In order to keep our focus on Christ during this busy holiday season, we decided to spend a day celebrating Jesus' birthday. We started by attending our church's Christmas service this morning. The kids stayed in the service and got to sing Christmas carols and go up front and listen to the Christmas story. Matthew was more concerned about opening the presents that were under the tree than listening to the story, but quickly perked up when he got a candy cane.
Our church meets at an elementary school and adopted several of the families at the school for Christmas. After today's service people had the opportunity to take the donated gifts to the adopted families. We thought this was a great way for our kids to experience serving and giving to others so we joined in. We had actually bought a bike for one of the families so we joined the route that was delivering to that family. There were four cars on our route, and we arrived at the first two houses and delivered bunches of gifts to excited kids and very sppreciative parents. One of them was actually the family we bought the bike for, so Matthew got to help walk it up. We prayed for both families and then headed on our way to the next house. Unfortunately both kids fell asleep on the way, so that was all the gift-delivering they participated in!
After their naps we had a birthday party for Jesus. We started by reading the Christmas story from our children's Bible and using our Fisher Price nativity characters to act it out. Our set doesn't have shepherds, so we had to improvise that part! Then we played a few party games. We played balloon bop (basically just hitting balloons up in the air and trying not to let them hit the ground), pin Mary on the donkey, and Christmas tree bowling. Of course no party would be complete without cake, so we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and enjoyed some cupcakes. Then came presents! This part of the party was the thing I thought would be the most difficult, but my kids surprised me! I explained that what Jesus would want as a birthday present would be for us to give to people in need, so we were going to choose a few toys that we could give to another little boy and girl who didn't have as much as we did. Matthew was totally cool with it, and instead of just choosing one toy to give away he chose two! Caroline is still a bit to young to understand of course, so I helped her choose.