A Christian Christmas
We are bombarded by glossy magazines tempting us to spend large sums of money to achieve the perfectly decorated Christmas home. Achieving this home has more to do with consumerism then it does with the birth if Christ.
The first thing that comes to mind is the birth of Christ: the story of the Nativity. Nativity symbols come in all sizes, mediums and prices.
Today I want to introduce you to the inexpensive wood and plaster nativity set that Paul and I set up each year. We deliberately choose this set because it would not create a hazard when chipped by our grandchildren - we want them to play with it. Yes, we encourage them to play with our nativity set.
Normally it starts in front of the fireplace and by the time January first comes it has been in every corner of the living room. As a family we tell the Christmas story many times sometimes to instruct our grandchildren on the Christian traditions of Advent and at other times to participate in their play and exploration of the Christmas Story.
Through the facilitation of their play we hope to deepen their understanding of the Christmas Story. As they pretend to be the Wise men we talk to them about what the real wise men had to endure. How far they had to travel to find the baby Jesus? Or what Mary and Joseph would have worry about as they tried to fine a place to spend the night?
In their play the children will experiment with the story. They changed the storyline working through alternative ending. We encourage this because it builds critical thinking and ultimately it will strengthen their faith.
When we decorated our home for Christmas we decorate to encourage play and exploration of our faith and traditions.