We made it to December! What a great month to celebrate Christmas! Right after the month of being thankful, we celebrate a month of giving.
This warm season can be chaotic. Visiting Santa, baking cookies, sending greeting cards, cutting the tree, decorating the house, buying and wrapping the gifts, family pictures, hosting dinner parties, and the list goes on.
So how can we keep Christ in Christmas?
As a Christian, growing up, I’ve stopped to think about all of the traditions that many families still hold today. Why a tree inside? Why Santa? Why give gifts to each other if it’s Jesus’ birthday? Some of these seem silly, but many of our traditions are simple symbols of God’s presence and love.
I love these traditions that we still hold today! I love that our kids get so excited for what’s to come. They talk about how Santa expects good behavior. Even my 5-year-old thinks I’m going to get coal because I was teasing his little brother!
The #1 thing I want to uphold for my family though is continuing to make religion a priority. I want my family to celebrate Jesus’ birth, knowing why they are celebrating. I want my family to become closer with God. Understanding this journey that took place over 2,000 years ago.
Did you know Jesus was the most influential person in the world? And that the Bible is the first book to be printed? Did you know that everything in the Bible was prophecy? And did you know that all scientific evidence points back to the Bible and God?
Our 5-year-old was writing his Christmas list to Santa yesterday. As I helped him spell it all out, we stopped at “Christ.” “Now underline it. What does that spell?” Once he knew, I helped him add on “mas.” I said “don’t forget who we are celebrating!”
Then we had to pick out a tree.
We just drove over to the tree farm recently. My husband wanted to explain the symbolism of the tree to the kids. What we were taught back in grade school is it’s triangular shape represents the trinity. It also represents new life. The star or angel on top represent the star that guided the shepherds and wise men.
This year the boys were able to assist us, with some very close supervision of course. I will always remember special moments around the holidays. By keeping tradition alive, we are keeping family even closer.
Here are 25 ways the whole family can all keep Christ in Christmas:
- Pray for someone in need of God or an intention
- Open our hearts to God more/Let Him know your every feeling
- Teach your child different ways they can pray/things they can pray for
- Take your family to church as often as possible all year long
- Invite family and friends to Christmas mass
- Read the nativity story from the Bible (it doesn’t have to only be once)
- Listen to Christmas songs that are about faith instead of material things
- Make an Advent Calendar or wreath
- Be more positive. You are blessed.
- Take a casserole to someone who might be sick, lonely, or struggling
- Make a donation(s) to an organization
- Donate to a particular family in need
- Bring back gestures like holding the door, or letting cars go ahead of you
- Slow down and try to be more pateint
- Give genuine compliments and encouragement whenever possible
- Give more hugs!!
- Put the devices away until a better time, for quality time
- Make the time to visit family and friends in person
- Try to listen more closely to your loved ones
- 3-5 gift rule per kid (i.e. book, toy, outfit, art/science kit, and game)
- What gifts can you and your kids make gifts for family/friends?
- Let your child make cards or ornamnets for family/friends
- Craft your own nativity scene
- Share your faith with others (let them know how good God is)
- Continue living with an open heart even after December 25th is long gone.
Now as society tries to shape us, it’s the time to stand strong in our faith. So many people out in the world seem to be offended if we don’t believe what they believe. Typically it’s easier to make friends with people just like us. But something our pastor once said resignated with me; ” Jesus wasn’t afraid to offend.” But even that said, Jesus still welcomed all of God’s children.
We can use the “holiday of all holidays” to show others to Christ and his goodness. And that’s what I think Christmas is really about. Making God known. And changing hearts.