Sunday, December 2, 2007

Advent


Have you ever wanted to see a certain Christmas movie only to realize that it aired last week and you didn't know it? Well those days are over, my friends. Check out this link. You can watch 101 different movies, sitcoms, specials, etc all from your computer.

Ok, now on to more important matters. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The preparation for the coming of our Lord is underway. Instead of focusing on the monetary aspects of Christmas, the burden and stress of perfect decorations, perfect meals, perfect gifts, we should be focusing on the Perfect Light who came in to this world to save us from sin and death.

Do we teach our children the idea behind gift giving? Do we explain to them that God's gift to all of us was His Son? Do we explain that the Magi gave gifts to our Lord as a symbol of respect? Or are we only teaching them that Santa will give them an astronomical amount of gifts if they behave. And then when they don't, give them those gifts anyway? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advising parents to "teach their children a lesson" for their naughty behavior and give them nothing on Christmas morning. But really, what lesson are you teaching them if you if you spoil them with gifts costing the proverbial arm and a leg when their behavior throughout the year is abominable? I'm no exception, mind you. My kids are far from perfect. Nonetheless, there will be gifts left under the tree for them. But, I hope that as we celebrate Advent, they will begin to see the true meaning of Christmas, because I am far from perfect. And I hope that I can lead by example. Because I know that on any given day, I am more of a "do as I say, not as I do" mother. So I hope to take the opportunity given to me in the form of Advent to teach my children the miracle of the season. I hope to teach them the bountiful blessings that can only be achieved by doing for others and to be slow to anger.

The older I get, the more I realize that I have lots to learn. Advent is the perfect opportunity to take notes, to study, to prepare for the final exam. My children aren't the only ones in need of a lesson. Their mother is a sinner just like them, no better for sure. And she needs to buckle down and do her best as well. Or she will fail the test.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I know that our Lord gave us the ultimate Gift of life.

33 comments:

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Julie,
What a wonderful post. Our Church does the Advent at Church. Each Sunday they light a candle and tell what it represents. Our girls know how Christmas is going to be this year. We have already told them. I've told everyone not to get me and hubby to get us anything this year because we can't afford to buy for others this year. To me, being near family, having a roof over our heads, food on the table is Christmas for me. Well, take care my friend and have a great Sunday. May God Bless You and Yours.

Hugs,
Karen H.

www.neereandearcreations.com said...

Your children are so blessed to have a wonderful mother like you...

HUGS

JO

BittersweetPunkin said...

Mornin' Julie....I loved your post. My kiddos are looking forward to getting a few things because we put them off all year with "NO...wait til Christmas".....after a while they stop asking...they are so good and both my kids are looking forward to celebrating Jesus too.
Blessings,
Robin

FarmHouse Style said...

Hey Julie! You are such a wonderful Mom to instill the true meaning of Christmas in your boys. My son is just getting to the age where he is asking lots of questions. Of course, I want him to enjoy Santa~ but most importantly I want him to know the reason for the Celebration.

Have a great Sunday, Sweetie:)

Rhonda

bj said...

I think we all do try our best to instill in our children the true meaning of Christmas. This year, we are going to have a birthday cake for Jesus (I saw this on someone's blog and was so impressed!) which should help remind us all of why we celebrate this blessed and wonderous time of year.How great it is to take the spotlight away from all those gifts under the tree to the birthday cake for Jesus. I am so looking forward to it. I want white icing for the pureness, red for the blood HE shed, 12 candles, what else can I put on it? A heart for the love? I want this to be such an extra special cake.....I would appreciate it if you would help me design it.
hugs, bj

Anita said...

Great post!
I can't get the first link to work... Maybe it's just me... lol

I had never even heard of Advent growing up... and I grew up in church...
We make sure that our kids know the meaning behind everything at Christmas... Gifts, the tree, even candy canes...

Cottage Contessa said...

Lovely post Julie, and one I agree whole-heartedly with.
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Nunnie's Attic said...

Thanks A - the link is fixed now!
Love,
Julie

Emiline said...

Julie, thank you for the link! I'm going to check it out, right now. I used to love "The Grinch" and "Charlie Brown".

bj said...

Dear Julie, no...I didn't realize it was you that posted about the cake. I am in awe, now. Of all the people on here, I came to you to help me with the birthday cake.
Thank you for explaining how to do it...I start crying every time I think of how wonderful it will be. If you make one, will you post it at Christmas? I will post mine, too.
Thanks, Julie,
bj

Kimmie said...

Hi Julie!

We began our advent celebration at church and at home too.

This year we are going with a stocking (from us) and one gift. We have opted out of Santa a few years back, I think it is really confusing to why we are celebrating Christmas.

My kids still enjoy Christmas, there favorite memory was having breakfast together last year in our barn- we made a manger out of an old wooden stand up planter my father had made...straw and a baby boy doll to remind us of Jesus. We read scripture, prayed, opened our stockings, went to church to celebrate and thank God for his awesome gift to us. My kids can't remember one gift they got (well they remember the guitars, as they worship with them daily) - but seriously remember our morning together thanking God.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Our Red House said...

Great post, Julie. I totally agree with you.

I posted today on our family's tree-raising ceremony and how we are trying to teach our children the real meaning of Christmas. Have a look!

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a a beautiful post! We loved it, from the Christmas movies to the advent memories! Christmas is such a special time of year, especially for the real reason for the season!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

rosemary said...

You are such a special girl, Julie.

Sling said...

I think the folly that comes with being quick to anger,is finding out you were wrong in your assumptions..At least that's how it works for me.Your children are going to be better for your efforts julie!..Keep up the good works. :)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Julie, I love how you lift up Jesus on your blog. Happy Christmas to you! I'm behind visiting & wanted to say hi.

xo,
Rhoda

Nan said...

What a nice post. We all get side-tracked and dwell on the material side of Christmas.
Nan

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

A very special post Julie. He was the First gift.

PAT said...

Wonderful post, Julie!

Pat

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Hello sweet lady! Wonderful post...as always. Hunter is excited about Jesus and everything special about Christmas. Do you want to come help me with my cabinets...paint them white? rofl.....someday! cherry

Counting Your Blessings said...

Thank you again! I'm so glad that you have pin pointed this. Your heart is just beautiful! Sometimes when I'm getting ready to hit the "publish post" button I think of you and wonder if I'm presenting Christ or just presenting. Blessings.. Polly (how in the world did you find that movie link? I'm going to check it out now 'cause I still haven't seen Wizard of Oz and I fell asleep in the last 45 minutes of White Christmas)

JANET said...

Our church lights Advent candles as well. It really helps bring the true meaning to the season.

Bethany Hissong said...

Happy Advent... now I'm really excited! My religious ed class is especially rowdy and I'm guessing it's because of Christmas. Time to start the Jesse Tree, open the Advent calendar windows, and light the first candle!! Don't you love the traditions of the Church?!! THAT is what keeps me focused on the right things and makes me have more patience for everyone :)

Donna said...

What a wonderful post Julie and you are a wonderful mother.
Hugs,
Donna

Debbie said...

But Julie, that's what's so amazing about God's gifts to us ~ we don't deserve them either!

Naturegirl said...

Julie a wonderful reminder for all this time of year...to remember the
true spirit of Christmas and certainly NOT all about presents..but in giving of ourselves in some small way..there are so many in need and so many causes we can all donate to.
Christmas for me is having my family around me well and happy and sharing a meal or a favorite baked treat and lighting candles and remeber that Jesus our lord and savior was born on Christmas day!
blessing to you aNNa

Meggie said...

I LOVE the anticipation season of Advent and preparing for the arrival of our king. Our choir at church is preparing for Christmas and it is such a joyful time.

Brenda said...

Wonderful post. I am going to read and try to understand. I have really never heard.

Rosemary said...

Great post today Julie.
We all have lots to learn.
Rosemary

Heidi said...

I was just thinking I want to ask Jos to see if It's a Wonderful Life is online so I can watch it and here you gave the link. I also want to watch The Little Shop Around the Corner. Both used to be shown on the BBC regularly at the holidays.

Enjoy the lessons this Advent will bring to you. Each year life teaches us new lessons.

~~ Heidi ~~

Robyn said...

wonderful post!

lori said...

I could not get past the Honey cakes...where IS that order form?:)

You know I said to Scott last night after church, we have to go at night now for the TEEN mass since we go to TEEN classes before...anywho...
I told him that I LOVE how we celebrate Advent...waiting, preparing..it's ours if you seize it....
thank you for the reminder!
hugs,
lori

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