Tag Archives: Christmas

Santa and other forbidden words…

7 Dec

ChristmasTraditions

Christmas traditions.

If you are like many of my christian friends, the word makes you boil with enthusiasm and your crafts, paints, baking utensils, homemade jar cookies and your blog posts are all a ‘tick’ away! If you’re like me, the word makes you shudder.

The build-up to Christmas is really enjoyable. I love Christmas and all the celebrations around it. Some have a christian character attached to it, like  Carol concerts, Operation Christmas box but others do not, like family coming together, gifts and cockroach-killings.

For many christian families, Christmas is also celebrating with binding traditions. Some go to great lengths to make these traditions very christian. Whether they feel that these traditions make them more Christians than others, I cannot say. But one thing I am convinced of, is that none of these traditions bring them or their families closer to Jesus.

I generally have no desire to be ‘the same’ as everyone, which comes easily: I became a christian in my 20s and I’m french. My culture and my background are distinctly not the traditional brand of Christianity we tend to read on family blogs. But nobody wants to be different in the “weird” or “less christian” kind of way. It took me great many years to come to terms with the fact that we are not enthused by Christmas traditions. It’s a taming process to remind myself that my children’s fate, whether they will live for the Lord faithfully or not, does not depend on the way Christmas is celebrated (even if Santa is included – which he isn’t – but it’s worth mentioning really… Sorry, I had a relapse)

The essence of Christmas and simply and purely celebrating the birth of Jesus. Whether you buy into the commercialisation of Christmas fully, half-heartedly or not at all doesn’t define you as a more godly person as long as you remember that at the centre of Christmas is, and is only, the birth of Jesus.

Unfortunately, my readership is not nearly big enough to have an impact but if you, like me, feel that you don’t always fit the mould, do not fret!!! God is only concerned about your first love in your heart. And it isn’t your family traditions.

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Christmas is about…

26 Dec

Christmas is come and done. We make such a big fuss about it, about the food we’ll eat, about the gift we’ll buy… and not long before the celebration is upon us, it’s already finished. We had dinner with some acquaintances a couple of weeks ago and one of the ladies asked me what I was going to cook for Christmas – beginning of December, really?? I had no idea and quite frankly I had no idea until a couple of days before Thursday. Every year, after Christmas, we wonder with Phillip how we can do better next year. Not better as in better food and better presents, on the contrary, better in the way we can celebrate so that kids don’t get drowned into opening gifts and we don’t get overdosed with food. Christmas is definitely about Jesus, for us. There is no doubt about that in our mind and I think in our kids’ mind (although it would be stupid to believe that what they enjoy the most is the opening of the gifts). But it’s difficult sometimes to escape the incredible marketing of what the season is about. One of the slogan was even insinuating that Christmas is definitely happening at Checkers, how sad!!! 🙂

However, we had a lovely time this year. Christelle and Richard and their little one year old Cleone joined us, as well as Phil’s parents and brother. The van Blerk’s family! We had a lovely dinner and we opened the gifts and everyone enjoyed beautiful gifts. We finished quite early (Christelle and Richard had to go back to Strand with little cutie) but everyone was back the next day, first for church and then for lunch. Going to church on the Friday helps to be clearly reminded of why we celebrate Christmas.

No it’s not the season to celebrate ‘love’, or to celebrate family, also not the season to party wild… no, it is the time to look at Jesus. It is the time to look at the God of compassion who sent His own son into our world. But He didn’t send Jesus so that we can look up to Him and have a model of gentleness and patience but to look at him and see how much we need Him, to look at Him and understand that without Him we cannot have a relationship with God, to look at HIm and ask for forgiveness for living our lives as if He doesn’t exist. And in His grace, if we ask for forgiveness with a genuine heart, with no ‘but’ and no ‘if’, and if we ask Him to take control of our heart, He always answers yes.

And to celebrate Christmas is about that, and that only: JESUS

The wannabe Christmas tree

25 Dec

December is time for the Christmas tree… again. I’m not a big fan of the fake tree (although I own one of the very fake, white one!). If I lived in one of those old wooden house, and if I didn’t mind the mess, I would have a massive real one, the one that smells like the forest, also the one that loses its pine needles. But I don’t (live in one of those houses…) so if I can’t have the real deal, I’ll have the homemade deal. EVERY year in the magazines I see the dry branch, spray painted silver or white, and I drool on my magazine wondering when I’ll get my things together and do it. Well, well well, this year I did. I bought some spray paint, I cut the branch from my garden, I spray painted, I chased the kids away, I found the pot, filled it up with stones and sand and voila!!

It really doesn’t take an artist to do it, not even a wannabe artist (like me)!

After many “but why is it silver?”. and ” is this our Christmas tree?” and finally, a few “ooooooh” and “aaaaaah”, the kids were impatiently waiting to decorate it. I took out our colour coded red and silver christmas decorations, as well as the paper decorations made by the kids and soon their job was done.
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And in the end, we were all very happy with our own personal silver christmas tree!

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Mmmh could I have found one family tradition that I might like enough to keep it happening?…

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