Wendi Foy Green
- 1998 4 Dec
As a child, some of my best memories are from Christmas with my family. I can remember when I was ten-years-old and we moved from California to Oklahoma, which was a huge change in environment. That year on Christmas morning we woke up to find these great jean jackets and cowboy boots lying underneath the tree. My sisters and I thought they were so cool, very Oklahoma-y. My parents always tried to give us very special presents that had a significant meaning.
As I think back to the Christmases growing up, I can't remember many of the toys or presents that I got, but I have a very strong memory about the true meaning of Christmas. It was so important to my parents that we knew what Christmas really was, that it was the birthday of Jesus, and not just a day about Santa Claus and exchanging gifts. I remember reading the Christmas story from the Bible every Christmas. I remember praying as a family and thanking God for sending His son as the greatest gift of all.
I'm so thankful that my parents were godly people who had a burning desire to teach their children about God and His love for us. As a parent myself now, it is so important to my husband, Brian, and I that we teach our kids those same things. Our four-year-old son, Cooper loves Christmas. He helps us decorate the tree and can't wait to open his presents. It is so great watching the excitement overtake him at the thought of all the holiday fun. Our one-year-old daughter, Gatlin, only knows that there's a tree with pretty things hanging on it that look good to eat, and to her, that is wonderful.
Because it is so ultimately important for us to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas, we have started a simple tradition in our home. Each Christmas we make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him. This reminds Coooper and Gatlin that Christmas is the day that Christ was born, and that it's His birth that we are celebrating. They love this tradition and we think it's a good way to put the focus on the right place.
Like my parents, we also read the Christmas story from Scripture each year. It is often read by one of the grandparents, and it's a special time for all family members. It's such a wonderful memory-making moment.
No matter what your family traditions are, or how you celebrate, the most important thing to remember is that it is about Jesus. It's about God's greatest gift to us. We all need to remember not to make this a stressful time of year, but a time of absolute joy and celebration as we remember that blessed day in Bethlehem.
In His Love,
Wendi Foy Green