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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas....(pictures)

Before I start this post let me preface by saying that we do "Christmas". We have a tree and the house is decorated, so don't get too worried but I do want to share this with you.


I struggle this time of year with the whole "Christmas" thing and have for a few years now. I know that sounds insane in a world that loves Christmas but I try so hard to live a life that is truly following and seeking God's guidance. So when I look at "Christmas", I ask myself what does God think of this. It is a holiday that is very deeply rooted in Paganism dating back before Christ's birth. Well, we know what God says about that.( Gal. 4:8-11) It's also so commercialized and worldly. God clearly says that we are not to love this world or the things of this world!!! (1 John 2:15)


Then there is the whole Jesus' birthday thing. Well, Jesus was born more like August or September than December. However, what does God say about celebrating His birthday. He doesn't. There are only two mentionings of birthdays in the whole book and they were not happy occassions. (Gen. 40, Matt. 14:6-10) The Bible says to mourn the day of birth and rejoice the day of death.

I could go on and on but I will spare you. I will tell you that if we had been seeking the Lord earnestly, when our children were little, we would have done things very differently. There would probably not be as much of an emphasis on this one day. However, we weren't. So here we are with 3 kids who love Christmas and 2 parents who do not want to crush their spirit.

I have heard the phrase " redeeming Christmas" and I guess that is what we now do. I don't want to focus too much on the Jesus' birthday thing (as far as the day) but I do want to take this period of time to really delve deep into the events of His birth and why He had to be born (as a sacrifice for our sin). So this year we are doing some things differently.

We are doing a Jesse Tree, which is a great devotional tool starting in Gen. and ending with the birth of Jesus. We are also memorizing Luke 2:1-20.

We will still be baking cookies and giving to friends and neighbors. There will still be presents under the tree and singing of Christmas carols. We are just little by little trying to revamp the way we do things in order to become more and more like Christ (2 Cor. 3:18) and put away some traditions of men (Matt. 15:9).


With all of that being said, here are my middle daughter and son making our yearly gingerbread houses. They turned out great and the kids had a great time. My oldest daughter missed out this year, as she has taken on an afternoon job, helping a lady up the street until January. (sniffle, sniffle, they grow up too
soon)



Here is the kit I bought at WalMart. I have made them myself in the past and for the price of this kit, making it just does not make sense, for me.









Here is the end result. They are beautiful!!!



I hope to post more about our Jesse Tree and all of our other crafts and recipes but we are so busy that I don't know that it will happen. I hope you all have a great holiday Season and truly focus on those things that are eternal like Faith, family and friends.



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29 comments:

Homesteader in Training said...

We love building the gingerbread houses and will be doing ours this weekend. We do the Jesse Tree as well.
The houses came out so cute.
Hugs.
Kim

Debi said...

Looks like fun, might have to get a couple of those for the children.
Did you get the email I sent you a while back??
Hope that you had a great Thanksgiving.
We should try to get together again sometime next year. I know that you are farther away now, but we like to go for car rides.
Debi

Lady Katherine said...

The house came out lovely, my daughter also bought the one from Walmart to entertain, her 5 year after a little surgery.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Mrs. Trixi, thank you for coming by! I do think we can keep Christmas in it's perfect perspective and Christ in the middle. It's all in how we approach it. I love Christmas as much as anyone & all the decorating just goes along with that, but the real meaning is something we have to cherish in our hearts. I'm sure your kids all understand and GET that too. Enjoy your Christmas season!

Lady Katherine said...

Small World! I live 27 miles North East of Brandon. Could we be neihgbors? I live in the country on 10 acres in 1915 Craftsman's Bungalow.

Angie said...

Very good advice about focusing on the true meaning of CHRISTmas. Cute gingerbread houses!

Lady Katherine said...

Hi, Hubby and I looked around your blog, he thinks he knows the land, you have. Maybe?

Susie Harris said...

Oh please tell us more about your jesse tree. I would love to learn more. I hear ya about all of the Christmas hoopla. I too get caught up and need to stop myself and step back. Jesus is the reason! You can praise his birth with or without all of the trimmings. The important thing I find is just putting him first and making him the center of the celebration. His birth... his love.. his death... our gift~

Empty Nest Full Life said...

The gingerbread houses look like fun! Thanks for your honesty about Christmas. This has always been a difficult time for me because of the worlds emphasis. We want to celebrate Christ. Thanks for wishing me well w/ Stella. She is still at the vet, and hope to get her back soon. Jackie

gloria said...

Trixi,
The gingerbread houses turned out lovely.... we share the same tradition....
I hear your heart on Christmas..... we have been thru this journey as you are ... and God is continuing to show us.....
We do a tree and cook the lovely foods, and enjoy the caroling and CHRIST centered things... but eschew really the things that are of the world this time of year... I don't judge others who do, but we have chosen a different road..... like you my kids love this time of year....
It can be used as a time to glorify the King of Kings...
Music is one way -- so much of the music is so focused on praising Jesus.... at least the old carols do... and a few of the new ones...
I look foward to hearing about your Jesse tree.... I don't know much about that.. so I would love to learn from you.
Keeping my eyes on Jesus,
gloria

Picket said...

Hey girl...thanks for coming by..those gingerbread houses turned out beautiful!

My two cents don't count for much..but could I share something with you...we raised 5 kids...I am Penticostal if there is a label needed..but I spent my whole young life always trying to do the right thing and never wanting to offend anyone..but my heart soul & mind was for God...my relationship with Him all these years and knowing that he knows my name and that he still hears and answers prayers is shouting ground to me..

but anyway...years ago when my babies were young...a elderly sure enough holiness little saint tried to condemn me to death for having Christmas & giving gifts to my kids (not to mention telling me how backslid she thought I was for wearing pants and cutting my hair) I loved her anyway and always showed her kindness but this is what I basically told her...

God saved me..I didn't walk down an isle and shake a preacher's hand and repeat after him..I ran down an isle and cried out to God to save me and at that very moment.I can tell you the day and the place..God saved my soul! From that moment forth my life was changed..The more I craved to know of Him the more He filled my soul...I realized God looks on the heart...he doesn't care if I am in my Sunday best or in the garden with dirt on my hands...when I call out to HIm..he knows my name! My clothes won't move God...My hair...won't move God....all the fasting and praying in the world won't move God if your heart is not right...You better know who you are in God! I don't celebrate Christmas for a Birthday...I don't celebrate Christmas for a present...I celebrate Christmas just as a day set aside that man can recoginize the birth of our Saviour....I give gifts to my children because of the love I have for them and It is only a sampling of the love my God has for me when He gave me the Ultimate gift of Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior..

Girl I said all that to say all of this...don't let this world dictate how you choose to live and share with your family..only you can answer for you...outwardly showing doesn't mean a thing..it's what is on the inside that moves God and when it all comes down to it ask yourself if something happened right this moment...no phone..no one to help..no time for thinking...would God know your name when you called.

There is greatness in you my friend...you have always known the right path to take in your heart...don't second guess yourself so much...

I'm sorry this was so long and you can delete it if you like...I just felt such a pull in my heart to share with you..I've been where you are. Take care and thanks so much for coming by!

Mrs. Trixi said...

Picket, you will never know how much your words mean to me and I would not dare delete it. Thank you for sharing. I so desire to do the right thing and probably worry about it to much.

Gina said...

We've been wrestling with the whole Christmas thing too here. I think you've hit on a good balance.

Rue said...

Hi Trixi :)

Picket said it better than anyone else could have. But then again she always does ;)

rue

Kelli said...

The girls and Benjamin had fun with their gingerbread house, too. Your houses are so cute!
~Kelli

kari and kijsa said...

what a beautiful and reflective post- oh how quickly the commercialization can sweep us up. The painting of an old quote Kijsa has above her mantel sums it up perfectly! Decorate and sparkle, all in honor of Christ's birth!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Lady Katherine said...

Hi, I am about 15 miles from you. I go through Lena sometimes going to Carthage. I live community called Leesburg,On Highway 481 North, my next store neighbor is a Watkins and his exwife and children live in Lena. Hubby was wrong about the land he thought it was up on 25 Highway and 43 highway. We are about 5 miles from Forkville going through country roads. Sorry not to get back with you, just home from St. Dom Hosp. Hubby been in for 3 days or so, in the cardiac unit. Still not doing great, but he is ok for now. We are very tired and I try catch up with all my Blogs I read in next few days or so.

Nicole said...

Hey we just bought that exact same gingerbread house kit. Thanks for this post, I hate that I sometimes forget what christmas is all about, I would make it a lot easer if we could just focus on the real meaning of Christmas!

Rilda Peel said...

Hello Trixi, We do seem to follow tradition alot in many areas. I have never delt with this issue of Christmas so with me it is a time for rejoicing and celebrating. Even in death we do it differently especially in different areas of the world. I suppose it truly is a time of year mosts hearts are open to giving and receiving and to me that is a God thing. We light our homes and bring in more of God's than another time of the year. Even those who don't believe will hear and God does His work to soften year after year until completion. Jesus to me is in the mouths of more at this season and that is a God thing. hallelujah Good will toward man and woman. Thanks for sharing as we all are in a time of seeking His perfect will for our lives. May you find and ALL He gives be yours. Lovingly, rilda

traci said...

I truly respect and admire you for sharing this. I agree in a lot ways but I think its how you handle it. We do a tree but our tree has gotten smaller and smaller each yr yet we inherited a very special, rather large nativity scene that the kids LOVE! One yr. we stepped out and spent a large portion of our Christmas money on a needy family thinking this would mean a lot to our kids at the moment but in the end they might wish they had presents...they were THRILLED to give and never once wished they had the gifts back. When family went out and got our kids presents (feeling our kids got the short end of the stick) our kids wanted to take those gifts to the same family!!!
Continue to do what God instructs you to do and not do and you wont go wrong...you already know that :)
Love the gingerbread house!
Cant wait to hear more about the Jesse tree!!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Great post, Trixi. We struggle with the commercialism of Christmas as well. Although it's not a great solution, I have bought nothing for Christmas gifts the past few years, except the ingredients needed to make home made giftz. At least then I feel that I am truly "giving" a gift, and not just buying something to keep up with the commercialism. And to be honest, although my home made gifts costs far less than what I spent in the past on store bought gifts, everyone seems to appreciate them so much more.

This doesn't address the religious aspect of Christmas, but it does help me deal with the "commercialism".

Keep doing what you do Trixi. God knows your heart - and that's what really matters.

Take care,
Penny

Liz said...

I've always wanted to make a gingerbread house. Maybe this year I'll try it.

Lady Katherine said...

Oh My, I am going to have ton of comments on your page! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, it could have been my husband you prayed for, he is well known all over, and loved. We do live very close, I am guess 10 miles now. Hubby still not up to it, but we are home and trying to adjust. I am so behind on all my blogs! Its taken a lot out of our family. A lot of people stopping in to check on him. I on the web trying to relax a little. Yes, we have to get together. Lena a great place to live. If you take a right at the store on the corner, there are two small white homes I just love. We usually go over for 4th of July fireworks. But not in a few years, I home schooled my girls. They are now adults with children. I hit the big 50 this year. Talk to you soon.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

What a wonderful way to explain the importance of Christ. We like to do a Jesus birthday cake...I think it is all in the way you want to express your beliefs. cherry

JenIG said...

i LOVE making gingerbread houses. That is so fun. I wonder how hard it would be to make gingerbread at home. I ought to try that.

Picket said...

Morning girl! Hope all is well on your side of the mountain....this has just been the fastest year for me for some reason...been so busy with family this year I haven't got to 'play' in the house like I usualy do! lol lol I haven't painted a room since last Spring...that is so not like me! lol lol Thanks for coming by sweetie....hope you are having a glorious week!

Shannon said...

Can't wait to see all your other ideas. I have actually never decorated a gingerbread house! Yours are too cute though!

The Pink Potpourri said...

great post! i love the gingerbread houses! and i must agree...my family were not christians when we were little...so my husband and i will be raising our children differently and having different christmas traditions than when i grew up. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Becki said...

I popped in here from Kelli's Show and Tell and had to read more of your blog.

I appreciate so much what you've written here about celebrating Christmas and your perfectly-stated and humble admission about how you are where you are. Aren't we all (in one way or another)?

When I first saw your Jesse Tree, I assumed you had small children and I thought, ah, well....my sons are too old for this now. I was inspired to see older children embracing a new tradition.

Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm glad I stopped by. I may be back. ;^)