Thursday, December 20, 2007

12 Days of Christmas, CONTINUED

My last post discussed how the impact of our 12 Days of Christmas family tradition extended far beyond the holiday season. And judging from most of the comments (wanting me to get to the nitty gritty details on gift suggestions with correlating scriptures) the 12 days of Christmas is also extending to another post. And I must warn you it could be a very long post, at that, so continue at your own risk.

And yes, y'all had much better manners in your comments than I implied above , but I just wanted a reason to use the phrase "nitty gritty".

I'm so excited that many of you are making plans to bring this tradition into your own homes. I just know my Grandma is sitting in Heaven tickled pink right now. The following are the requested suggestions, so feel free to steal them verbatim or just use it as starting point and add your own creative flair. And if you come up with some really fun ideas, be sure to spread the love back this way, too.

Here at Holding Little Hands (and family), we are all about avoiding reinvention of the wheel.

And I apologize in advance that most of these gifts tend to lean more on the male dominated side, although I would assume it never hurts for a girl to know how to use tools and play swords. Grandsons are plentiful to my parents at the moment.

Yesterday's gift was definitely worth seeing for yourself. Now, typically I wouldn't get within 100 ft of a snake, much less take a picture of it. But, for y'all I made an exception because what kind of a bloggity friend would I be if I denied you a look at this cute little creature?

You ask and I deliver.

This lace up toy came with a scripture found in Matthew 10:16; Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wise as SNAKES and as harmless as doves.

And although nothing impressed Park more than the snake, Chris and I really loved the gift that came with 1 Peter 1: 4: For God has reserved a priceless INHERITANCE for His children. It is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled beyond the reach of change and decay. Lolli and Pops made a donation into Park's savings account, but you could also adapt it by giving coins or a piggy bank instead.

Another present was a Rudolph book, explaining how this famous reindeer and his misfit elf friend, Hermie, overcame incredible odds to make their place in history. The verse used was Luke 1: 35-37; The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you...for NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE with God.

Hermie has become a dear friend of Park's, even though he calls him, "Kermie". But considering a pig and frog fell in love, I'd say the Muppets overcame some terrible odds of their own.

Blocks worked perfectly with Psalm 127:1; Unless the Lord BUILDS a house, the work of the builder is useless. Another Scripture that you could use for a similar gift is is Romans 14:19; Let us aim for harmony for the church and try to BUILD each other up.

A children's praise and worship CD such as Praise Baby highlights Psalm 33:1 Let the Godly sing with joy to the Lord, for it is fitting to praise him. You could even adapt this to give musical instruments such as the Bee Bop Band by the brand name "Parents". Park got this for his first birthday and still beats it mercilessly to this day. Love this little toy, even if it did come from Target. (See Well Documented History of Bitterness That I Need to Let Go Of if you're confused:)

The movie Pinocchio or a Pinocchio toy is a good reminder of Psalm 34: 13 Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from telling lies.

Tennis shoes fit nicely with 1 Corinthians9: 24-25; Remember in a RACE everyone RUNS., but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

Pajamas go in hand in hand with Psalm 3:5; I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.

A tool set fits 1 Corinthians 15:58; So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's WORK. for you know that nothing you ever do for the Lord is useless.

A sword and shield or anything castle/knight related can illustrate Ephesians 6: 10-11; A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's ARMOR so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil.

Sippy cups work well with Psalm 14:5 Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my CUP of blessing. You guard all that is mine.

What kid wouldn't love a Dr.'s kit, right? And it takes on new meaning when paired with Psalm 147: 3-5; He HEALS the brokenhearted, BINDING up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension.

A toy tape measure or even plastic measuring cups are cheap and easy to put with Matthew 7: 1-3; Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Whatever MEASURE you use to judge others, it will be used to MEASURE how you are judged.

Truly the possibilities are endless.

During your devotional time throughout the year, as you mark your favorite scriptures in the Bible, look for keywords or phrases that could be illustrated with a small gift. If you file these ideas away as they come to you, next year's Christmas shopping for your 12 Days, will be a snap! Also, a Bible dictionary or good concordance is helpful for this project, as well, as this website.

And remember, don't stress yourself over the enormity of the present, or lack thereof. The amount of money you spend is completely irrelevant. The true gift is the legacy of faith that you are instilling in your children. And years down the road, (well, let's get real...even next week) they won't remember what you bought, but they will never forget the truth of God's word.

In keeping with the theme of the tradition, I feel it would only be fitting to close with a scripture that correlates with this post.

Proverbs 22: 4; Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

*I hope you and your family have a very Merry 12 Days of Christmas!


Kelly said...

Love this idea...we do an advent blanket with a gift in the pocket each morning, but I have been struggling this year because the gifts are just fun stuff- no meaning. This is a perfect way to bring our advent countdown back to what it should be.
I guess we will have the "5 days of Christmas" this year:-)Thanks for sharing this great idea!

Elizabeth said...

I love this idea! Through reading blogs I have found so many new ways to make Christmas in our home more about Jesus and less about fun and gifts. It's always been a struggle for me to get creative with the Christmas celebrating. Thank you for sharing such a sweet family tradition.

By the way, I love your blog. It's one of the funnest ones I read. Like you once were, I am still very much a lurker, but I am inspired to do more when I read your writing. Merry Christmas!

Molly said...

Thanks for taking the time to explain this idea! I'm looking forward to trying something similar...probably not for this year, but I like your idea of making a file of verses during the year! Thanks again!

happygeek said...

Thanks so much for filling us in on the details. I am passing this idea on to grandma and nana! I think between the three of us we can come up with some really meaningful ideas for next year! Thanks for sharing this! Oh and your McD's story, waay too funny! Only because we've all been there!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Wonderful, Britanni! Thank you for sharing all the specific ideas. They are good fuel for us to go forth next year and start a new tradition.

Merry Christmas to your family!

Kelly said...

Brittani - thank you so much!! I would love to have those scriptures. I have a lot of verses and a lot of worship songs that I try to surround myself with. I read about your sister's journey and how you got babies at the same time. That was such a neat story and gives me lots of hope!