“I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Monica at www.equippingCatholicfamilies.
Tina at http://trulyrichmom.com/
Laura at http://daybydayinourworld.com/
Sarah at http://onthewayhome2.com
Birgit at http://designsbybirgit.
Please consider following your hosts
in appreciation for the work that they do…
and be sure to visit as many links as possible,
listed at the bottom of this post.
By the time you read this, the Advent season will most probably have begun. Some families may already have their Christmas trees and decorations up; some may have even finished decorating and doing their Christmas shopping as early as September or October. Others may already be counting down the days to Christmas. Indeed, it is a time of joyful waiting, a time of expectant hope for Christmas, or “Jesus’ birthday,” as my kids (and probably your kids too) call it.
Sadly though, there are many, many families who may not be as joyful or hopeful this Christmas season, especially here in the Philippines. Millions of families may be spending Christmas homeless and hungry; many will be grieving the loss of their loved ones — especially those who perished due to natural disasters such as Typhoon Yolanda or the Bohol earthquake.
Now, more than ever, is a time for us to keep Christ in Christmas. As homeschoolers, but more importantly, as Christian families in general, let us cultivate a culture of giving and sharing — the same kind of giving and sharing that Jesus preached about and lived out. Let us die to ourselves and our own selfish desires this Christmas and beyond, and teach our children to do the same. Here are some practical ways to do so:
1. During Advent, incorporate traditions like the Jesse Tree, the Advent Wreath, Christ-centered Advent calendars, Advent prayers and so on, into your family’s routine. Keep the focus on Jesus’ birth and the reason why He was born — to save us by giving His life for us. Let us remember that He calls us to do the same — to give our life for others.
2. Every week of Advent, try to do something as a family that is focused on giving or sharing with others. For example, for the first week, participate in relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda victims; for the second week, visit and pray over a sick relative, friend or neighbor; and so on. It need not be a grand thing. Remember, even small things — done with great love — count.
3. Adopt a culture of giving and sharing for the long term. Let us give of ourselves and share our blessings not just when disasters and calamities strike, and teach our children to do the same. The victims of natural disasters like Typhoon Yolanda will be needing our help for a very long time, as they rebuild their lives and homes. As a family, research on ways that you can help in these rebuilding efforts, and choose a project (or projects) that you think you can support for the long term. You may even want to do this as a group, with other homeschool families.
4. Participate in the Church’s Advent and Christmas activities wholeheartedly. Inquire at your parish or community regarding activities that you and your family can join. Remember that we are the Body of Christ, and spending time with people who have the same focus (i.e. Jesus) is essential to our growth as giving and loving individuals.
No matter how we choose to spend these days before Christmas, let us remember to keep Christ at the center of everything we think, say and do. Let us give His goodness and share His love to others, not just this Christmas season, but every day of our lives.
*This post was originally written for Home Base, the monthly newsletter of Catholic Filipino Academy.
Please do take the time to visit the other blogs in our Keep Christ in Christmas link-up! 🙂
Special thanks to Monica of Equipping Catholic Families for the great job she did with our link-up this year!
Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25
Fifth of Five Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam The Light of Hope
Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition
Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home: Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
Canadian Catholic Mom Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception
Adoro Ergo Sum: How We Keep Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9 Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child
Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts 10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent
Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins
Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas
Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas
Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager
Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season
Homeschooling With Joy Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique’s Desk Keeping Christ in Christmas
Our ABC Life: An Advent Update
Journey Living: Anno Domini
The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources
Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts