Christmas is such a rich time for family traditions, all of them so beautiful and so meaningful to each of us. This month, we here at MYB have been focusing on sharing traditions for celebrating the birth of our Savior. With three different kids, we have a lot of “favorite” traditions: Advent calendars, looking at Christmas lights, baking, stockings at too-early-o’clock. And while each child has their preference of traditions, there is one — just one — that they all agree on: a grandmother’s love.
Every December my mom takes time to make gingerbread houses with our kids. When they were younger, the houses were bigger so that small fingers could maneuver the decorations. Over the years the gingerbread “houses” have taken various forms, depending on the likes of each child in a particular year. But every year, Grandma makes time to work with each of our three children individually, which is probably why this is the favorite Christmas tradition for each of our kids.
There’s nothing overtly religious about the time they spend making gingerbread houses. They don’t necessarily sit around and discuss Bible stories. There may be other activities during the day that point back to Jesus, but not really during the gingerbread house decorating. So why is this the tradition that I picked to share with you, when I consider how our family focuses on Jesus?
Because it’s not the gingerbread house decorating.
It’s the grandmother who facilitates the decorating.
If there was only one thing I could tell you about her, it’s this:
She met Jesus early in her life, and she never let go.
She passes that love of Jesus on to our kids every time she gets together with them. While decorating a gingerbread house isn’t necessarily focusing on Jesus, those special conversations that take place leave hearts feeling full. And at Christmas, who better to fill a heart than Grandma?
I think this is a favorite tradition for our kids because they get so much individual time with Grandma. She lovingly listens to their decorating ideas, offers all of her decorations, and affirms them over and over. They have conversations about life, about the house they’re making, about so many different things. They come away from their time together with so much more than just a decorated treat; they come away knowing they are valued and loved.
And isn’t that just like Jesus? When we spend the precious time with Him each day, He fills us up. He reminds us that we are so very valued, and that we are loved enough that He sent His only Son to be our Savior.
I’m so thankful this Christmas season that we have extended family who are so willing to point our kids to Jesus. All of the grandparents have such a special relationship with the Lord — we are abundantly blessed! I’m especially thankful that our kids can benefit from a grandmother’s love.
Merry Christmas, friends! Grab hold of Jesus this Christmas season, and don’t let go!