This post is inspired by my husband’s message from Sunday. Thank you, babe! 🙂 He was trying to encourage all of us to “get our advent on.” Aka, keep the main thing, the main thing at Christmas. I for one, find it so challenging to make Christmas meaningful for my family. There are so many great activities and ideas surrounding Christmas. I pin so many great ideas, that I get overwhelmed, overburdened and overstressed. This year, I am trying to keep it simple and focus on just a few things to help us keep the meaning of Christmas at the forefront of everything we do.
Disclaimer: This is not to say that we don’t fully enjoy all of the fun activities of Christmas. Some of our best family memories are made at Christmas, not doing anything particularly spiritual, but just having fun together. That’s also super important. But, just for the sake of this post, I would like to focus on the spiritual side of Christmas. Don’t feel you have to do all (or any!) of these things. Adding stress to your month is not the point. These are just a few simple ideas to help you and your family stay grounded in what Christmas is all about, and my prayer is that it will keep the rest of your life in balance.
9 Simple Activities to Keep the Significance in Christmas:
- Put lights up outside. (You don’t have to do a lot! A few strands on your door to your house, apartment or dorm room is all you need.) Why do we do this? To remind ourselves that Jesus came to bring light to our darkness. Take a little time just to notice the lights and remember what they stand for.
- Put up a nativity set. Inside, outside, large, small, it doesn’t matter. Don’t include baby Jesus until Christmas eve…Why? To remind us that he is coming!
- Use an advent calendar. I purchased the $1 advent calendar at Aldi because I couldn’t get organized with the whole 25-days-of-advent-activities. Though that sounds like a total Pinteresty-mom kind of thing, it was overwhelming to me. Instead, my kids get a piece of chocolate from the calendar each morning as a reminder that we are looking forward to the sweetness that is coming.
- Read daily meaningful devotionals. There are fantastic long or short Christmas family devotionals on YouVersion. Why? Instead of being hijacked by the materialistic overspending that we are all tempted to indulge in, we are daily reminded that Jesus already gave us the best gift. Himself. This will, in turn, repay us with contentment + gratitude.
- Practice the discipline of waiting. Why? Advent is all about anticipation and waiting. So, while you are waiting in those long lines or stopped at a long light, remember, that once we were waiting for a savior!
- Use an advent wreath. Find a wreath (My hubby ripped ours down off the door to make our families advent wreath. Not acceptable. If you want a wreath, you’ve gotta get your own, buddy! 😉 and five candles. For dinner each evening, light the appropriate number of candles. (i.e. the first week of December, you light the first candle. The 2nd week, you light two candles, etc…) On Christmas morning (or Christmas eve, whenever you open the gifts) light the Christ Candle, the final and largest candle. Bring Christ into your gift-giving!
- Read the Christmas story. We usually have a nice breakfast (Cinnamon rolls, yummay!), light a fire, read the Christmas story and then open our gifts. It keeps first things, first and starts it off so sweet.
- Visit a Live Nativity or a Christmas drama. Our church does a live nativity on the first weekend of December, every year. This is my favorite way to kick off the Christmas season. We all take one weekend of our lives and share the gospel with our community.
- Give to a family, individual or an organization for Christmas. We try to choose one thing to do each Christmas, to help those who may be struggling. In prior years, we have given a farm animal to a family through World Vision. (I love their catalogue!) We have given gifts to orphanages in the area or overseas. Or, we help out a struggling family or single mom. My encouragement, don’t be so overwhelmed by the need, that you don’t give anything anywhere. Do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone.
I hope you found a few ideas that will encourage your family keep the meaning of Christmas first, while you celebrate all of your Christmas festivities. If you liked this list and haven’t yet subscribed, please sign up today for our weekly recap emails.
What is your favorite way to remember the “reason for the season?” Shout it out in the comments below, we would love to learn from you!
Blessings at Christmas and all year long,
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