The holidays, and specifically December, CAN be very busy. There are end of year activities, gifts to buy, parties to attend (or host), cards to send out, exams to take if you’re in school, cookies to bake, homes to decorate and much more. Just as in every season of the year, you can get as ‘busy’ as you want. You make time for the things and people that are important to you. If you are a follower of Christ, the season of Advent is one of celebration, anticipation, and excitement. How can we stay grounded in our relationship with the Lord during this busy season? Here are a few things to try to keep Christ in Christmas:
1. Read Luke every day
Reading God’s Word is a discipline and a delight every single day in the Christian walk. During the holidays, this is no exception. One way to keep Christ in Christmas is to open your Bible every morning and start with truth from the Father. Try starting on December 1st with Luke chapter 1. Read 1 chapter of Luke every day. You’ll finish the 24 chapters by Christmas morning, having read about the waiting, coming, walk, death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
2. Star from Afar
If you have children, consider buying Star From Afar. This is an advent calendar, hide and seek game, and nativity set for kids, all in one. The Christmas Star From Afar is hidden (by the parents- and the kids know this) to create a fun and challenging hide-and-seek Christmas game. Each morning the kids look for the star and move the 3 wise men to be near it. There is an accompanying book with the set with scripture for each morning. The star slowly moves closer to the nativity scene up to Christmas morning when the star is above baby Jesus.
STOP what you’re doing and pray. Often. Pray as you drive to all the holiday events. Pray while you make cookies with your kids. Pray WITH your kids. Pray for those who don’t get to celebrate the way you celebrate. Pray for people in your community to come to know the Lord this holiday season. Pray and be grateful for a Savior born on Christmas.
4. People over Traditions
Sending Christmas cards, making gingerbread houses, putting ornaments on a tree, and going to that holiday party you always go to are just a few holiday traditions. Just because you and your family do it every year does NOT mean you have to continue. Put people above programs, neighbors before nagging traditions, and friends above faux Christmas ‘important’ activities.
5. Happy Birthday Jesus
Every year on Christmas morning, between the present giving and breakfast casserole, we serve cinnamon rolls with candles in them. We all sing happy birthday to Jesus. Sometimes these are store bought rolls, sometimes a homemade gift that was given to us, and sometimes it’s just the pop cans from the grocery store. Either way, our children recognize what we are celebrating that day.
Despite what American culture shows us in printed materials in our mailbox, on every commercial, and in each promotional email, despite all those things, Christmas is about Christ. Let’s teach our children and peers what that looks like. That’s a great gift to give during the holidays.