Sunday, November 30, 2014

Letter from Gabe

Here is an example of the letter Gabe left this year. Please feel free to print and use it, or copy it, or come up with your own!

My sweet Tanner Boys,
Oh how I have missed you. I have been planning my visit for some time now, anticipating our preparation for the greatest celebration! Are you ready to Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday??  Oh I sure am!! Do you remember my story? Do you remember how I was there the night Jesus was born? What a glorious and beautiful night that was. Filled with wonder and joy and excitement!! And now I get to come and share those stories that time those experiences with you!  What fun we will have preparing for the biggest birthday of all, Jesus’ Birthday!   
I hope you will greet every day this Christmas season with great excitement; I have much planned for us. I brought along my star.  Do you remember this?  Do you remember the wise men. How many were there? 3 right!! Oh how they loved Jesus. They could not wait to see Him and knew He was the much anticipated King!! They wanted to get to Him, but they didn’t know where to find Him.  You know what our awesome creative God did? He put a big, bright, beautiful star in the sky and they knew they were suppose to follow that star.  You know what I brought you? I brought you your very own star. It is not as big, but isn’t it beautiful? Every day I am going to hide this star, do you think you can find it? Do you think you can find it every day this Christmas season???  When you wake up every morning come looking, come running, come with excited hearts looking for the star just as the Wiseman did!!
I brought you one more gift this Christmas season. This book will help me tell you the story of Jesus. Every night have your mom and dad read from this book. There are ornaments to hang on the special tree over by your door AND I also put yummy treats inside your Advent Calendar! I sure hope you enjoy them.
I have so much planned for you Tanner boys, I sure can’t wait to spend each and every day with you!  Take good care of me, and make sure not to lose me. I also love when you tell me stories, or play with me, I even love if you want to snuggle up with me or maybe just maybe I can spend the night in your beds!!!

Gabriel AKA Gabe

Meet Gabe

The  Story of Gabe.

Last year my boy’s imagination really took on new colors and vibrant exploration. They can imagine up anything and love when I join in on the fun, almost like it brings it more to life. I am not a very creative person, really, not. But my Jesus is, He is the most creative of all…I mean come on He created me and that my friends is pretty creative, He just maybe forgot the creative bone inside. Anyway, before the boys really even understood all that went into Christmas, Kevin and I spent endless and countless conversations regarding santa. I grew up doing santa on the side. My sweet mom loves Christmas, and she would sign each and every gift from Santa- in her writing, and we would open each and every gift and thank her and my dad.  We never left out cookies, or made a big deal, but we also didn't make a big deal of whether he was real or not. He just wasn't the main focus- Jesus was. They did such a good job.

Being blessed with 4 boys, in 3 years and 9 months…I was in overload, cuteness and excitement as each Christmas began with them…. All your child loving, spirit induced, over excitement kind of takes over and you start see Christmas in a new light- bright and vibrant with such excitement! The want and desire to introduce Santa, to do Elf on the Shelf nearly killed me. But to no avail my husband (bless him for his patience Jesus) stood strong. So last year it hit me. I could create something just for my kids. Something special, and imaginative, filled with wonder and excitement and all centered on Jesus.

Meet Gabriel AKA Gabe.  

Gabe is a lamb, and he was there the night Jesus was born. He tells his story, gives his description and comes to celebrate with us.  He brings along his star, which he hides every day. He tells the story of the Wise men how they anticipated Jesus birth and we are to do the same thing. He then hides the star everyday for them to find, each and every day leading them to Christ.  He does silly things, like lines their animals up in a parade, or builds things with their Legos. But he also brings all kinds of fun activities for them to do. He builds a snowman using marshmallows, but leaves things for smores for that night. He bakes sugar cookie dough and leaves the kitchen a bit messy, but leaves the dough and cookie cutters for cookies. He gives them tickets with popcorn and hot chocolate to go see Christmas lights. He fills their advent calendar up with sweets, he reads the Christmas story to their animals, he brings a snowball kit, he brings them bags to fill with toys to give to those who don’t get Christmas toys and the next morning he leaves chocolate coins in there place. The beautiful thing is I make it personal and special for my kids.

This year he brought them Ann Voskamp book “Unwrapping the Greatest gift.” We have never used this book but I wanted some guidance of scripture to use and she does an amazing job. You also put an ornament up each night so I am excited to experiment with this.

I know all of us are trying are hardest to share Christ with our kids each Christmas. I do not think it is bad to do santa at all, and if you choose to do so  there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, enjoy it! But for those who are looking for something special to do, I wanted to share my idea. Really and truly it is not my idea- it is HIS idea. Please use it! And please share with me if you do, only because I would love to know. I have dreams of using different characters, for example.

Samual AKA Sam- an old granpa cow
Jessie AKA Jess – the spunky Goat
Zacharias AKA Zac- the slow moving Camel
Martha- The motherly duck
Malachi AKA Kia- the smart quirky donkey
Abraham AKA Avi- the cool and popular horse 

Anyway you get the idea; each one comes with activities and a story to celebrate Christmas!  Ill try to post pictures via Instagram so you can see some of the things Gabe did.

I hope you all have a Christ filled Memorable Christmas!!!