Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey...and me

"Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window? The guy looks out it, and if he leans too far, he falls out. Wait. I guess that's like a regular window." "When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns." Those are just a couple of my favorite Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey. They used to have a segment on Saturday Night Live where they would play calm music and then flash a "deep thought" up on the screen. They were almost always my weird sense of humor. My friend Anna and I would crack up, literally laughing until we cried reading them in the bookstore in the mall. She even bought me a calendar of them one year--and I still have some of them more than 10 years later. But that's not really what this post is about. I've been grappling with many things lately. I've read some amazing posts lately about Christmas and how we as believers should handle it and what we should be teaching our kids about it. I think since my kids are 6 and 4 now (and 1, but he's oblivious now)I am really wanting to be intentional about the sorts of things that we associate with Christmas. It is after all the birth of our Savior. It is the greatest gift the world has ever received and I don't want it to get mixed up with stockings and legos, nerf guns and cookies, shopping and cards. However, as I've pondered and prayed, I've realized that for us right now, we don't have to get rid of all of the above. The most important thing isn't the things, but how we treat them and use them and how we view God and treat Him throughout. So for us, we're trying to be intentional about talking about the meaning behind things. We've read books about Saint Nicholas and his charitable spirit and how it's important that we remember the joy in giving as well as receiving. We've looked through the World Vision catalog and we're still deciding what we'll be giving, but Jon currently thinks that mosquito nets seem very important.
We've done crafts and played with the nativity set, and talked about what Joseph and Mary experienced as they journeyed to Bethlehem and met our Savior for the first time in a manger. We've bought gifts, talking about how the recipient might enjoy each item. We're in the process of sending cards and praying for the friends and loved ones that we're mailing them out to. Another idea that I just heard yesterday at Bible study is to put the cards we've received in a basket and pick a card out to pray for the person that sent it after dinner. We might have to try that. These are just some of the things we're doing right now. Also, just so you know, we're also reading The Grinch That Stole Christmas and Frosty and random other things, and painting Christmas tree pictures. I'd love to know what your family is doing to celebrate Christmas and the advent season this year. One thing I've realized as I've read and thought about this more deeply this year is that there is a lot of judgement out there. I hope you're not finding that here. It is not what I intend. I know as a mom, I have enough guilt without hearing or seeing anyone else's disappointment or judgement. Did I feed them the right things today? Did I handle that discipline situation correctly? Did they watch too much t.v.? Did I read to them enough? etc...I hope that each person reading this knows that listed the things we've done or the approach to what we've done only to help anyone looking for ideas. I believe that we each need to prayerfully and thoughtfully decide what God is calling us to do with our family in each season of the year and of our lives. Praying that you are seeking Him and celebrating Him this Christmas and always.

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