One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Tis the Season: Be flexible and let the Lord speak to you!

Some years ago, our now-older children looked forward to Christmas. Every time they saw an evergreen tree, especially one with lights or decorations, they would exclaim with great glee, "Look Momma! Look Daddy! It's a Christmas!"

Of course the best Christmas of all was the one we had in the living room at our house.
Try as we might to explain with words and other family traditions that the trees were not Christmas and that Christmas was Jesus' birthday, we could not seem to get the message through.

Vern and I talked about what might finally help the children, so we had a smaller tree and gave the creche a more central place in our already limited decor. That didn't work either.

Somewhere in there, we must have finally asked the Lord for wisdom. He sent us a dog. She was a black lab and would be about six months old at Christmas. I was also seven and a half months pregnant with our fourth child.

We talked about simplifying Christmas, since we had a very active puppy and a very pregnant mommy, and had the bright idea that maybe this would be a good year to skip on the Christmas tree. Some of our friends and family thought we had really gone off the deep end, but after Christmas, Vern and I agreed that not having a Christmas tree significantly decreased our Christmas stress. We would certainly keep open the option of skipping the tree the next year.

We skipped out on Christmas trees for eight years, and somewhere in there, our children stopped calling them Christmas. What a huge relief that was.

Two years ago, for our first Christmas in this house, Owen, who was then 11, found a tree that would need to be cut down anyway and asked if we could have a tree. He volunteered to cut the tree, set it up, decorate it with the help of his sisters and take it out after Christmas. We all agreed, since we couldn't keep the tree watered, that it would only be in the house for three days--it came in on Christmas Eve and it went out the day after Christmas.

Since Christmas trees no longer seem to be a stumbling block to anyone, we are free to enjoy having one. It no longer causes additionally stress and it doesn't detract from our celebration of our Lord's birth.

And that helps us keep Christ in Christmas!

Merry CHRISTmas!

This post is part of 'Tis the Season Carnival--Keeping CHRIST in CHRISTmas--hosted by Hannah and Mckenzie. You can find more Carnival posts here.


Scott, Nicole, Camron and Mason Tyson said...

We stopped two years ago and opted for a Norfolk Island Pine house plant. It is only 4 ft tall and it looks like the "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. (The only downfall) Plus, its the tree that keeps on giving all year long.
Happy New Year.

The Tysons

Stephanie said...

I would *love* a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! :*) I pointed a few out this year when the children said the pickin's were pretty slim, but I got vetoed!!! :*) Do you use the same tree each year?

Scott, Nicole, Camron and Mason Tyson said...

We do now. Could be a tradition. Pretty much started because of us trying to get the house on the market. Didn't want the mess of a tree that we end up with pine needles everywhere. Plus Christmas is not about the tree but the perfect man, Christ.

The kids don't really care a whole lot about the one we have now or the big one we used to get. I let them decorate it and they enjoy doing that.