Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WFW: Waiting for the Gift

Last night, Little Guy's school had a Christmas story reading. Everyone was supposed to come in their pajamas for cookies and milk and to listen to Christmas stories. Little Guy got a kick out of seeing his teachers dressed up in pajamas.

They read the Polar Express which always seems to be a big Christmas hit. Following that book, the kids could hear bells and then "Santa Claus" came through the back door yelling, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Some of the kids went nuts. Little Guy turned to me and said, "Oh, brother!"

When Santa announced that he was going to be reading a book, I whispered in Little Guy's ear, "Please remember that your friends believe." He winked at me and sat back with his friends.

On the way home he said, "Mom, why do parents tell kids that Santa Claus is real when he is really pretend? Jesus is real and he is soooo much more fun."

When our boys were born we decided not to do Santa Claus. We worried about if it would be awkward or if our boys would be missing out. Hubs and I grew up with Santa Claus. However, we both grew up having experiences where we asked if Santa Claus was real and we couldn't get a straight answer. That and several other things influenced us to not "do" Santa Claus.

On Christmas morning the boys love waking up to the smell of overnight coffee cake baking and hot chocolate, but most of all they love looking for their first clue that starts their "Jesus Treasure Hunt". Their clues are simple and look a lot like this:
Clue #1 Go back to where you woke up and look underneath — not the covers, but the floor.
Clue #2 Look on the floor in the place where we hang Todd’s clothes.
Clue #3 Look in the plant in the room where you get your teeth squeaky clean.
Clue #4 It’s Tanner’s favorite window to look for the garbage truck or for Todd’s school bus in the afternoon.
Clue #5 You can watch Mythbusters here!
Clue #6 If Mom is resting, you can find the headphones here!
Clue #7 This is Tanner’s seat at supper.
Clue #8 This is where Todd puts his tennis shoes when he takes them off.
Clue #9 Where do we keep our milk?
Clue #10 What instrument does Mommy play?
Clue #11 Where does Daddy exercise?
Clue #12 Where is the bowl that smells like cinnamon?

I don't know if you noticed in the picture up top, but the baby Jesus is missing. No matter what nativity scene in our house you look at, the baby Jesus is missing. That is because the gift hasn't arrived yet! The boys get to find the baby Jesus figures on Christmas morning and put them in the different nativity scenes.

The boys love breakfast on Christmas morning because we have birthday cake for Jesus! We sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. The boys usually decorate the cake on Christmas Eve and it is ready for Christmas morning. In between birthday cake and overnight coffee cake, we are sugared up!

While we are all eating cake and sipping on hot chocolate, hubs reads the Christmas story. (Big Guy wrote an essay for school yesterday and he mentioned this as one of his favorite Christmas traditions.)

After all of this, we get to the presents. We all love the presents, but I am so thankful that we take time to celebrate the true gift: Jesus and his birthday.

Happy Birthday Jesus
I'm So Glad Its Christmas
All The Tinsel And Lights and The Presents Are Nice
but The Real Gift Is You.

19 comments:

Sharon said...

I love this, very creative you are! I grew up with the santa, but mom didn't keep us thinking to long, she told us the truth.
Merry Christmas to you and your family
Love Sharon

Amydeanne said...

i love this idea! We don't do santa either... and i know it's hard for my oldest to understand why her friends would believe in such a silly thing. we do sinterklaas day, but early in dec. to separate it from Christmas, so they're not related... and they know it's someone playing dress up.

K Storm said...

Those are great traditions to have at Christmas. We try to place more emphasis on Jesus's birthday for our kids to enjoy.

We do Santa at our house...I am pretty sure my daughter may know the truth (she knows about the tooth fairy) but she chooses the fantasy for fun. I don't think this is harmful if the emphasis is on the true meaning.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Those are great traditions. We do Santa here, but will definetly give a straight answer when someone askes if he's real....

Dr. Wifey said...

this year, my sister told my nephew that santa is not real (he is 5), and my mom was furious! she thinks that is part of "childhood" and that's how we were raised. but hey, it is my sister's son, let her raise him how SHE wants to raise him. Kudos to you!

Buzzard Roost Babe said...

I love the treasure hunt! That sounds wonderful... I was brought up believing in Santa and I can remember the very moment someone told me the truth... I was hurt.. It was never the same after that until I had my own children ... We had this debate about Santa too. We decided to do Santa tradition, but now I have 13yr old and 10 yr old who know the truth . Christmas has become about ordering a gift up now.. So I was wondering how I could turn Christmas around for them and this might help me! Thanks !! Jesus is the reason for the season ! God bless you !

Carrie said...

Love the idea of the treasure hunt! We will do Santa with our kids, but never lose the ultimate reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Laurie Ann said...

Beautiful way to honor God, and I think it's great that you encouraged him to remember that other kids do believe. Awesome post and picture! We don't put Baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas Eve night - it was always what Kristyn looked for before she even looked at what Santa had brought her. Merry Christmas! Happy WFW!

Lisa said...

Those are neat Christmas traditions! We don't do Santa either. My boys think he's the man at the mall. :)

Patricia said...

What a great post! I love your treasure hunt. You've made wonderful traditions for your family. Thank you for sharing.

i'm black betty said...

what a beautiful post.

overnight coffee cake? what's your address??? LOL!!!

mayberry said...

I think your family traditions are wonderful!

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

OK that is it, I'm moving in with you. I'll bring my kids too b/c you are just awesome mom. I love the baby Jesus treasure hunt. What a great idea! And the boy's will not care if they missed out on the Santa thing b/c they know the real purpose for Christmas.

Kayra said...

That's a cool tradition. We don't put Baby Jesus in the nativity scene either until after midnight on Christmas Eve.

crittyjoy said...

Beautiful post Deanna! I LOVED all that you do with your family...it makes my heart smile.

And that Little Guy is just so precious.

Blessings.

Denise said...

Really nice post dear.

Taylor & Krisa said...

I love this idea and its one I may have to "steal" from you!

Donetta said...

Fantastic traditions I think I may just be adopting them. We too were honest with our kids. It really does keep them so much safer knowing that truth is truth and fiction is just that.

Supermom said...

I agree with ALL of these comments! :)