Merry Christmas everyone. Christmas is Jesus, and I encourage you to intentionally make plans to include Jesus in your celebration this year. How can you do that? You may want to consider some things we have done in the past:
Light an advent wreath. Once a week (or now you may need to light two candles during one week to catch up), you can light a four-candle wreath with a fifth candle in the center. Though in liturgical churches, the four candles (3 are usually purple) typically represent hope (prophecy), love, joy (this candle is usually rose colored), and peace, you can get creative and allow them to represent a number of things (prophecy, Bethlehem, shepherds, angels, or various aspects of the gospel).The center candle is the Christ candle and can be lit on Christmas morning. You can have family devotions around the advent wreath once a week and light the candle and read appropriate scripture. Google Advent Wreath and come up with some ideas.
Sing! Music is such a big part of the Christmas season. Celebrating the birth of Christ through Christian, Christmas music in your home is a great way to keep Christ at the center of the holiday. Sing as a family during family devotions. If you’re not as musically inclined, play Christmas CD’s and have your family sing along.
Serve – One of the great ways to celebrate Christmas is to serve others during the season. You can serve by visiting the elderly, ringing the Salvation Army bell as a family, take a meal to a needy family, give gifts to a needy family, or simply helping someone who needs help. Last year on Christmas Day, my family joined some good friends and went caroling at the Cancer Treatment Center. I will always think of it as a highlight of the season. When our children were young, we once read a book called “The Last Straw” and used it as a tool to encourage our children to do acts of service for one another. They would draw names each week and do acts of service for the person they drew. Every time a secret service was performed (making a bed, doing a chore, helping in a secret way, etc.), the one doing the serving would add a piece of straw to the manger. The idea was to have a soft bed ready for Jesus on Christmas morning by doing many acts of service for one another.
Worship – Christmas is about Jesus, so we should make sure we spend time worshipping with our church family and with our individual family. If you do not have family devotions on a regular basis, this Christmas season would be a good time to get started.
Movies – Watch some Christmas movies. Rent or buy the Nativity and watch it together as a family.
Missions – Christmas is also about missions. During December, we always receive an offering for international missions in our church. Giving to our missions offering is a great way to remember this season is about Jesus and His mission in the world. Whether your church receives an offering or not, why not include a special gift to missions as a gift to Jesus?
Games – We play games during the holidays and enjoy being together. A family who plays together stays together.
Christmas is such a fun season. Hopefully this year we will also remember it is Christ’s birthday. What will you do to celebrate Jesus this year? Share your ideas in the comments section below.