The birth of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, so I really want to find ways to focus our celebration on Him; to create family traditions centered around this value. We do this in many of the ways other families with similar values do (birthday cake, using a child- friendly Nativity, etc.)

This year, I want to focus on giving. For the children's grandmothers, a special gift was made. At church, the children selected an angel from the giving tree and helped to select items for the child. We've been reading stories like the Charlie Brown Christmas story, and Winnie-the- Pooh's Christmas story.

We were reading this last story tonight, in which Pooh forgets to get gifts for his friends. After some help from Christopher Robin, he selects stockings for his friends. But, he is much to exhausted to put anything into these stockings. On Christmas morning, his friends are all delighted with their gifts, which they have repurposed from stockings to other useful things. The overall message is about giving and I just love that.

I love that my children can learn from their favorite literary characters that Christmas is about extending love; giving gifts. Oh sure, they are anxious to see what lies under the Christmas tree (or in our closet, as the case may be). They are eager to point to the things which they want too. Thankfully, we've only had them out in the madness a couple times!

And, I love when these ideas enter their pretend play, where they make the ideas real. When they go about their play, wrapping up toys or random items w/ tissue or a t-shirt or whatever is suitable for covering and present it to one another- or me. And to point out how good it feels to give- even if it is just in play. These are the things I treasure.

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