That most wonderful season is upon us, the holiday shopping season. The approach of Christmas and Caiden’s third birthday has created a perfect storm in our house of pointing out all the toys he desires. If he had his way, the local Toys R Us would be liberated of all its cars, trucks, trains and vehicles of any kind. (Thank goodness Isaiah is not old enough to participate yet.)
I understand one of the exciting elements of the holiday season for kids is the presents. I don’t want to rob him of that, but it does concern me that he has so easily succumbed to the hyper-consumer spirit of the age. His requests are a regular reminder that Erin and I will need to be extra intentional about teaching him what Christmas is all about.
Since this is the first year Caiden will be old enough to comprehend some of the finer elements of Christmas, we will implement some new traditions just for him (and soon for his brother) to highlight the reason for our celebration. While I’ve always thought the Christmas birthday cake was a little cheesy, we will be doing a cake because it will help Caiden understand we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. And we’ll be bringing a donkey into the living room.
The Donkey in the Living Room is a children’s book written by Sarah Cunningham based on a Christmas tradition from her childhood. In the days leading up to Christmas, her family would set up the manger scene one character at a time. Each day they unwrapped one character and told the Christmas story from that character’s perspective.
She mentioned her family’s tradition on her blog last year, and I remember thinking I wanted to give it a try. I had no idea she would to make it so easy for me. The Donkey in the Living Room tells the Christmas story in ten simple poems, each from the perspective of a different character in your nativity. In the end you will hear from Mary, the donkey she rode, a camel and a cow, the sheep and shepherds, angels, the magi, Joseph and finally Jesus.
As I read the final poem, the story from Jesus’ perspective, I couldn’t help but get a little misty thinking about reading this with Caiden and Isaiah in the coming years.