Celebrating Christmas…simply.  Each of our children have 3 presents from us, they draw names and spend their own money to buy (or make) each other a present, and santa does one family present.  We chose 3 so that we always remember why we celebrate Christmas.  It is not about getting gifts, or a man in a red suit, or elves, or stockings.  We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   Matthew 2:11 says this…”And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh”.  Gold and frankincense and myrrh…3 gifts for my Savior, therefore 3 gifts for my boys at Christmas.  The gifts they do receive are nothing lavish…one of Maddox favorite gifts was his $2.00 clearance Thomas sticker book set.  Kyson’s was his $3.50 Mickey Mouse.  Carter’s was his Ben 10 guy that Maddox bought him.  Still, many people would people would question what we consider simplicity, after we all we have a home, a tree, decorations, heat, beds, gifts, and so much more.   I think what is important is what we are teaching our children.  Every day in life, are opportunities to teach our children about Jesus…

I can say this, our boys are far from perfect.  As are Josh and me.  However, they know why we celebrate Christmas, they are truly thankful for gifts they receive, and love giving to others.  I am thankful to God for our family.  I am thankful for every trial and challenge.  I am thankful for our strong-willed boys.  Because, I know God didn’t give me the task of molding their personalities, He already has!  He created them, He designed them, He knows their flaws, and He knows their strengths.  He has taught me that is for Josh and I to train them in the ways of the Lord, not the change them and to conform them to the world’s idea of perfectly behaved children. 

As with so many of my posts, this went from Christmas to something completely different!  It’s just that with visiting different family and seeing so many friends over the holidays, we are so often judged and compared for how we parent our kids.   Sometimes we are judged by disapproving looks, sometimes by smiles or nods of affirmation, and sometimes by spoken criticism or praise.  What I want parents raising their kids to take from this, is that you need not worry about the world’s approval rating for how you are doing; concern yourselves with God’s approval.