The Christmas season is absolutely wonderful, but it can also be very busy. During this time of year, we add to our already crowded lives so much that many times we miss the “Christ” of Christmas. So, how do we prioritize Christ in our homes? Among all the gifts to be bought, cards to be sent, cookies to be baked, trees to be decorated, friends and family, how do we make sure to focus on Jesus? Here are five ways to prioritize Christ in your home this Christmas:
1. Make Christ Visible
Along with a Christmas tree in the living room and shiny lights on the outside, also make sure Christ is visible. Take the time to set up a nativity in your home. If you do not have one, then go online or to a store and buy one. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something to remind you and your family of what Christmas is really all about. Maybe it is a star or angel on top of the tree. Maybe a cross in the front yard (without the price Jesus paid for us on the cross, there would be no Christmas to celebrate). Maybe a sign of joy, peace or love. Maybe Christmas cards hung where you can see the family and friends who love you and show you Jesus. Somehow, make Christ visible in your home this Christmas.
2. Establish New Traditions
All of us have traditions that were handed down to us by our parents and grandparents. From how many gifts you open on Christmas Eve to what you have to eat for Christmas dinner, our season is filled with traditions. So, why not establish some new traditions in your home that will focus everyone on Jesus? For example, an Advent Calendar is a great tradition to establish in your home. Each day, leading up to Christmas, you have a Scripture to read or something to do in order to prepare your heart for His “arrival.” Or, maybe it is a tradition of, as a family, giving to a needy family for Christmas. Instead of simply buying multiple gifts for everyone in your family, allow one person to pick a need – angel tree, a well in another country, a family in your community – and do something for them. In addition, maybe you have everyone write a scripture verse that meant a lot to them this year on a Christmas ornament. Or, write in a journal “What did God do in my life this year?”, and store this with your Christmas ornaments so you can read it each year. Just think – the exciting part is whatever tradition you choose to establish, it will carry on for generations.
3. Share Love
Let’s face it, everyone is on “edge” during the holidays. Emotions are at a all-year high. When things are good, they are really good. When things are hard, they are really hard. Therefore, the greatest gift you can give to your family this Christmas is to share love. Be patient and be kind. It is amazing to me that the people we love the most are often the ones to whom we are most harsh. We will “put on a happy face” as we go to parties and other gatherings, and yet we can be short to those we love the most. This Christmas, share love in your home. The words, “I love you” are not implied words. Say these words, write these words, and live these words. Take time to cuddle, laugh and hug. Every night when my girls go to sleep, I pray over them. I always close my prayer with, “And, may they always know God that you love them and that their daddy loves them.” Make sure that even more than the gift you wrap under the tree, that everyone in your home knows you love them and God loves them. Long after the presents are forgotten, love is what will remain.
4. Read the Christmas Story
The birth of Jesus is recorded in two places in the Bible – Matthew 1 and Luke 2. Before all the gifts are opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, take time to read through the Christmas story with your family. Be creative on how you read it. Maybe you can have a grandparent read it and the children act it out. Maybe you can have a child read it while you set up the nativity. Maybe you can pass the Bible around and have everyone read one verse. What is important is that you the true meaning of Christmas is heard in your home. While Christmas movies like It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf, Christmas Vacation, and White Christmas are fun, focusing your family on Christ by reading the true Christmas story is what will have a lasting impact on your home.
5. Have a birthday party for Jesus!
Christmas is the birthday of Jesus. Therefore, celebrate! Find someway to have a birthday party for Jesus. If you have children, then you may want to invite them to help you make a cake for Jesus (or brownies or cookies). Put a candle on the cake. Sing “Happy Birthday.” For all of us, we can give Jesus a gift. Whenever you go to a birthday party, you usually bring a gift. So, think about what you can give Jesus this year in order to celebrate Him. Along with this, write Him a card. Take the time to write down all the ways He has blessed you and express your joy and love to Jesus on His birthday. Whatever you can do to celebrate will reinforce the fact that Christmas is all about Jesus in your home.
During the “most wonderful time of the year,” make sure that Jesus is prioritized in your home. Don’t let the Christ of Christmas get lost, but be proactive in establishing the prominence of Christ and watch the impact as the love, joy and peace of Christ comes alive in your family and friends.