We’ve come a long way from the Christmas traditions of yesterday. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be that person that comes across as the old rebel guy in the corner bringing up memories of the “old days.” Evolution is a reality, that’s a given. However, we can’t sit here and say that what we have now is what Christmas was intended to be.
Christmas has turned into something totally different, more of US and less of HIM. Kids throwing temper tantrums because they’re 8 years old and can’t get the new iPhone 6s Plus. Significant others telling their partners don’t come home without the gift they asked for. Just look in stores and watch the slowly moving lines. Their faces are lined with frowns and anger; the tension is so high the cashier barely speaks to anyone. What’s been lost? What happened to the times that families went to the stores for the experience? Better yet, what happened to those drives around town to see Christmas lights? You look inside the home now and nobody is spending quality time together. Everyone is doing their own “thing.”
This season is the season that Christ was born and the world was saved. This is the real reason we chose to make a holiday, commemorating the Messiah being born. So, do you think it needs saving? How do we do so? Well, I’ve came up with a list of 5 ways we can make Christmas more Christ-centered and bring back joyous tidings!
Spend Time Together As A Family
This is a true no-brainer. For those families out there who don’t know how to make Christmas “Christ-centered,” start by spending time with the ones closest to you! Ah, can you seriously see all of the potential?
- Christmas Movie Marathon - Dig deep and find those movies you love most! Maybe set a few days a week leading up to Christmas and have fun!
- Christmas Play - This could go two ways. First, you can put on a play as a family! Recreate some of the moments that make Christmas so special and record it to view later. Secondly, maybe catch a play at the local theater?
- Story Time - Cut off the lights, light a few candles and read ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ You could also read the Christmas story in the bible! (Matthew 1 & Luke 2:1-20)
- Lights, Camera, Action - Hop in the car and go Christmas Light viewing!
- I Love Culture - For Christmas dinner, maybe try one recipe from a different culture.
- Decorate - Get everyone involved in decorating the yard, house, and Christmas tree!
Okay, you get the idea. There are so many options. Don’t waste time, just do it. Enjoy this beautiful celebration with loved ones or friends. You can even find chic ways to integrate lessons about Christ into each of these activities whether it’s explaining symbols in Christmas decorations or telling the story of Christ's’ gift to this world.
Simplify Gift Giving
Seriously, do you see some of these Christmas lists now? Parents and gift-givers in general have so much pressure to give new phones and the latest gear; things that’ll not be used within a few weeks and full bank accounts. The admission price for Christmas gifts has become outrageous! So how about simplifying gift giving?
Some forego gift-giving altogether and while that’s extreme, its understandable and they have their convictions about why. Others give 3 gifts to signify the three gifts Jesus received. I also read this cool idea: “Something you wear, something you need, something you want, something you read!” How about playing secret Santa or maybe even setting a price limit on gifts bought. Give a gift that will enable someone to help others. Maybe your child or cousin; maybe your friend has an idea that will revolutionize the world! Give them the gift that will push them towards their dream that will enable them to help others. Another cool idea would be to go vintage! Find something that’s come back in style and let the hunt commence!
Lastly, how about homemade gifts? Maybe set a limit, financially, of how much materials you can get and the rest is left to your own creativity. I did a simplistic gift one year where I bought a movie theater style popcorn bowl that you pop at home; filled it with fake, colorful grass and on top placed assorted candy and boxed TV series sets along with other odds and ends! Get creative!
We are called to be more Christ-like so what would He do? Jesus would be serving others and spreading his good word. So how about getting involved with a local homeless shelter and serving food? Maybe get creative and make gifts to donate to a local charity for those who are less fortunate. Buy tons of food gift cards hand them out to people you see on the streets who haven’t had a decent meal.
How about writing encouraging quotes, scripture, or other inspirational things on blank holiday cards and handing them out to complete strangers? Oh this is a good one, how about making homemade treats and attaching little snippets of scripture onto them? Get involved!
Throw Jesus A Party
Make every action, this holiday season, be geared towards Christ as if you’re throwing him a party! Bake a cake for Him to eat through Christmas week. Make sure your Christmas meal is a feast fit for the King, even if its a budgeted can of Campbell’s soup (please don’t sleep on Campbell’s soup; get you a few cans, make some really yum crescent rolls and the game has been changed!). Maybe simplify meals all week long and splurge for Christmas day. Just make sure you treat it as though Jesus is coming and it’s his time to celebrate. If you have little ones, this is a perfect time to explain the true meaning of Christmas and tell them about Christ!
Don’t Overdo It
If you’re stressing more than He’s blessing, time to cut it short. Christmas isn’t the time to be stressing or going bankrupt. It’s a time that our Messiah was born and we were saved from this wretched world! It isn’t a time to be selfish. It isn’t meant to be spent in long Christmas lines more than you’ve spent in the loving embrace and presence of loved ones. If you try to do it all, you’ll end up miserable and the time for celebration will turn sour. Remember the reason we even have this holiday. It isn’t to get that new tech toy or item. It’s to celebrate Christ and to glorify his name. Enjoy this season please and keep it Christ-centered! With much love…