Christmas 2013 was special. My daughter, my son, their dad and I spent the week together for the first time in almost 20 years.
The venue: the home of my son and daughter-in-law. The reason: my precious grandson—our first.
We all wanted to share Christmas with the new baby. On the surface, it looked like just a typical week of fun, but on reflection it revealed much more about the impact of the baby on our family life. We are hoping for more grandbabies, so for us and for others who are also expecting, we reflect on the joy of the family gathering with a new baby at Christmas.
The response of our family to the new baby reveals our belief in and our loyalty to the family values we adopt.
- Why did it not matter for my children that the family gathering was so much smaller than usual?
- What other Christmas programs at work, at church or with friends did we all pass up during Christmas week?
- Why did my children’s dad and I want to share the same space for Christmas, although we had not exchanged Christmas greetings for several years?
This was our opportunity to tell the new baby that family is a priority; that he can count on his closest relatives to be present when it matters; that we welcome him and thank him for the opportunity to emphasize our commitment to family.
(4) He Makes Us Keep Up with Media Gadgets
Having a new baby with us at Christmas makes us think about what we need him to know about the season. What we need him to know is what we ourselves believe. There were some basic traditions that we agreed upon:
- The Christmas family gathering (as complete as possible) every year;
- The reading of the Christmas story (Matthew 1: 18-25) on Christmas Day;
- No Santa Claus;
- The sharing of Christmas joy with those present and absent (by some form of technology).
God knows that after so many years of celebrating Christmas the same way, and in some cases with the same people, we would appreciate a new feature now and then. He sends grandbabies to help us renew our faith, our love and our joy, as we share with them the story of the first Christmas.