How does your family celebrate CHRISTmas??

Nicole - posted on 07/21/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies I am looking for some feedback from CHRISTian mothers. Personally I would never lie to my children therefore I am telling my son that santa is fun but I will not tell him that his gifts come from him. We feed the homeless and go out and bless people with blankets in the morning but My real question is on gifts though.

This is going to be my son's 2nd CHRISTmas and this year he is old enough

to understand. I plan on making a cake for JESUS but I am stuck

on if I should buy gifts or not. I grew up in a home where that is what

CHRISTmas was gifts for me and I want my son to know and care

the only and true reason for CHRISTmas. I was even thinking if we did gifts to open them on CHRISTmas eve that way the focus on CHRISTmas stays on CHRIST. I dunno but I am really interested in hearing how all of you feel and how you celebrate CHRISTmas. I respect everyones beliefs so please share. Thanks for your time and input. Blessings!! ♥

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Candy - posted on 07/30/2010

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We CELEBRATE it ALL. We have a b-day party for Jesus. I bake a cake and my kids blow out the candles.We give to our local gifts for kids. We tell the story of Christ birth. And Yes I am one of those parents who lie to their kids. We have santa come. Of course I get alittle mad because santa gets all the credit for the cool gifts but you know. I think santa is a great part of Christmas. It depends on wether you get wrapped up in the cooking,gifting,other things of Christmas that will reflect how you kids react to it. If you keep Christ there so will they. No matter how many gifts they get. Wether santa comes or not.

Cara - posted on 07/28/2010

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We stopped celebrating Christmas last year, and instead celebrate the Biblical holidays. BUT before that, when our children were little, we got very frustrated with the commercialization of the holiday.
We took a few steps to fix that. First, we never told them that Santa was the one who brought presents. We did tell them of the historical St. Nicholas.
We changed our decorating to be more about Jesus, and used lots of nativity sets.
We couldn't really stop the flood of presents for the "only grandchildren" but, we stopped allowing the whole rush of open all the presents as fast as possible and leave the living room a mess of paper, and not appreciate or even remember what was from who.
The girls were 3 & 5 when we decided that we would allow one present to be opened every hour. They would enjoy that one, play with it, appreciate it, then next hour, open another one. We took a break for a nice Christmas breakfast. Then kept opening, took a break for lunch, visiting with friends and family, and if all the presents didn't get opened, there was always the next day.
Some of our family didn't appreciate it, but, others thought it was great, and were happy that their gifts were played with and appreciated.
Our girls enjoyed it better that way, all the way until last year. They are 12 & 14 now. We learned about the pagan origins of the holidays (Christmas and Easter) so we stopped and started celebrating all the holidays in the Bible. The girls were thrilled, and happily got rid of the Christmas decorations. They find much more meaning in the Biblical holidays, and love celebrating them.
Blessings! I am always happy to see another mom who wants to put the focus back on Jesus.

Anne - posted on 07/25/2010

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Nicole,
I have been right where you are and its tough, but I adopted the following traditions in my home: we also had a 'cake' for Jesus, xmas eve the kids and I make cinnamon rolls and form them into a cross and the next day we read the bible passage from Luke, sing happy birthday, blow out the candles and give gifts of ourselves to Jesus ( we all identify service we can do for Jesus and wrap it up in a small box and open & share them xmas morning) as for gifts: we (1) MAKE or DO something for each other, no one is allowed to buy anything (2) each child gets 3 gifts representing the 3 gifts that were brought to Jesus - I tell them if Jesus could save us all with 3 small offerings, 3 gifts is more than enough for them!! but honestly my kids have never complained, they just always correlated it to gifts of the wisemen. Lastly we then go as a family and do service and set our service calendar for the year. Just some ideas. And as for Santa - I stayed away altogether and we believed in Saint Nicholas, read and knew his story. They knew Santa to be a man made symbol for the spirit of giving.

There are lots of way you can celebrate our Lords birth without buying into commercialism. Good Luck! Anne

Carla - posted on 07/22/2010

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I understand your dilemma, and I applaud it, honey. People have gotten so wrapped up with gifts that even Christians are sucked in.

Jesus said we are to live in the world, but not of it. We are to watch what the heathen (unsaved) people do, then find a balance. Paul was all about balance, and he spent time alone with Jesus through the Holy Spirit for years, so I trust his words.

We always celebrated Christmas. My grama and parents were all Christians, but Grama went all out! She had beautiful old ornaments and every nook in the house was decorated. After all, we ARE celebrating Jesus' birthday! We went to church in the morning, and YES, Santa visited our house. It was a magical time for us. I still remember with fondness those precious years of innocence. We didn't have a lot of money, so our gifts were never lavish. Once I found out there was no Santa, the magic was gone. I did not feel mad at my parents for fooling us, the same as the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

Our children have to live in the world with other children. How is your child going to feel if at school the kids are talking about what they got, and your's is the only one who didn't get anything? I should think there would be more anger over that than a harmless allowing of the glories of childhood.

Santa brought one gift, and our parents brought one gift. The key word in any situation is moderation. If you are being pressured by the world to go out and buy expensive things you cannot afford, then spend the rest of the year paying down your credit card, then that is wrong.

I like your ideas of feeding the homeless and distributing blankets. Tell your children the Christmas story. Tell them it's Jesus' birthday. This is the reason we celebrate. We cannot give Jesus physical gifts, so we give them to our children. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this.

God bless, honey!

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Brandy - posted on 08/03/2010

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Growing up we didn't believe Santa delivered presents, but we were told the story of St. Nicolas, who was raised to be a devout Christian, his parents had died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children. Just alittle history lesson there :) We also decorated the house and made a birthday cake for Jesus each year and sang happy birthday. Every Christmas morning we got up, read the story of the the birth of Jesus from the Bible and then prayed, thanking God for all he has provided for us. My mother never put from Santa even when I first thought it was. She would put "Love Mommy & Jesus". I had always thought as a child that Jesus was sharing his birthday presents with me :) It is your decision to give your children gifts, but don't expect them to carry out your non-gift giving traditions. Yes Jesus is the reason for the season, but of the few kids I know that don't get presents for Christmas, they really resent their parents and no longer go home for the holidays. Sadly this world has made Christmas all about the new and expensive gadgets out there, which is truly sad. I plan on fully educating my children about what Christmas really is about. It is truly your decision :)

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I haven't told my kids Santa doesn't exist, but we go visit Santa, which is my dad dressed up working at a local Christmas park that gives all donations made for the holiday lights to the city's Christmas charity drive. If u ask my daughter who Santa, she says Papaw...we do buy gifts, but she only gets 1 maybe 2 toys and she goes thru her old toys before hand and donates them to the "Giving Tree" at the Christmas park.

Ashley - posted on 07/30/2010

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Candy delite i agree sometimes i get mad also santa getting all the credit but the smile on my kids face makes it all worth it :)

Ashley - posted on 07/30/2010

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In my house we celebrate christmas morning and give thank to Jesus and remember he died for our sins. I also personally do presents and even say they are from santa. I personally dont believe that is lying to them but keeping a spirit alive of a man that touched many poor lives and its about the spirit of life and giving and thats what Santa reperesnts. You are doing exactly what santa did for the homeless. I enjoy keeping the spirit and the magic alive and the hope that there are wonderful people out there especially with all the hurt and anger in this world why not let kids for a min be just kids and feel something special and magical? However you chose to celebrate is a choice and as long as you feel right about it thats all that matters!! god bless!!

Christine - posted on 07/28/2010

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You asked about gifts - and my family does the same as several of the families here - 3 gifts, but more important than the number we have stressed over and over to both of our children that the reason for gifts is to celebrate Jesus' birthday. They understand birthdays - and they of course know that Christmas is the day of Jesus' birth. We have told them that we give gifts to each other to help us remember what a special gift God gave us in sending His Son to save us. At the end of Christmas Eve dinner we pull out a wrapped package, open it and each of us takes our "present" that we gave to Jesus the previous year. This may be a simple as being kind to a brother or sister, or commiting to spending more time reading the Bible. We reflect on if we have fullfilled our promised to God and then we write a new gift, place it in the box and re-wrap. We do birthday cake (complete with singing) first thing on Christmas morning (dessert after breakfast). My children truly understand the reason for the celebration.

Santa.....good or bad our children are going to be exposed to him. My mom has one of my favorite Christmas decorations - it is a statue of Santa kneeling before Christ in the manger. That is the picture that I would like my children to see when they think of Santa - this beautiful imaginary being worshipping our Savior. We do not say who the gifts were given by - santa, us, grandma and grandpa. We just celebrate Jesus birthday with gifts. I am sure that at some point they will ask (our oldest is only 4 1/2), but for now this is working.

I will caution in teaching your child that Santa does not bring gifts at all. Unless you are going to homeschool, it is way too easy for a child to unwittingly break the heart of an innocent child who believes - I have seen it happen when I worked in the schools.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/28/2010

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My husband and I are ALWAYS BUSY Christmas Eve & Christmas going around visiting family, other families and working through our church for what ever is doing on. On Christmas morning we have a big breakfast to get us started and then a few gifts are given. ( I mean we only got our daughter about 2 small gifts last year) Then we shower get ready and leave. I know that my girls will get gifts are their grandparents house Christmas. 1 or 2 days after Christmas we have a nice dinner (lunch) and we let our girls finish opening there gifts. They our oldest will be 3 next month and she knows Santa isn't real but still like to read the books and I am okay with that. She also knows what Christmas is about and last year helped me fill "gift boxes" to be sent off to families. But at the same time I too grew up getting gifts Christmas day but I didn't grow up in a christian home we never went to church or prayer I believed in Santa until I was 7 and started going to church myself. So my girls will get gifts be4 Christmas or after and we will go about Christmas day as we do every year

Stephanie - posted on 07/28/2010

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We do gifts but they come from us not Santa. And we've asked our family to do the same when giving our kids gifts. We really try to focus on Jesus and what Christmas is truly about :)

Irene - posted on 07/24/2010

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My childern grew up without santa, and it never was an issue. We are doing name exchanges so that everone get one gift. Works great!

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I keep Christ out of the holiday, since that one day didn't center around Him until fairly recently - celebrating Christmas was even illegal in the American Colonies!
Christ is celebrated everyday and is made a big part of Thanksgiving Day. Christmas is treated as a National holiday, like the Fourth of July, and not as a religious one at our house.

Krys - posted on 07/22/2010

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Personally i have never lied to my child abt santa.. when he was a little guy.. we would get him gifts and such but we spent most of our time cooking for ppl who didnt have and we would go to plays...as he went to school he would hear abt the santa thing and i would sit him down and explain to him abt santa..Jesus was always the main thing in our house even at easter but remember this whatever you and your husb does you and him are your childs parents so no matter wht or how you do that just keep that in mind.

Carolyn - posted on 07/22/2010

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We are doing a lot of the same things as you. When it comes to presents, we are giving three to represent the gifts of the wisemen.

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