This time last year I composed a blog post about teaching Sophie the true meaning of Christmas. It was a lovely year, marked by incredible generosity from friends and family and celebration of Jesus’ birth.
This year, with a 21 month old little girl charging round, chatting away and throwing in the occasional defiant moment, teaching about Christmas is a whole different challenge!
It’s been quite interesting casting my mind back over what it was like last year. My wife remains her enthusiastic self, putting the decorations up late on 30th November so that come the 1st December our house is suitably well attired.
Sophie came down on Tuesday morning and was mesmerised by the Christmas tree, especially the decoration with her picture on!
“Sophie!” “Lights!” became her two favourite phrases.
(The position of the tree, tactically tucked behind the bookcase so that she can’t get anywhere near it, despite her best efforts!)
Talking about books, it was a great joy to bring down Sophie’s Nativity books and reintroduce her to the amazing story of Jesus’s arrival on earth over 2000 years. Now, she really enjoys their touchy-feely nature, shouting out “Jesus!” when asked who the baby is and pointing wildly at the lambs in the field, going “Sheep!”
At least she knows who the main protagonists are!
My wife made a beautiful Advent Calendar for her last year and this has been hung on our kitchen door.
Sophie likes taking the Bible verses out and then using the characters to build our Nativity Scene. “Mary!” is in place already with more to come.
Last year, we were worried about her eating the characters. That’s changed now although she likes to go and grab poor Mary out of her stable and scatter her across our downstairs. As we build it up, we need to keep an eye on that particular habit!
There are other things we are now able to do with Sophie being older, although these have almost happened by accident! Her awesome Baby Sophie doll – thanks to Ian and Nikki! – is a Nativity-esque baby in its own right. According to Sophie it needs to have its nappy changed and to be fed regularly… it’s helping her appreciate the immediate needs of the infant Jesus anyway!
So far she’s loving the change in our house and the run-up to Christmas. We really hope she will keep this enjoyment as we get stuck into the Christmas story. She may be young and it may be a simplified version but it’s all really good stuff!
Our prayer and our hope is that, as we get really excited with her this Christmas period, she will know and understand the true magic of the Nativity story.