December 25, 2019
David & Karen Mains launch their 17th podcast with Christmas visits from the Chapel of the Air Archives: the Mains kids talk about creating meaningful Christmas plans.
David: Yes, I think last year we accomplished what we wanted, which was to reduce again all of the hurry so that we could walk through those holidays together and just enjoy one another. That was important for our family because you and I travel a lot and there’s always a great deal of in and out. And that was our season and we enjoyed it.
David: Okay Karen, let’s say it together.
David & Karen: Here we go. Merry Christmas and do we have a gift for you?
Intro: Welcome to the Before We Go Podcast featuring Dr. David Mains and his wife, noted author, Karen Mains. Here’s David and Karen Mains.
Karen: Have we got a surprise for you today as we have mentioned here on this podcast, “Before We Go”, the Mains is David and Karen used to be in radio broadcasting for 20 some years.
David: They’re a Chapel of the Air.
Karen: Chapel of the Air. I can hear the background music in my mind right now.
David: Yeah. It’s a long time ago across the country.
Karen: Daily, 500 stations. And one of the things we would do, if do you remember this David, we would haul our kids; we have four children, into the studio, to do broadcasts on topics that were pertinent to family life.
David: Yeah. Including special holidays.
Karen: Special holidays. Sometimes they came kicking and screaming.
David: Okay, they didn’t have to record it on Christmas Day, but you recorded and edit that’s not where Christmas Day.
Karen: So, this is a delightful memory from Christmas broadcast. That’s what you’re saying.
David: Yeah, and there are people who will remember those broadcasts, that’s kind of fun. So, it’s a warm fuzzy for us.
Karen: And a gift to our list.
David: Yeah, very much a gift to our listeners. Mm-hmm.
David: I need to make some introductions. Most of you already know my wife, Karen. Jeremy has been on the broadcast with me once before, he’s seven. And next week will be eight. Joel is ten. Melissa is 14, and Randy is 16.
Karen: You did very well. Got the ages all right.
David: I got the names and the ages. I had to think very carefully as I went around the table. Jeremy, you’re an old hand at this. Let’s begin with you. What is Christmas all about?
Jeremy: Well, it’s about Christ’s birth and it’s His birthday. And it was the first Christmas that there ever was.
David: Okay, that’s fine. That’s the beginning, which means that on Christ’s birthday then, we want to honor Him and that’s going to be part of a family caucus as we figure out the way we are doing this and share with others, hoping that they will do the same thing within their family. But let’s talk some about last year. What was our purpose last year?
Randy: I think our purpose last year was to make Christmas a little simpler and for the family to get away from all the materialism and just the hurry of Christmas.
David: Try to slow things down a bit. You had a good suggestion in that as to what gift could be given as the major gift through the family, Randy.
Randy: Well, I think we said that as a family, we give each other a gift of time instead of giving each other gifts of presence. And so, as a family, we spent a day together in the city.
David: What is some of what we did that day, Melissa?
Melissa: Well, we went to the city, and we had breakfast as a family. And then we went to the planetarium, and we watched the Star Bethlehem Show. And then we went around the city and looked at the store windows. And then we went to dinner, and we had a fun day.
David: In fact, I’ll always remember that day. Daddy enjoyed it a great deal. And I think we were able last year to eliminate some of the hurry and all of the hassle that’s so much a part of Christmas.
Karen: We, if you will recall, had a few protests about the no-gift angle. And so, Melissa made, yes right, Melissa made lovely big stockings. We had never had stockings before. One for each person in the family. And then the idea was for each of us to buy small gifts. Little things you’d find in a dime store. and stick them in one another’s stockings. That was lovely.
David: Yes, I think last year we accomplished what we wanted, which was to reduce again all of the hurry so that we could walk through those holidays together and just enjoy one another. That was important for our family because you and I travel a lot and there’s always a great deal of in and out. And that was our season and we enjoyed it. But now we’re going back to what you said before, Jeremy, that this is Christ’s birthday. And we want to be able to celebrate Christmas by honoring Christ. I’m not sure we accomplished that last year, although to some degree we did.
Joel, I haven’t given you a chance to talk yet. How would you feel if on your birthday, the next one coming up, everyone gave presents to other people, but no one gave one to you and nobody paid very much attention to you?
Joel: Well, I wouldn’t like that very much.
David: You don’t think you would?
Karen: Well, Joel, I think that’s kind of a good idea.
Melissa: Well, I don’t.
David: Maybe that’s the way Jesus responds in terms of the way a number of people celebrate his birthday. You know, everybody is given attention but him. So how do we honor Christ? We did this a little bit last year by trying to sense His presence. Jeremy, I remember you helping us for one of our meals at Christmas. We tried to pretend that Christ was there with us and what did you do?
Jeremy: Well, I made something out of paper, and it was supposed to be Jesus at the table.
David: So, it was a big paper person?
Melissa: Well, four feet.
David: Well, Jesus was very short last year.
Karen: He had the meal.
Melissa: He also put a plate there so we could kind of remember that he was eating with us.
Jeremy: Really, that wasn’t him growing up. It was supposed to be him as a kid.
David: I see. It was confusing because he had a beard. That’s why I thought he was growing up. But it was helpful anyway and I thank you for doing that. And this year we’re trying to emphasize the fact that Christ is with us, and he deserves our praise or he deserves to be the one who is the focus of our attention during the Christmas season.
Karen: The way we’ve chosen to do this is to also develop some of our musical appreciation. This is an area in our family that needs a little work. And so, we have been meeting in the kitchen at seven in the morning, which is unusual for our family. Sometimes we sort of grab the breakfast, eating breakfast together and doing what?
Randy: We’ve been reading the carols, Christmas carols.
Karen: Reading Christmas carols and trying to sing them.
Randy: Getting it all.
David: Explaining the parts that are confusing. And the end result of that will be that we know the carols well for a special night.
Randy: When we’ll go Christmas caroling.
David: Who will we carol Randy?
Randy: Well, we put a list on the refrigerator of all the people who we would like to go on carol. And I guess we’ll be caroling friends and neighbors.
Karen: Melissa and I are baking special gifts to take and leave at the house of each one. Now we had a dry run on this last year. Melissa and her little brothers and a friend went caroling by themselves to the neighbors. And we have had a continuing discussion on who broke the lantern.
David: Who was it, Melissa?
Melissa: Well, I think it was Jeremy.
Karen: He’s protesting.
Melissa: He says it’s Joel.
David: Anyway, this year we have lanterns, and we also have a tambourine. And in about a week and a half we will be going out on a special night and caroling these people. And we’ll use our favorite carols, and we will know what we’re singing. And I believe because of having read through a large number of the carols, we will sense that Christ is with us as well as we sing his praises to these people who are special to us. Along with this we have an evening called “Bring a Bit of Christmas.” Who wants to explain that?
Melissa: Well, people come, and they bring records and some poems and some songs they like. We’ve each invited a person who’s a friend to us.
David: That list is on the refrigerator as well.
Karen: Yes. We have a crowded refrigerator.
Melissa: We can play songs on the piano.
Karen: We can bring an instrument or lead us in a chorus thing, whatever they want to do. But they have to bring a little bit of Christmas and share it with one another.
David: And each one of us will contribute to that night as well by having a part of Christmas. Why are we talking like this? What is the reason in the back of our minds, Karen?
Karen: Well, we want to really honor Jesus this year. We’re still going to work at keeping our family times simple. I think we love the day that we gave to one another, the gift of time, and we’ll do that again. But this year, after evaluating last year’s Christmas, we feel that we didn’t really direct the honor of our hearts to the birth of the King. And so that’s what we’re trying to do. To remind ourselves that this is Jesus’ birthday. And to honor Him by the things that we do.
David: And we’re talking like this just to be kind of a little example of a family having a caucus, saying how do we make sure that we capture what Christmas is all about. And we’re not expecting that other people would place an emphasis on music. Say, because they may be very strong in that area. Or they may want to say, this is the way we’re going to plan our Christmas so that Christ is honored. But I would hope that many conversations like ours would go on among Christian families where people make sure that the season doesn’t escape them. Or that they celebrate foolishly. Or maybe even celebrate selfishly and do what we were talking. Joel, miss the very one whose birthday it is.
Now, in terms of bringing a gift for Jesus, sometimes it’s very hard to find the proper gift for somebody you love a great deal. How are we trying to work that out this year?
Melissa: One of the ways is by giving money to the mission.
David: Okay, that’s one suggestion.
Melissa: Everyone in our family is giving a little bit of their money and contributing to giving food to a family.
Karen: Okay. We also had a list for people to put down their suggestions as far as who we could give these money gifts to.
David: Okay, so in other words, this is a Christmas donation suggestion. It doesn’t mean because something makes that list that we’re going to necessarily help with that. But it does mean, from that list on the refrigerator, we will decide how to give a special gift to the Lord. What are ways, Joel, that we could give gifts to Jesus at Christmas?
Joel: We are giving to missionaries, and we can be nice to people, and we can tell them about Jesus so it will become a Christian fact.
Randy: Gifts of kindness.
Melissa: I think one of the things we talked about was going and cleaning the church because I don’t think they have janitors or something.
Karen: Having our family do that as a family.
Jeremy: Also, we could… um… um…
David: Well, sometimes you just can’t remember, Jeremy. I’ll bet you’ll remember as soon as we finish with the broadcast. Okay, but anyway, we’re saying there are many ways we can give gifts to Jesus. In fact, this year we want to be able to share with one another what kind of gifts we are giving to Christ so that we’ll all feel that we have done something very special for him.
Do you remember the story of the wise men in the Bible? How they planned carefully what they were going to bring to this one because they knew he was a king? What were some of the gifts that the wise men brought?
Melissa: There are some frankincense and myrrh.
David: And then the one that’s easy to remember was…
David: Gold. Yes, those were very expensive gifts and very appropriate gifts for a king. Do you think it made them feel good when they brought those?
David: They knelt down and honored to this one who was, again, the Lord. They also planned in terms of their schedules because they had to travel a long way to get there to honor the king. But when it was all done, as they went back, you think they said, “Oh, boy, I wish we hadn’t gone to all that trouble”?
Joel: No, I don’t think they’d say that.
David: What do you think they said?
Joel: Boy, I think that was worth it.
David: I think they did too. And that’s kind of what we’re saying as we discuss together that wise men planned carefully how they will honor God’s Son at his birth. Want me to say it again? That explains what we’re trying to do. And it explains also what we hope many Christian families will do who are listening to us. Wise men planned carefully how they will honor God’s Son at his birth. You think next year when we look back on this year, we’ll say we accomplished what we wanted. We did very well.
Karen: Boy, that was really worth it.
David: That would be something, wouldn’t it, if we could, would be very pleased with a season.
Outgo: You’ve been listening to the Before We Go Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please remember to rate, review, and share on whatever platform you listen. This podcast is copyright 2019 by Mainstay Ministries, Post Office Box 30, Wheaton, Illinois 60189.
Here are some resources of the Sermon Series on The Christmas You’ve Always Longed For from Mainstay Ministries.
November 08, 2023
November 01, 2023
October 25, 2023