I wanted something new…
Something that would stick in their little minds and hearts…
Something worth remembering…
I wanted to start a new Christmas tradition, something for “my children.” I wanted something to encompass, fully, who they are and allow them to experience Christmas.
We have traditions.
We have Santa. Santa DOES come to our house and bring gifts, but he’s never overly extravagant.
We have an elf and a shepherd. My kids enjoy them both. Neither are naughty. They both encourage my kids to have a giving spirit and spread the true love and purpose of the Christmas season.
I let the kids purchase or make small gifts for each other, for their father and me, and for their grandparents.
We always pick out a real tree for the family and the kids get to decorate one of their own.
We read stories and sing songs.
We do advent activities and make ornaments.
We bake cookies and candy.
We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning.
It’s all fun. I LOVE it ALL. But I needed something that was unique to “them.” I yearned for something that would bring it all together, hit them where their interests are AND include the true meaning of Christmas.
And it came to me…
My kids love hiking. They thoroughly enjoy geocaching…I ran with THAT…
My kids are going to go on a Treasure Hunt to find Jesus!!!
A mystery letter was delivered with no postage and no return address.
**Sound familiar? We’ve had something similar happen before, but my kids are young and were too excited to catch on.**
It was addressed to the Almond Family and included clues to a hidden treasure near our home. We eagerly set out to find this promised treasure, but all we found was a jar with a promise, a prophecy if you will, of a treasure yet to come:
Your treasure is not here. Still, you must wait.
Worry not my child, it will be truly great.
On this very night, you will seek once more,
as the shepherds did many years before.
When day draws to its close and darkness starts to fall
Step back outside, your family, together, one and all
Search the night for a new, shining light…
Seek it, follow it, for it will lead to delight.
Wait!?! Again on the waiting?
What a wonderful opportunity to explain to my children how hard it is to wait and how so many people waited so long, watching, wondering, longing for the Greatest Treasure EVER to be born. The true treasure was a promise, long in the making. Oh, how long the birth of a Savior was prophesized. So many people died, never getting to experience the wonderful news of this Treasure.
In the evening, we once again ventured back outside, searching for the promised light. We found it, followed it…there was a treasure, indeed. In a tiny box, hidden between two rocks, near our porch, we found the Baby Jesus and a card with the Christmas Story.
Oh, the excitement. My children could not wait to share the good news.
Seeing the excitement on my children’s faces as they discovered their treasure, made me wonder…
How truly radiant must the shepherds’ faces have been when they returned with the great news of the Christ-child’s birth. Our Savior is here! He has arrived! We wait no more! I cannot think of a single word to explain how that feeling could possibly have been. They witnessed the miracle WITH THEIR OWN EYES!!!
Luke 2:20 NIV
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We too share that miracle. It’s before our eyes in God’s Holy Word. It’s in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit. May we sing it and share it, just as WE have been told and may we never cease our search for God’s goodness and love.