Over the years, our family has established some wonderful traditions in celebrating Christmas. I look forward, for example, to Christmas Eve, when we as a family sit down and have a festive meal and enjoy one another’s company and love. The next day, we wake up at dark-thirty (yes, we still do) and open presents with big smiles and happiness. The rest of the morning, music plays in the background as we pray, eat breakfast, and enjoy the day the the Savior brought to us!
But in the midst of thinking about this, I have to ask myself: is it meaningful, really? When I do think like this, I do a reset, and I rekindle some things that would make Christmas more meaningful and God honoring. Here are some ideas that may help us both:
- Read Scripture at the Christmas meal. It’s a wonderful thing to take some time and read the Christmas story during your Christmas or Christmas Eve meal. There’s a really neat bible out there called The Merged Gospels in which you can read the entire Christmas story (and more!) from a combination of all of the gospels.
- Give thanks. As everyone gets thinking about the many things related to our traditions of Christmas, it would be a big help to bring everyone together to share how God has shown His love to us. Let everyone share a bit (especially children), and take the time to be thankful. Word of warning: timing is everything!
- Pray together. Spend some time after the Scripture and sharing time to pray- pray for each other, but also pray that the message of Christmas may live beyond the moment, that the gospel goes forth.
- Reflect alone. This can happen before, during or after Christmas, but one great way to reflect before Christmas is to use this idea: As you wrap presents for a person, stop and think about some of the memories that you have shared with this person and then pray for him or her. Also, reflect on the love that God has shown to you.
- Give to missions. all around the world, missionaries are away from families and friends to spread the gospel. We spend large sums of money for Christmas gifts, but what about giving to Jesus’ mission? Can you start with a gift that equals the amount of the largest gift you bought someone else?
I hope these tips help- to God be the glory and Merry Christmas to you!