“A Christmas Ornament Idea – a focus on the Past” (evaluate)

Posted by on Dec 1, 2012 in A Plan, A Tool | 2 comments

“Christmas is saying ‘yes’ to something beyond all emotions and feelings. Christmas is saying ‘yes’ to a hope based on God’s initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel. Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God’s work and not mine. Things will never look just right or feel just right. If they did, someone would be lying. The world is not whole, and today I experienced this fact in my own unhappiness. But it is into this broken world that a child is born who is called the Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, Savior.” Henri Nouwen in The Road to Daybreak

Christmas carries a weight of expectation and opportunity! Like the Nouwen quote said, Christmas requires a response! When you get to the bottom of this holiday, we are celebrating Father’s pursuit of our attention. If you believe in Christmas, then you believe that Father was separated from us through choices of our sin. So, he sent his son as a baby to walk with us, grow up with us and extend a hand to us to bring us back into relationship with our Maker and now Redeemer through the story of Jesus. As we sing this Christmas, “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World,” we are singing about one crazy story of love. Father God intervened in the details of this world and became one of us so that he could ultimately win us back to his embrace. Through Jesus, his life on this Earth, his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, we have been given a great gift! Father offers us an invitation – come back to me! Live from my story! And so the response! What then shall we say to his pursuit? How then shall we live? We pray that you and your family this Christmas will accept his gaze, see yourself as he sees you and receive his gift of “life to the full!”

Jesus says – I have come that you may have life and have it to the full! John 10:10

As you consider your response as a family, take some time to reflect on the year you have just experienced! It is a simple way to begin this practice of evaluating and celebrating! Check out the tool Evaluate for more of the story.

For now, here is another simple idea to add to the mix. It will be yet another opportunity to create “icons” in your home of “spiritual identity” (Dallas Willard and George Barna taught me the importance of these words).

Make a yearly ornament for your tree! Since 2001, we have taken a moment in the Christmas season and reflected on Father’s gifts from that year. When the kids were small, Ron and I did it together and now that they are older, they are involved in adding things and even writing them down too.

So, sometime in the Christmas season, gather the family together around the tree and get out a piece of paper. Write at the top, “the gifts of 2013 (or whatever year it is)!” and create a list of all that you have been given this year – steps you have made, things you have learned, events that have happened, hurdles that have been conquered, tears that have been shed, etc. Buy an ornament or just choose an ornament that you already have and attach this piece of paper to that ornament with a ribbon or something. It was such a cool moment to sit together as we were putting the tree up this year and read through the ornaments of the past years. The kids really got into it, and it was such a sweet time to reflect on Father’s faithfulness, his provision and his love as a family. Ada said after we were done the other night – “you guys are people really crazy for God.” How rich is that!

This has now become a tradition in our family when we are putting up the tree. And it really helps us focus on his gifts and our journey together. I can’t wait to hear what your kids will be saying!!!!!


  1. Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out some additional information.

    • No video as of yet! I have some great pictures of the ornaments we have done if that would help! Thanks so much for your comment and would love to know more about your experience on the site. As well, please let me know any questions that you have, and I will answer as best I can! We will be incorporating more videos of “Whole Peach moments” with some of the tools in the future. Good to know that we should include this one!

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