THE COLUMNS – DECEMBER

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Why not compare a filled Christmas stocking to how God fills our lives with good gifts?
May this be a new tradition for your family using a familiar decoration. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

As a family, read the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah from the Bible (Luke 1:5-14). Note Elizabeth’s joy at the upcoming birth of her child and the birth of Jesus. Share with your children how we want them to be filled with joy and that you have a new surprise in store for them this year.

During the season of Advent, purchase gifts to fill each person’s stocking – parent(s) and children. On Christmas Day, holding the stockings
filled with treasures, gather around the tree. Ask everyone to tell how the gift-filled stockings remind them of God’s love and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then have each person pull out one item and share how it shows them the love of God.
Here are a few examples:

• A girl might hold up a watch and say, “Look, my watch tells time. God loves me all the time!”
• As a little boy pulls a toy car out of his stocking, he might say, “God goes with me even in our car.”
• Mom might show a mirror and say, “I want to be a reflection of God’s love.”
• Dad would say after pulling a tool from his stocking, “God loved us so much that He gave us Jesus who became a carpenter.”

Sometimes a person might be puzzled over how an item could help us think of God, but creativity will make it fun. It’s those moments of laughter and sharing that will help keep God in the celebration. If you keep the tradition, as the children grow, the comments will change,
adding more depth.