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Best Christmas present of the year


Yes, I am one of the stodgy pastors who cringes when Christmas songs are sung before the first Christmas worship service of the year.  Keep Advent as Advent and Christmas as Christmas.  Even while adoring my children (ages 6 and 3) in this past Sunday’s worship service/Children’s Ministry Christmas Program, I struggled inwardly about having a very Christmas-focused worship on the fourth Sunday of Advent.  But, despite all of that, I am going to tell you about the best Christmas present we gave to our kids this year… and the reason why this blog is being posted on Friday instead of my scheduled Thursday.

While it is not yet Christmas… not even Christmas Eve… last night my wife and I gave our kids the best Christmas present they are going to receive this year.  On Christmas Day they will receive some nice presents; it isn’t as though we are depriving our kids.  There are some requested books, some new clothes, and a couple of toys.  I understand Santa will be bringing by a Kinex set of some sort for the boy and a new big girl bike with training wheels for the girl.  There is no doubt that the kids will enjoy those presents.  But last night they received their best gift.

Each day during Advent, in addition to our post-dinner family devotion time, we have had a family fun activity planned.  Last night, the family fun activity – the best Christmas present – was…

a sleepover by the Christmas tree!

We went to the grocery store and bought Twizzlers, Doritos, and a pizza to throw in the oven.  My son and I dragged out the sleeping bags, pillows, and a few extra blankets to set-up in the family room.  My wife made homemade Frostys (a delightful treat from Wendy’s; there aren’t too many Wendy’s down here in the Oklahoma City area, but that’s a whole ‘nother story) and we settled in to watch Elf.  About half-way through the movie we took a bathroom break, made the pizza, and enjoyed the rest of our night.

After the movie was done, last minute pit stops made, and teeth were brushed, we settled into our sleeping bags (at 9:00 – late for them, early for us).  After listening to our daughter (the 3 year old) tell us that her brother wasn’t sleeping… again… and again… and again… we decided to turn off the Christmas tree lights and, eventually, we all drifted off to sleep.  After waking up initially at around 5:00am to discover my daughter had gotten out of her sleeping bag and crawled under the blanket next to me, I drifted back to sleep for a bit.

This morning my kids are bouncing off the wall.  My wife and I are both sore and moderately grouchy from the poor sleep.  But, despite our own feelings, there is nothing like the experience we had with the kids last night.  My daughter will out grow the bike and her dress up clothes.  My son won’t be building with Kinex or reading Captain Underpants books in a few years.  They will remember the night we stayed up late, ate yummy junk food, and had a sleepover by the tree.

Incarnation!  Not in plastic or fabric or metal gifts; incarnation as Mommy and Daddy and son and daughter played and ate and watched and talked and slept together.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 23December2011 16:28

    Very very sweet!

  2. Kim permalink
    23December2011 23:44

    You are right to treasure these very special moments. Your kids had to love this! Merry Christmas!

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