The whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday hype seems to have finally crossed the pond from American to the UK with avengence and I just can't get comfortable with it all. It began in America and I think it slightly crazy that the day after Thanksgiving when Americans are celebrating all that they are thankful for, those same Americans are encouraged to go and spend, spend, spend. It seems so opposite to be thankful one day and then to go crazy spending the next as if you didn't have enough to be thankful.
But, even if you aren't aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday there is no denying that it can be hard to focus on the real meaning behind Christmas. I'm looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus as well as some of the more modern aspects of Christmas. It's an opportunity to love on family and friends and a time when we all make an effort to meet together. However, it is hard not to be sidetracked by greed and a desire to spend and to receive. It's hard to keep your focus on the real meaning of Christmas and maintain an attitude of love. It's hard to instill that attitude in my young children.
I'm not sure how we can counter this with the media applying so much pressure (although some days I switch the TV off with all its adverts and if I have to play a DVD) and I desperately want my children to focus on the nativity, family and love rather than anticipating a sledge load of toys.
How do we do this? How do we stop Christmas becoming a season of greed and want?
This year, like last year, I am planning Advent Activities with the children. Each day we will do something together linked to Christmas - both the Christian Celebration and the more secular Festive side. Some ideas are:
- decorate the tree
- read the Nativity story
- make Christmas decorations out of salt dough/clay
- make a bracelet for their nana and granny
- visit Santa
- go for a cold, frosty walk (snow if we can)
- go to a carol service
- visit Santa
The idea is that each day of Advent we will spend some quality time together sharing an activity and learning that the best present we can have is the presence of our friends and family; love is the best present. Corny, but true. Last year the kids really loved it and are looking forward to do it again this year.
As well as trying not to go crazy with buying lots of gifts, especially for the kids, I am also going to buy a gift through Oxfam Unwrapped as I help the kids to understand the importance of giving to those that really need it.
How are you going to keep your Christmas grounded in love and family? How are you keeping Christ in your Christmas? Do you have any ideas for Christmas crafts and activities - I'm a few days short and would love to have a few back up ideas too in case any don't work out!
Have a wonderful Sunday,
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