In a self-centered world I aim to raise my children Christ-centered. Sadly this is a far more difficult goal than one can expect. We are all bombarded with influences to overspend, be materialistic, look a certain way, and be self-absorbed. Despite the peer pressures of the world, my husband and I work hard to guard our hearts from these influences and steer our children to be strong enough to swim against such currents. With our children alongside us, we are constantly looking for opportunities to stay focused on what really matters in life. Whether its reaching out to a neighbor, serving our community or helping the homeless; we endeavor to share the love of God with others and build up our treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-21).
Four years ago, my husband and I started our first family tradition on Black Friday-we go to a local shopping area in the morning to serve free hot cocoa to cold, tired shoppers and offer prayer. Every year the response is amazing. Although most times we do it alone with our babies, somehow God always uses us to touch wounded or troubled souls. I believe when God gave me the idea, it was His hope to extend His love and concern He has for people through us. I’m so excited we’ve been able to do it and lives have been touched.
Christmas Eve can be a time where the kids are anxious to open all of their gifts under the tree at midnight. My husband and I decided we were going to direct some of our kids’ energy toward others rather than themselves. The newest tradition for our family is to spend some time together as a family baking cookies for all of the neighbors in our court on Christmas Eve. We go to each house with a plate full of cookies beautifully decorated by my toddlers.
In the picture below on the left, you can see the cookies we baked for our neighbors. It was our first Christmas in the neighborhood. We had just moved in two months prior and we were out of the country for one of those months. We figured the cookies were a great way to meet our neighbors and extend some neighborly love. On the right, my little man is older and very eager to participate in the sugar cookie decorating. He asked lots of questions throughout the process. There were great teachable moments! I was able to share with him why we work so hard to bless others. I’m really looking forward to seeing him lead his sister in this year’s cookie tradition.
As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I are always searching for new ways to lead ourselves and children away from a self-centered life. With a young and growing family, we are eager to learn new ways to share the love of Christ in acts of kindness. I found a couple of pins on Pinterest I’m excited to implement into our family’s traditions. Take a look here and here!
It’s your turn? What Christmas traditions do you have with your family? Big or small, every blessing matters. Please share your traditions or acts of kindness by commenting below. Perhaps we can help each other to stay focus on what really matters this Christmas season.
From my house to yours…
We pray you have a very Merry Christmas
and a beautiful New Year!
Love the Chavez Family
Juan, Angelita, Matteo (3yo) & Milana (1yo)