Sunday, December 26, 2010

Advent Wreath

When I was a little girl I remember there was a fire alarm in my 1st grade bathroom. I was always so worried that it would go off while I was in there that I became super fast at using the bathroom. That has come in handy now because no one can accuse me of dawdling in there like a typical woman does.

I seem to have passed this fear down to A too. She is afraid of fire drills because they are loud and come out of nowhere. She begs to go to school even when she is sick, but if she knows it's almost time for a surprise fire drill she'll say she doesn't want to go. A's class also has a fire alarm in the bathroom and so she just tries to avoid using the bathroom at school and just waits until she gets home.

They read a book called Pet Heroes in the school library. It's a collection of true stories about pets who have saved their owners by alerting them to dangers or protecting them from other animals. She loved it because of the stories about dogs and we bought it at the book fair, but she wants me to skip the pages that have to do with fire.

We've been lighting the advent candle wreath on Sundays at our home. Amelia has been quite frightened of it and is always ready to blow the candles out. She doesn't want our home to catch on fire since we don't have any pets to save us. We were having this conversation about the advent wreath the other night:

A: Mommy, I don't want the candles lit, it's not safe.
M: Baby, we just have to be careful and it's perfectly safe. You know, before electricity, people used candles all the time to light up their houses at night.
A: Really?
K: Yeah, they couldn't just flip the switch to turn on a light. They had to carry candles and be careful with them.
A: Wow.
(then Hubby and I started getting nostalgic)
M: Yeah, and when we were kids we didn't have the internet
K: or cell phones
M: or even cordless phones in the house
A: Whoa! What did you do, use cans and string?

And at the Christmas Eve service, this was the first year that A was too old for the nursery and so she stayed with us. She was very concerned about us lighting all those candles and you can tell here she's not super happy.

G seems to have no hesitations around fire though, as we caught him climbing up on the altar and blowing out the church's wreath.
And the rest of Christmas Eve...

Is it a family law that children must not be cooperative when it comes to Christmas pictures by the tree when you are in a hurry to get to church on time? At least A has got the hang of it.
And our family picture try...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift Giving

I was in Toys R Us the other day and saw a sign advertising their "Wish List Registry". It's billed as a great way to let others know what your child really wants this Christmas. You can register your child's wants and even update as a gift is received or make changes online.  Something didn't sit right with me as I read the sign. I can't say it's not convenient, but it made me wonder what a strange thing gift-giving is nowadays.

Why do we even give gifts at Christmas? Isn't gift-giving a way to show someone we love and care about them, to see a need or desire they have and to fill it with a gift?

How do we go about picking out gifts? Surely Mary did not register Jesus for Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. We must know someone well if we want to pick out a good gift for them, their tastes, their needs, etc.

I'm sure you've been given a gift that you didn't want, need, or like. What are your options then? You can take it back to the store, sell it, give it away, or just add it to the closet.

So you don't want YOUR gift to someone else to go unappreciated, but then, how do you pick a gift for someone when you aren't sure what they need or desire? Well we even have handy dandy gift cards to stores where the recipient can even pick out whatever they want, you just pick the store. Or should you just send cash because then they can pick any store. What if they wanted to give a gift to you? Should they just send you some cash too? And if you send them the same amount, is that considered 're-gifting'?

Where do we draw the line here? We could just start transferring money electronically to people's bank accounts instead of sending a card too!

Don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts and gift cards from loved ones. Really. I really like them. I also love that people will ask me what kind of things I'd like, and that is all fine and good. But I just feel like we are loosing the whole point of gift-giving when it becomes obligatory.

Long ago God gave us a gift. Wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. It was perfect, exactly what we always wanted and needed, a SAVIOR!

But many people didn't think they really needed a savior. The religious elite of the day were hoping for a Savior, but this wasn't the messiah they'd registered for. They wanted a refund or to exchange for a savior who would save them from political oppression, not from the oppression of their own sin.

God is standing at your door and offering you Jesus. Now what do you do? You can't take Jesus back to the stable for a refund or exchange but you can reject the gift and never know the peace he'd bring into your life. Another option is to accept him as a gift and then just keep him in the closet. Basically smiling through your teeth saying, 'oh! what I've always wanted' and then putting him away and still you miss out on forgiveness and His peace.

OR you can wholeheartedly realize what a gift has been given to you, accept this gift of forgiveness, wearing it like a garment everyday. You can enjoy the peace that comes in knowing that no matter what happens in this world, your future with Him is sure. It's up to you what you do with the gift that is offered to you.

It's been some time ago that I accepted God's gift. It is THE most important thing in my life and I would be a totally different person without Him. I don't usually use my blog to encourage people to consider Jesus, But this is on my mind and if you haven't accepted this gift I am praying that you would, but it's your choice to make. If you'd like to know more about how to accept His gift, you can ask me personally or find out more at:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kids fighting

For the span of a week or so I got all Holiday Homemakerish and went on a baking spree. A and I made a Gingerbread house together (purchased last year for 1.99!)

Then I decided since I had icing I might as well make sugar cutout cookies for her ballet class because I was bringing a snack. And Amelia helped me with some of them, putting flour on the counter and cutting them out to cook. She had her hands all in my flour jar and was having a fun time playing and so I let her play and she was making a bit of a mess. Then I thought, well, she's had her hands all in the flour I don't really want to keep that flour anymore.

So I put the rest of the flour in two containers and sent both the kids into the backyard and told them to have a flour fight. After they recovered from their shock (Are you serious mom?!) they grabbed handfuls of flour and went for it.

 Poor A was downwind, so she got the brunt of the fight.

 But they had lots of fun
 and got lots of messy
 and I got lots of Christmas goodies out of it all. The house only lasted a day or so since the kids were eying it all the time and all the goodies on it.
 Smells like Christmas goodies here!