This time of year can be magical, when celebrating Christ’s birth, enjoying familytime, and nurturing family traditions elevates our hearts and experiences, and when love and giving out of a grateful heart for the greatest gift that was given, become the focus of our thoughts and activities. But, for all too many of us, this season of love and fellowship quickly becomes the busiest, most stressful, and expensive time of the year. And the most important to-do we can accomplish — passing on a legacy of making Christ the reason for Christmas — is pushed aside by too-full schedules and busy mall parking lots.
While the nativity should be at the heart of the season, so often Christ’s birth is overshadowed and the result is a generation of children who think more of Santa than they do of the baby in the manger, more of gifts than giving, and more of spending than of the light that shone on a people walking in darkness. The good news is, all is not lost. There’s still time, even in mid-December and no matter how old your children are, to reshape how your family celebrates Christmas.
4 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
1. Celebrate Advent. Advent means “the arrival” and we celebrate advent leading up to Christmas Day because Jesus, the promised Messiah, finally arrived! Tracing the ways that God’s people longed for the Messiah through the Old and New Testament is a perfect way to make the season about Christ.There are many ways to include the Bible in your Christmas celebrating, from setting aside a specific time daily to read the Christmas story, to simply reading about Christ’s birth on Christmas Eve. Creating a family advent wreath and reading the promises of God that point to Jesus within the Old Testament, finishing with his birth, provides a wonderful foundation for the season. Whether you choose to read verses daily or just on Christmas Eve, the key is to tell the story of Jesus’ birth in a way that shines light on the purpose of the season.
2. Set the Scene. When we hold something in our hands it becomes instantly more real. And that’s why nativity scenes are so wonderful, they are a visual and tactile reminder of the true reason for Christmas. Giving the nativity scene a physical space in your home makes the story more concrete and raises the level of importance. If you don’t have a nativity scene, make one! A simple Google search turns up hundreds of fun, easy-to-make nativity scenes that you can make together. Take this one that uses cardboard tubes with cute and colorful faces, or another done entirely in felt! Set up nativity scenes in your home and allow your children to play with them.
Source: Crosswalk | Kimberly Kulp, Bridgeway Academy