Even though it’s sneaked up on me, I am secretly excited about Christmas this year.
Watching Sophie tangle herself up in wrapping paper, tinsel and empty boxes (who cares about the presents?!), promises to be an incredibly special experience.
So many people have told me about how their first Christmas with a baby was so enjoyable and I really can’t wait.
And yet, the most exciting and important part of Christmas is not our baby at all. It’s all about a baby from 2000 years ago and we really want Sophie, even at such a tender age, to learn about that.
First of all, we’ve made our daily “Family Church” longer. It usually includes a few songs, some prayers and a bible story but this Christmas period gives us the excuse to spend more time learning about God’s Word.
My wife has made an awesome Advent Calendar (inspired by Claire at Clarina’s Contemplations!) and we open that every night. No chocolate I’m afraid (too much sugar at this age even though I’d be happy to help out!) so we take out the Bible verses and read them as a family.
On some of the days, there’s a little character designed to build up the nativity story on the side in our living room. Poor Mary came out on Day 2 and then had to live by herself in the stable until Day 5 when Joseph finally joined her. Nice of him to show up! It was less “N-O-E-L” and more “L-O-N-E” for the poor pregnant mother!
We’ve invested in a board book for Sophie where the sheep have fuzzy coats, the angel a sparkly outfit and the wise men have exciting hats. She seems a bit bemused, but may have got it by the 25th!
Finally, we sing Away in a Manger and help Sophie know that Jesus loves her just like he loves each one of us.
We don’t know if she’s understanding any of it. We know it’s only an inadequate representation.
But at least we know that, under God, we’re getting the chance to teach our little girl about the God who loves her, came down to this earth to rescue her and wants to know her.
That’s enough for any nine month old really!