It gets harder as the children get older to fight the "gimmies". The things that they want tend to be bigger and take up more space in their mind. This year with a rearranging and purchase of new furniture for the living room, we had to find a new place for our Jesus tree.
We get to go through Jesus' story day by day and add new ornaments to the little 3 foot tree. Each year as the kids get older the big ones help share the story with the little ones. Last year where Matthew was just present during the reading, he is this year putting ornaments on the tree with everyone else. I hear Zach telling Mat
thew what the red ribbons are for and I smile knowing that for a few minutes a day the kids know what Christmas is all about along and can see what a right focus can give in all of the talk of wanting and getting. I love the cozy feel of my living room and the smells of yummy treats.
People ask me every year about the story of the Jesus tree. Starting on December 1st it goes like this:
- GREEN TREE - Jeremiah 31:3 "I have loved you with an everlasting love."
- WHITE LIGHTS - John 9:5 "I am the Light of the world."
- RED RIBBONS - Hebrews 9:22 "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin."
- SMALL BIBLES - John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
- NAME TAGS - "I have called you by name, you are mine."
- SHEEP - John 10:14 "I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own sheep and my sheep know me."
- MAP - John 14:6 "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- BAR OF SOAP - 2 Cor. 5:21 "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God."
- GLUE/GLUESTICK - Hebrews 13:5b "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake
- MUSICAL NOTES/INSTRUMENTS - Zeph. 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
- SNOWFLAKES - Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful."
- HEARTS - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
- ADOPTION PAPERS - Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery leading to fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father".
- PAINTBRUSH/PAINT ROLLER - Eph. 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works."
- ANGELS - Psalm 91:11 "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."
- KLEENEX - Rev. 21:4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
- EYEGLASSES - Isa. 43:4 "Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you."
- MODELING CLAY/PLAY-DOH - Isa. 64:8 "We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand.
- SHIELD/BADGE - Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."
- CONSTRUCTION TRUCK/TOOLS - Phil. 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
- CANDY CANES - Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
- SILVER COINS - Matthew 26:14-15 "What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? So they counted out for him thirty silver coins."
- BUTTERFLIES - 2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
- NAILS - Acts 2:23 "This Man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death nailing him to the cross."
- CROSS - 1 Cor. 1:18 "For the world of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God."
- CROWN - John 18:37 "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born and for this I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
- WRAPPED PRESENTS - Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace we you have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a GIFT of God.