What comes to your mind when you think of "Christmas"? Lights- tinsel- food- gatherings- gifts- shopping- an endless to-do list?
As the sights and sounds of the season are upon us, it is easy to get drawn into the busy-ness of the holiday. However, with a bit of planning and some resolve, it is possible to keep our hearts and minds set on things above.
Here are some ideas to help your family keep Jesus Christ as the central focus of this Christmas season.
- Give Jesus a special gift. This is to be a gift between you and/or each child and Jesus. Maybe there is someone you need to forgive. Perhaps you could send an anonymous donation to a missionary. Or you could purpose to be extra kind to a difficult person in your life. This gift should be given in secret, and should involve some sort of sacrifice.
- Send Christmas cards or a family newsletter with a Scriptural message.
- Learn and practice a few Christmas songs as a family and plan a time of caroling at a local nursing home. Invite another family or two to join you.
- Encourage your children to read the Christmas story and act it out. With enough practice, this would make a wonderful activity to share at a family gathering.
- Set aside a special time of family devotions before opening gifts on Christmas morning. This could include reading of the Christmas story, singing a song or two, and a poem recitation or essay. Conclude your time of worship with a prayer of thanksgiving.
- Plan a visit to the Creation Museum's Christmas Town, a FREE event that includes outdoor and indoor dramas by the Magi, Anna, and Elizabeth, as well as a Live Nativity. Stroll through the Garden of Lights (over 60,000!) and gather Christmas gifts and souvenirs from the "first century market". Go to the Creation Museum website for dates and times.
- Encourage your children to give a gift of service to each of their siblings. You could even do a revamped version of Secret Santa called "Secret Server". Have each child draw names and during the days leading up to Christmas, they secretly serve. On Christmas morning, each child takes turn guessing who their Secret Server was.
- Plan a good-will project for an elderly relative or neighbor or a single mom. Find someone with a genuine need and help to meet that need. Some ideas include home repairs, yard work, offers to babysit or perhaps a gift basket of food and homemade goodies.
- Snuggle together while reading a sweet Christmas story. Some wonderful options include The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey; The Tale of Three Trees; The Fourth Wise Man; If You're Missing Baby Jesus; Jesus, Me and My Christmas Tree; The Legend of the Candy Cane; The Crippled Lamb; One Wintry Night; Mary's First Christmas; Ordinary Baby, Extraordinary Gift.
- Utilize Christmas cards from family and friends to serve as reminders to pray for them as a family. Make prayer time extra special by playing soft, background Christmas music and dimming the lights. Check out our Christmas (card) tree!