We finally cleared the clutter and brought out the Christmas decorations. We decorated the tree, and once my husband had rearranged the ornaments to his satisfaction, we brought out the gifts.
I know, I know... Christmas in America is too commercial. I know Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th, and I've heard all about the origins of the Christmas tree. But we don't worship Christmas trees during December or any other month. And honestly, in America, every day is a bit too commercial for my taste.
The truth about Christmas is - you decide how it affects your family. Tree or no tree, gifts or no gifts, Santa or no Santa, you can spend time debating with friends and family, or you can spend time enjoying them. You can make your loved ones miserable, or you can make memories that will warm their hearts for years to come.
At our home, we go on outings, bake goodies and raise money for charity. We burn cinnamon candles, "ooh" and "aah" over crafts from years past, and collect keepsake ornaments for our ornament tree.
We have ornaments from Our First Christmas Together, Our New Home, and Baby's First Christmas. We have ornaments that commemorate everything from a first choir performance to our children's former fascination with Barney. This year we purchased an ornament in memory of my husband's father.
Tonight we read the story of Christ's birth, and we talked about Emmanuel - God with us.
Among the many things I'm thankful for this Christmas, I'm thankful that God is with us. And I'm thankful that, as homeschoolers, we don't have to hide behind phrases like "winter holiday." We can sing Oh Holy Night and Oh Come All Ye Faithful. We can use words like Savior and Emmanuel.
Whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas, make time this season to celebrate. God is with us. That's a reason to be merry!