does Immanuel mean? A: God with us ... and so forth ...

Like GARY says, everyone has their own traditions, you can start some new ones for your own family; we use some from our family and have added ones we prefer ourselves (it's a nice mix) ... GOD BLESS YOUR family with travel angels on the way home, and we hope that you have a wonderful 'Jesus focused' Christmas celebration upon returning as well!
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:40 PM   #9  
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Nita, loved your two stories, thanks for sharing
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:31 PM   #10  
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My neighbors are just beginning the whole Christmas thing -- I have a lot of neighbors who are Armenian, Greek, Lebanese etc. and following the Greek Orthodox traditon are just starting on 12/26 it's a 12 Days Of Christmas thing -- they have these readings and things every day.

I think they do little readings and stuff every day and the big church thing on 1/6. That's 12 days from 12/25, right?

I'm an EX-Christian myself but I kind of like the way they do it....it seems an older and more authentic tradition than our retail-oriented Christmases here, and they get in lots of food, fun and parties!
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:05 PM   #11  
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FYI according to Snopes, this is untrue -- I looked it up because it didn't make any sense to me that the "hidden" meanings would not be anything that be all that different from the state religion in England at the time.

For instance, why would they make up a code about Old and New testaments when they shared the same belief?

If this would the case the Partridge in the Pear Tree would refer to something like the Pope being unfallible, confession, or some other uniquely Catholic belief or practice, rather than the things they had in common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nita Ann View Post
Here is also the Twelve Days Of Christmas from one of my friends and I never knew this :

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.


-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.


-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.



-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.'
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:31 PM   #12  
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Nita Ann, whether it was true or not, doesn't appear to be...it is a cool "take" on the poem. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:18 PM   #13  
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DH is in health care and has had to work 12-18 hour shifts on Christmas over the years. Thus, we have celebrated Christmas on other days many, many times. What is important is celebrating - not the actual date you choose.
Over the years - traditions that meant the most to our kids included:
~Advent candles and wreaths (usually made with their help)
~Reading/telling the Christmas story
~Attending Christmas eve service and bringing home the candle to light our Christ Candle
~Picking gifts to give to others (through a variety of organizations that collect gifts for needy children/families)
~Volunteering to help others (even pets at the animal shelter)
~Illustrating the Christmas story in their own way (using a variety of mediums through the years - from play dough, to paint, to pasta, to pen and the like). We then highlighted their artwork, poetry, stories, etc. as part of our celebrations.
~Making a birthday cake for Jesus
~Putting the baby in the manger (after it being empty all of Advent)
~Continuing to celebrate Christmastide through epiphany (Jan. 6th) and then telling the Magi story.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:09 PM   #14  
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Absolutely!! I thought it was really interesting and never heard that take on it before. Doesn't matter if it's true or not.

Here's the Snopes link FYI:

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/chris...sic/12days.asp



Quote:
Originally Posted by EZMONEY View Post
Nita Ann, whether it was true or not, doesn't appear to be...it is a cool "take" on the poem. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #15  
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Well, i am home now. THANK GOODNESS!! Presents are still under the tree, planning on opening them tomorrow night, we might have to miss out on Church activities though. Hubby and kids of coarse wanted to open them to night....lol Tomorrow night will be a special dinner and dessert(something we don't usually have) Then go to the living room, have a chat with the kids, have hubby read the Christmas Story then maybe opening the presents.
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