Christmas will soon be upon us, and I often think about how we can make our Christmas as Christ-centered as possible. The older our boys get, the more sure I am of the need to be intentional with this. I love hearing how other families do this, so I went to Instagram and Facebook to hear from all of you the ways your families have a Christ-centered Christmas.
I’m so excited to share all of these ideas with you. As you read, don’t feel pressure to do them all. No one can do that! Think of a few ways your family can be intentional for Jesus this Christmas. These ideas range from simple with no prep to some things that do take more time/prep. My heart isn’t to put more on your plate, but to celebrate how Christ works in each family, along with jogging our brains on ways we can focus on Christ this Christmas. The other thing I love is I received ideas from people in all phases of life-students, newlyweds, and even families whose children are now “grown” (but really, are we ever too “grown” for Christmas traditions?). So, let’s get to sharing:
- In conversations about presents, Christmas plans/parties, etc., we try to point our boys (and ourselves) back to Christ, even if it’s just with a sentence or two.
- We do “Family Tree of Christ” cards from Tiny Theologians. It daily walks us through Christ’s genealogy. These (& other great discipleship tools) are here.
- We pack Operation Christmas Child boxes and talk about how Christ has served us, so we can serve others.
- On Christmas Eve, we attend a Christmas Eve service and also read Luke 2 together.
- We bake cookies to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.
And now direct quotes from my friends who shared their ideas. I love the diversity and creativity in these!
- “We read Luke 2:1-20 on Christmas morning.”
- “We do a birthday cake for Jesus after breakfast on Christmas and sing.”
- “We never did Santa. That way Santa could never be a distraction from Jesus :).”
- “We have found children learn best through play. We set a mini nativity set up they can reach.” (Here’s a kid-friendly nativity set)
- “ALWAYS read the Real Christmas Story from the Bible and pray before presents.”
- “We talk about the symbols associated with the Christmas tree as we decorate it.”
- “My parents have a book that tells the Christmas story, but also has ornaments in a pocket behind each page. After reading each page, my dad would hand the few ornaments out for that page to the kids for them to hang on the Christmas tree. (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, wise men, shepherds, etc) The kids loved it and a tradition that lasted for 20 plus years.”
- “Star from Afar is an activity we do!” Here’s a link for this one!
- “Something else I want to start doing is praying over our Christmas cards. I just haven’t found a good way to store them.”
- A simple (& cheap) way we hang ours is ribbon + wooden clothes pins + tape on a kitchen cabinet. I clip the cards to the ribbon and can add more ribbon to more cabinets as needed. I can’t find a great picture of this, but here’s one in the background of us decorating cookies.
- “Our family lines the sidewalk/driveway with luminaries on Christmas Eve and sings Happy Birthday to Jesus. We also read the Story of Christmas in Luke.”
- “I also want to make cookies with cutouts that tell the Christmas story. So angel, star, tree, heart, etc. I think Lysa Terk has a kit for this” Click here for this kit.
- “We just bought candles, candle holders, greenery, etc to make an advent wreath this year. Excited to light a new candle on it each week! I also just bought the She Reads Truth advent devotional. Also have always loved advent calendars.” Click here for more on She Reads Truth.
- “We plan to read a chapter of Luke every night starting December 1st!”
- “We make birthday cupcakes for Jesus instead of Christmas cookies for Santa.
- “We always read the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve then they can open one gift from us (the parents). On Christmas Day Grandma always bakes a cake and we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! Then followed by a big breakfast!! Great memories each year and ALWAYS telling our kids the REAL meaning of Christmas!!”
One encouragement is to remember each family celebrates Christ and Christmas differently. Our family reads Luke 2 on Christmas Eve, while yours might read a chapter a day in December, and that’s okay! Instead of focusing on our differences and opinions, let’s be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3-6) and focus on the fact we’re all celebrating Christ. Click here to a post from last Christmas for more thoughts on this.
My final exhortation for us is this- let’s keep our entire lives Christ-centered. I love Christmas as it’s a time to be intentional about a very important part of our faith, but truly, we should live intentional, Christ-centered lives January-November too. I believe when we do this, a Christ-centered Christmas will flow from our hearts. In the busyness of this season, don’t neglect your time in the Word, prayer, and being engaged in your local church.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!