Thanks so much to Debbie for passing along a great suggestion:
Hi Brooke –
I was reading your blog about your advent tradition and wanted to share one that I started with my two sons who are now 15 and 11. When my oldest son was about 2 or 3 he used to like to play with the figures from my very old nativity set. Not wanting my set to get broken, I bought him his own set. The tradition that’s evolved goes like this –
We take Mary and Joseph out on the first Sunday of advent and place them somewhere in the house. Then every day my sons have to move Mary and Joseph to a new location in the house – you see Mary and Joseph are on their journey to Bethlehem! As advent progresses and Mary and Joseph are moved from coffee tables to shelves in the kitchen to bookcases in the office, we talk about what Mary and Joseph must be feeling – travelling so far from home, what weather conditions they might be encountering, are they scared by themselves, is Mary scared or happy that God has chosen her, etc. We’ve even looked at some of the maps in the Bible and talked a little about the geography of the region. It really helps to keep the boys centered on the true meaning of Christmas and the true meaning of advent as a time of waiting and reflection. Of course every now and then they forget to move Mary and Joseph along in their journey – their typical explanation – “they were really tired so they stayed there an extra day!” I feel truly blessed that God led me to develop a new tradition of my own that hopefully my boys will pass on in their own families one day.
As I’m writing this I have the FISH playing on my computer and the song that’s playing now is “Breath of Heaven” by Sarah Groves – how appropriate! (In addition to the classic hymns, I just love the Christmas songs sung from Mary and Joseph’s point of view – and there’s also a wonderful song from the wise men’s point of view called “God With Us” sung by Todd Agnew.)
Debbie Brady-Thank you Debbie!
While we are also on the topic of Christmas songs we like, I have to share this video with you. A few weeks ago I was listening to my Casting Crowns Christmas album. My mind was kind of wandering but I happen to catch the lyrics “While we’re sound asleep by philosophies of save the trees and kill the children”… I was jolted back into focus and wondered “what in the world is that doing in a Christmas song?!” So I went back and listened to the entire song. WOW! The message was so powerful. It’s very deep so you really have to absorb the words and catch what they are saying. It’s illustrated well in this video. It’s long but good, if you get a few minutes it’s really worth checking out.
You can see it here.