Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Truth in the Tinsel: Days One through Five

December brings a host of activities and events to our family.  This year, I am trying to be more purposeful in the things we choose to do this holiday season.  I don't want to do things just for the sake of "doing them."  So when I heard of Truth in the Tinsel, I thought, "That might be just the thing to do with the kids this year."  It would be purposeful - the intent being that the kids (and me!) would have some time together every day to focus on Jesus and the amazing gift that came to us at Christmas.  However, I was hesitant to commit to it.  I didn't want to start something and then get so caught up in all the busyness of life that I never finished it. 
Finally, I decided to purchase the book, and we would just have to see how it would go.
What's Truth in the Tinsel?  A mom and teacher at Oh Amanda came up with this program to help her kids understand the true meaning of Christmas.  It's a great way to celebrate Advent.  Each day, you read some Scripture verses to your kids.  Then you talk about what happened in those verses and apply it.  The best part is making an ornament together to represent what you just talked about. 
We have had such a great time doing them so far that I am no longer worried about not finishing it. 
So, this post is about the first five days of our Truth in the Tinsel adventures.  I will do five posts in all to share what we have learned together on this journey.
 December 1st:  Jesus is the Light of the World
We read together in Isaiah 9 how the people who were in darkness had seen a great light.  David said, "Mom, I don't like it when it's dark.  That's why I need a night light."  This was a great lead-in to our talk - how the whole world was dark with sin and despair.  It needed a Light desperately, and God planned on sending that Light.  The prophet Isaiah predicted His coming. 
The kids enthusiastically glued their tissue paper to the candle silhouettes while we held a discussion on what things can make our hearts dark. 
 December 2nd:  Jesus is Our King
We read in Isaiah 9 again and focused on verses 6-7.  He is our Prince of Peace!  He will establish His kingdom forever.  "How can He be Prince AND King?" Gabi wondered.  And so the conversation began.  We looked at all the names of Jesus - Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, and so on.  He is the only king that can guarantee true peace.
The kids chose their paint colors and intently decorated their crowns with sparkly sequins.  Mikey said that he wanted to be a king when he grew up. 
 December 3rd:  The Angel Gabriel Visits Zachariah
This day, we went to Luke 1 for our reading.  Gabi helped me read the story of how the priest Zachariah was visited by the angel Gabriel.  We talked about how scary it must have been for Zachariah to have an angel appear to him in the temple.  And even though the angel was bringing good news to him, it was easy to understand why Zachariah didn't believe him. 
The offspring glued macaroni and googly eyes to their yogurt lids and chose different yarn hair styles for their Zachariah ornaments.  Their favorite part was attaching the bubble wrap mouth and then popping it, symbolizing how God struck Zachariah dumb for his unbelief. 
 December 4th: Gabriel is God's Messenger
Today, we followed up yesterday's story of Gabriel and Zachariah with Gabriel's visit to another person, Mary.  Gabriel was God's messenger.  We discussed his name, which means "God is my might."  Gabi has the feminine version of his name; she was excited to learn that her name also means "God is my might."  Gabriel willingly carried God's messages to people, whether it be a priest or a young girl. 
The kids looked through my stash of Christmas cards, and each chose one to fold into Gabriel's robe.  With Momma on glue gun duty, we added ribbons, glittery pipe cleaners, and jingle bells to make our angels. 
December 5th:  Mary Listens to Gabriel
We read yesterday's passage in Luke 1:26-38 again.  This time we focused on Mary.  She was a young girl, obviously troubled when she was approached by the angel.  Still, she listened, and although she had questions, she was willing to do what God wanted her to do.  She offered herself as the Lord's handmaiden.
As the kids carefully glued felt dresses and tiny buttons on their clothespin Marys, we talked about how we could be like Mary.  We could be willing to do what God wants, too.  Mikey said that he would pick up his toys, because that's "what God would want." :)

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