Titus Byer - Family man; Pastor; Outdoor guy; Canadian; Snowmobiling
Having two boys ages three and one, I doubt there will be much about this season that will be remembered 20 years from now. Furthermore, I cannot give to you a narrated account of my own Christmas 20 years ago at the age of nine. However, when I think back to my own childhood, there are some things that I do remember. Things that I feel are important to shape. I use the word “shape” because unless I am intentional, by default I handle the stress and business of the season with an attitude that demonstrates neither peace on earth nor good will towards man!
First off, I want the Christmas season for my boys to be filled with very unique memories of the things we only do at Christmas time. This is what makes the season special! I want them to remember setting up our little nativity, hearing the story of Jesus, and sleeping around the tree the night we set it up. I want them to remember sleigh rides pulled by a snowmobile. Yes this is what Christmas looks like – at least in Michigan!
Secondly, I want my sons’ Christmases to be marked by what they don’t remember. I hope they don’t remember this as a stressful time where dad was only focused on getting the church Christmas program “just right”. I hope my boys don’t remember a tearful Mamma who was under pressure to not spend too much money on gifts because their parents failed to have a planned budget for Christmas. I hope they don’t remember a dad who grumbled every year he put up the lights on the outside of the house. In short, I hope they remember joy. While I do not remember every event of my childhood Christmas, I keenly remember the spirit of those around me – whether it was joy or frustration.
In summary, I pray that God would make me intentional. Beautiful Christmas traditions do not just “happen.” They are planned. As I write this, two little fists just handed me a blanket, a book, and then begged to be picked up. Once again I am faced with a decision. Spread the yuletide joy to my one-year-old, or stress out about an article I have due! God grant me the grace to demonstrate the Christ of “Christmas” to my children.