I've been pondering and I think I've got it. The kids, I guess they're not kids, but I can't quite say it, very young adolescents, already gave up sitting on Santa's lap. We're not celebrating Happy Birthday Jesus parties anymore. I can't snap photos in front of the tree on Christmas morning in their pajamas just before opening stockings from Santa. I noticed that they left "stockings from Santa" on the list. Since they don't believe in Santa anymore, maybe I'll remove that one myself. "No stockings from Santa" - delete. "That felt good," I claim.
Since I promised I'd listen to my kid's input, listed below are child-friendly Christmas traditions we've celebrated and how we've adapted them for adolescent-friendly traditions. Change is really difficult for me because I love all our family traditions. So why am I going to all this trouble? It's simple. I want my adolescents to hold onto our Christian beliefs, and learn that how we practice our traditions can be modified. These new age-appropriate traditions can assist them in expressing that Christ is Lord of their life. How could a mother refuse?
Happy Birthday Jesus Birthday invitations are handmade or computer generated by children. Neighborhood children are asked to donate canned food "gifts" for the Angel Tree Project (families with incarcerated parent). During the party, read the Christmas story from the most age-appropriate book, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, serve birthday cake, and play fun Christmas games.
Our early adolescents enjoy going door-to-door in the neighborhood collecting canned food as we tag along. They quickly discover they obtain more food than at the party. Bring along several double-bagged grocery bags. Finally, we deliver the groceries to our churches' Angel Tree Project. Note: Teens must be willing to articulate who food is for, i.e.: gospel mission, needy families, Angel Tree Project, etc.
Images from: Stock.XCHNG www.sxc.hu/ Accessed 4/19/2014.