I’m not sure how many of you feel the same way I do…but Christmas seems like too much wrapping paper and not enough of the important stuff. For me, I want to focus more on the real reason we celebrate Christmas – the birth of our Savior. I’ve been very tempted in incorporate La Befana (Italian tradition):
In the Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy onEpiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. Christian legend had it that Befana was approached by the biblical magi, also known as the Three Wise Men (or the three kings) a few days before the birth of the Infant Jesus. They asked for directions to where the Son of God was, as they had seen his star in the sky, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village, with the most pleasant home. The magi invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the little baby. She leaves all the good children toys and candy (“caramelle”) or fruit, while the bad children get coal (“carbone”), onions or garlic.
So, celebrate the birth of our Savior on Christmas, and celebrate the more commercialized way with la Befana. Sounds pretty good to me…although I know it won’t actually happen that way. Instead what I think we will do is celebrate less commercially and more spiritually…still giving gifts and spending time with family, but making sure we serve others in need locally and read about Christ’s birth from the scriptures with our children…start a new tradition!
Earlier this year I saw the “4 Things” list to help minimize the commercial aspect of Christmas. “Something I want. Something I need. Something to wear. Something to read.” How simple! How catchy! I love it! And we’re doing it. I don’t need more toys in the house (i.e. more things to step on or more things for the kids to leave in disarray). They certainly don’t need more clothes! (I do enough laundry as is!) I want to increase the books we have in our house (but that means I’ll NEED another bookshelf!). Sounds perfect to me! So, in honor of that…I’ve created the form I will be using for my kids. It’s a freebie so click on it, right click and save to your computer.