Christmas Priorities: an interesting family discussion

We had a late night last night. Chase was at a friend’s party and Clark was downstairs watching a video with his friends. Geoff and I started a movie at 10:00pm (that’s late for me!) We were up until midnight and I fully anticipated a nap today, but I’m not feeling super tired so I’m posting to my blog instead of sleeping (weird.)
Anyway, I found a cool Christmas resource this morning called Christ: The Real Gift of Christmas and I found an idea for a family discussion that we did right after church.

santa
FYI: I bought this Greg Olson print this year and am having it framed. I love what it says (to me) about priorities at Christmas. Here’s the LINK.

Have everyone gather around tell them you would like to discuss individual and family priorities at Christmas time. Tell them there are NO wrong or right answers and ask them to be totally honest and willing to share their perspective. Give each person a sheet of paper and a pencil and have them write the following words down the left-hand side of the page: GIFTS, FRIENDS, DECORATIONS, CHRIST, TRADITIONS, FOOD/TREATS, FAMILY

Ask each person to:

  1. Create two columns
  2. Label the first column “Most Exciting”
  3. Have each person rate their top three aspects of Christmas. My kids responded well when I said they could “vote” for the three things that are most exciting to them.
  4. Label the second column “Most Important”
  5. Have each person to look at the same list of words and rate their top three again.
  6. Remind them that they can have some of the same words on both lists, or completely different words — there is no correct way.
  7. Now ask each person to circle those words/items that did not make either of their lists. Ask them if they believe they could celebrate Christmas without these things?

When everyone is done take turns sharing individual Christmas priorities and discuss how understanding these things in themselves and in their family members can make a difference in your home. Talk about the priorities you all share. Talk about what you can do this year as you plan activities to align what you more closely with your family priorities.

Here are the Julian’s priorities:

TAFT: Most Exciting (gifts, food/treats, friends) + Most Important (friends, Christ, food/treats)

TREY: Most Exciting (family, decorations, food/treats) + Most Important (Christ, family, traditions)

CHASE: Most Exciting (family, food/treats, gifts) + Most Important (Christ, food/treats, family)

CLARK: Most Exciting (Christ, decorations, food/treats) + Most Important (Christ, family, friends)

GEOFF: Most Exciting (friends, gifts, decorations) + Most Important (Christ, friends, gifts)

STACY: Most Exciting (gifts, traditions, decorations) + Most Important (Christ, family, traditions)

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this was indeed enlightening — I learned interesting things about myself, my husband and my children. I’m going to print my blog post and include it in our Christmas album. I think it’s interesting to see what children value as they grow up and it’s so intriguing to note the differences in my priorities vs. my husbands — totally explains why my husband loves the social side of Christmas and I’m so set on doing things in a certain “way.”

If you end up doing this or something similar in your home, leave me a comment and tell me what you learned!

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Comments

  1. I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends.

    :)

  2. I really like this idea. I can’t wait to use this in the next few days to see what comes of this exercise. Thanks for such a great idea.

  3. Oh Stacy, I am going to print this right now to use in our homeschooling tomorrow morning. I love it! You are always so full of wonderfully creative ideas. The picture of Santa holding Baby Jesus is so touching. So many times in our busy lives, we forget the real reason we have Christmas all together. I wish you the most joyous Christmas ever, this year. You are a true friend :)

    PS. Thanks for the very sweet gift you sent me. I will read it, thanks :) You are so very precious! Thanks so much for the yummy and happy colored jelly bellies too. Please tell your sister I love the bracelet she made for me, that my husband ordered.

    Now, I have something to send you :) I accidentally threw away the envelope that had BPS’s address on it. Can you email it to me. Love ya, Stacy! You are truly a blessing in God’s eyes and mine!

  4. I’m going to use this in my homeschooling today… How cool… I just made a simple .pdf and printed off 4 copies…. (kinda like it’s worsheet style…)

  5. What a great idea! I’m going to use this for FHE tonight! THANKS!

  6. love it – and did you know that Sunday was St. Nicholas day too? It’s beena part of our family tradition since I was in college – on my blog if you want to take a look – J

  7. A few years ago I purchased a book titled “I believe in Santa Claus” that details the similarities between the two. I love that it does this. It somehow makes Christmas even more magical for me. I am pretty sure you can find it on Amazon :)

  8. I really love this idea…we will be doing this for sure!

  9. The message at church this past weekend was all about putting Christ back into Christmas. Even though we did presents and Santa and all of that when I was growing up, one of my favorite holiday memories was going to the late Christmas Eve service. They’d turn down the lights, and each person was given a candle to hold. The Christmas tree would be glowing and the acolytes would come and light the candle of the first person in the pew. Then that person’s candle would help to light the whole row. We’d all sing “Silent Night” and that is how church would end. It was beautiful and magical and everything Christmas should be. I really hope to pass that tradition on to my young family!

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