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"Where do you keep Jesus?" by Abby Watts (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2018 Abby Watts. All rights reserved.[/caption] Whether you are a mom of multiple children or you have a brother or sister yourself, you probably have seen how different two children from the same parents can be. It’s pretty bizarre. My younger son is so chill. Every now and then when I have to give him some bad news I hold my breath waiting for a meltdown. But most of the time his response is, “Meh. That’s ok.” I look around wondering what the catch is. But no catch. He’s just an easy-going kid. His older brother on the other hand … Ugh. That kid likes to have rules and a plan and he wants the plan to make perfect sense. I love both of my sons equally. I’ll just leave that right there. At the start of Advent, as we were putting out our Nativity scenes, (Yes, scenes with an “s” because we have three) I mentioned that we shouldn’t put the baby Jesuses in the mangers yet because we aren’t ready to celebrate his birth. I saw my big one’s eyes light up. Ooh! Rules & parameters! Oh, joy! So he collects the babies and puts them in a drawer in the entertainment center. Then, in what I believe is 50% thoughtfulness and 50% doubt that my memory is any good, my son offers to label the drawer so we can remember their location. I praise his great idea and make a mental note to get him a label maker for Christmas. So yes, we’ve lived out this beautiful season of anticipation with a piece of construction paper taped to that bottom drawer with the reminder, “baby Jesuss in here.” Our poor little Jesuses have been lying amidst remote controls and loose batteries. In shame I will admit this is no place for a king! We use drawers to store items we don’t need all the time, but would rather tuck away for space, convenience or appearance. In your life, is Jesus in a drawer or out for all to see? During the Advent and Christmas seasons it’s so easy to incorporate lessons, traditions and prayer into every day of the week, but come January 7, when the tree comes down, the wreaths are put away, and the Nativity scenes are packed up, He might not be the center of our family’s attention any longer. My challenge to you and to my own family, is to take one Christmas-time practice and carry it into the rest of the year. Here are a few ideas:
  • Light a candle at dinner every night.
  • Find small monthly service projects or look for places to make donations of toys and clothes.
  • Turn off the screens and just listen to music together (I can’t tell you how much less screen time we have during Advent because the kids want to just sing!).
What do you say? Wanna give one a try? I’m going to start with something small, but I believe that before long that little green “baby Jesuss in here” label will have a much more prominent place in my family.
Copyright 2018 Abby Watts