Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where's the line to see Jesus?

My eight year old has discovered the truth about Santa. "He's not REAL!" is what she keeps arguing with my six year old.

This morning, Ashlyn, my youngest and I were up all alone in the house and she came to sit on my lap and just flat out asked me, "Is he real, Mommy?" We didn't want to force this question from her, because we've wanted to let her have her childhood and pretend. Well, when she came up and asked it - I had no choice to tell her the truth. And this is what I told her...

"His name was Nicholas, and we call him St. Nicholas, because saint means someone who belongs to God, just like we do. In St. Nicholas' town there were many poor children. They didn't have enough food, clothes, or toys. St. Nicholas used his money to buy food, clothes, and toys for the poor children. He didn't want them to be embarrassed by his gifts, so he gave secretly."

"St. Nicholas also told everyone about Jesus and how much God loved them. Many people became Christians because of what St. Nicholas said. Then some mean people who hated Jesus put St. Nicholas in jail to keep him from telling people about Jesus and from helping people. St. Nicholas kept on telling people about Jesus until the mean people had him killed."

"Because of how much St. Nicholas loved Jesus, and because of the many gifts he gave the poor children of his town, we still remember St. Nicholas at Christmas time. All of the gifts he gave, and all of the Christmas presents we give, are to remind us of the very best gift anyone ever gave: when God the Father gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to us for our salvation."

"Today there are many people who don't know the truth about St. Nicholas. They call him 'Santa Claus,' and they tell children pretend stories about him living at the North Pole and having elves and reindeer. But we know the truth, and when we see a department store Santa Claus or a picture of Santa Claus in a magazine, we remember the real Santa Claus, who loved Jesus so much and whose life and death remind us about God's gift of Jesus Christ to us."




I can't take credit for this, I saw this on a website while searching for Christmas things to do with the girls. However, I saw it just before she asked me. So I am thankful that I knew just how to answer her. After telling her all this I read her a poem that I had also found called "Jesus is better than Santa Claus".


WHY JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS
(author unknown)

Santa lives at the North Pole ...
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh ...
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year.
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and enters your heart.

You have to wait in line to see Santa ...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap ...
JESUS lets you rest in His Arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our history and future, and
He even knows our hearts & how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...
JESUS has a heart full of love, grace, mercy & forgiveness.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...
JESUS says "Cast your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys ...
JESUS makes a new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but ...
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree,
For you & for me.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put CHRIST back in Christmas,
Jesus is still the reason for the season.

Yes, JESUS is better,
He is even better than Santa Claus.

After reading this poem, she said, "Why don't we have a line at the mall to see Jesus?" She said this in reference to the part in the poem that said, "We have to wait in line for Santa..." I then began to remind her of one of her songs that she has in our church Christmas play this year. Its called WHERE'S THE LINE TO SEE JESUS. It has a wonderful message and I cry just listening to it. Here's the video below with Becky Kelley singing it. This song is based on a real question that her nephew had one day in the mall.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving


As an adult, I've gathered so much myself from teaching my own kids about Thanksgiving. I think that growing up, we have just taken it for granted. But it really is amazing to me, learning about the pilgrims and realizing that they came to this country so they could have the freedom to worship God. WOW! How we take that for granted! Yet, today - its disappointing that not enough people want to worship God. Our country truly was founded on Christianity. Somewhere along the way and through the years - it seems we have lost that. Now, we can't even say Christmas in a store! The first Thanksgiving, after half of the pilgrims had died from sickness, the other half had the chance to go back to England and they chose not to. They, instead, chose to stay here and thank God for their blessings! What a great group of amazing people. If only we had more "William Bradfords" today!

Over the last month, we've learned about pioneers from Spain, England, Holland, and France. I love the book we got from Christian Liberty Press that we've been reading "living" stories from. Its called Pioneers and Patriots. You can check it out here. We've learned about Indians. Meant To Teach: Native Americans...or as Christopher Columbus named them "Indians" We've learned about the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. We've learned interesting facts about the turkey, as well with how Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter saying he thought the turkey should have been the US National Symbol. We've also gone over the Thanksgiving custom of "Pardoning the Turkey" at the White House. The list could go on and on. There's so much information!

We've had a week full of Thanksgiving copywork. It is all verses from the Bible that have to do with giving God thanksgiving! We got these for free from http://www.copycatbooks.com/free_m_printables.htm. You can find them in cursive or print. We just started doing copywork. Kylee loves it!

We've ended each day with a craft! Pictures are posted. Under the picture, I posted the link for where I got the craft (just in case you want to do these with your chitlins' - this is my made up slang word meaning "children").

Over the last month, we've done everything imaginable that is related to Thanksgiving. I gotta say, I'm actually anxious to move into December - because we're going to be doing ONLY Christmas projects. Its going to be a sort of "long" break for us as far as school. Something I'm looking forward to in December is teaching my girls more about the Birth of Jesus. We're going to take an in-depth look at the Christmas story. That's something you can't do in public school these days. We'll be learning about Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh and what all that really is. As well as mapping out the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I'm looking forward to teaching my girls less about Santa (now that we can avoid that from being in Public School) and more about the REAL reason for Christmas. Not that anything is wrong with Santa, but my oldest daughter knows the truth now - so now we can move onto something more meaningful. :)



The girls put on a puppet show with their puppets. These cute pilgrim cutouts were easy to make with a paper bag, a little glue, and some crayons! You can find them, along with many other crafts, at http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/crafts-pilgrims.htm. I like to go here a lot for craft ideas!

We modified this craft just a little bit, but you can find it at www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/turkey_crafts.html.