Day # 1
Have you noticed? (How could you help but notice?) Christmas is on the way! Whether its tinkling Christmas music in every store or lights on the neighbor’s roof, there’s no escaping it…Christmas is coming soon!
Growing up, Christmas had a predictable rhythm for me. Each evening after finishing my homework, I spent hours perusing the giant Sears Wish Book. Suddenly, everything that I already owned paled in comparison to the glistening, shiny, wonderful toys found in the pages of that catalog.
Although we don’t have the Wish Book anymore, our kids have just as many, if not more opportunities to spend their time building a list of “I love it!” “I want it!” “I gotta have its!!”How can meager parents compete with the savvy and seductive lure of the advertisers?
Do you have an advent calendar? We do. For 25 days we open flaps and read quotes, enjoy pictures, or indulge in little treats, all building our anticipation of the Big Day! We’ve even taken it a step further; we have a two-foot wooden tree with little drawers full of special ornaments just to help us prepare for that Big Day.
For 25 days we count down in anticipation. We breathlessly wait for the big moment. What is that big moment? Well, it’s the 25 minutes we spend opening our gifts. Hmmm… I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty uninspiring to me. 25 days spent building anticipation for 25 minutes worth of stuff? Is that what Christmas is all about?
I’m convinced that we can do better! This year, instead of simply mailing “’Tis The Reason For The Season” greeting cards, I want my kids to learn what it means to live out “The Reason For The Season.” Instead of spending our pre-Christmas days building anticipation about what we’ll receive, we’re going to invest our time in building healthy character and using that character to encourage others.
For the next 25 days, we’re going to countdown ‘til Christmas by exhibiting character qualities like commitment, and compassion, and respect, and honor, and…the list goes on and on. Character that mimics the character of the baby that was born on Christmas…The baby that was born to be our Savior.
No, this isn’t a challenge to practice Random Acts of Kindness, but a mandate to initiate Practical Christ-like Acts of Character.
I’m convinced that at the end of the 25 days, we’ll see a difference. Besides the excitement about the shiny packages under the tree (oh yeah, that will still be there) we’ll also share a sense of purpose and a newly developed ownership of character healthy practices.
Will you join me on this 25-day journey? I hope so! If so, let’s get started today…
Day #1’s character quality is commitment. Without commitment, we’ll never accomplish anything. As a family, make a commitment to sticking it out. Even when a character assignment seems difficult, commit to getting it done…together! 25 days of commitment will build some serious “Character Muscles”!
I’m looking forward to tomorrow and Day #2 of the Countdown to a Character-Filled Christmas!