Category: By Christian
Today we woke up at our leisure. There was no begging, no requests from Elli to get up early, no fight to get her down to bed the night before. It is very likely this is our last such Christmas experience for a number of years.

At two years and 21 days old, Elli has yet to grasp the concept of Santa. She is not fraught with anticipation to open presents on Christmas morning. There is nothing like an oblivious toddler. Her main focus this morning has been convincing Stacy's dad to take her outside to see the horse (that's right. at one point in time, Stacy actually asked for and received a pony). Eventually, we will open some presents, but Elli won't really be entranced by what is inside the colorful packages. Pass those scraps of paper over here so I can keep tearing them up, Dad.

By this time next year however, she will have a completely different awareness of the day, however. Which puts the pressure on Stacy and myself to spend the next 365 days (it's leap year, yo) building a healthy paradigm of what Christmas is about.

It is a conversation we have had off and on for a long time. How do we go counterculture and make sure our kids don't perceive Christmas as a consumer holiday where gluttony is the celebrated practice? What does it look like to push beyond a season that recognizes the secular trinity of Friends, Family and Fun, and into a season of intentional worship? How can we help our kids to realize that time of year is not about self, even though that is the message being preached consistently from Black Friday all the way up through Christmas Eve? It's hard to escape. But our hope and prayer is that we begin to develop family traditions around Advent that push us deeper and create in us an intentional awareness about what it means for God to break into history with a human-divine experience.

Immanuel. God is with us.

What a big job. Good thing we have a good chunk of time to work on it. We'll start in the morning.

Fair Dinkum

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