Earlier this week I shared my discovery that Christmas without Christ is just mas, and that just means more.
Now don’t get me wrong. I won’t argue with more eggnog, more Home Alone, and more Netflix fireplace on my TV screen. I love the lights, the food, the music. I just don’t want so much of it that I’m too full to point my family to Jesus.
So over the past several years my family has been trying to get the most Christ out of Christmas. Here are four ideas to share:
1. Truth In the Tinsel – This daily advent devotional is great for families with little ones who are old enough to help with crafts. Each day there is a Scripture reading, a few conversation questions, and instructions for creating an ornament. If you like decorating your tree with homemade ornaments from the kiddos…this one’s for you! If you buy the e-book ($7.99), you’ll get the devotional along with all the directions and lists of supplies. My daughters loved it, and it made it easy for us to have fun family time almost every night throughout the month of December.
2. Sacred Christmas – We’re test-driving this new advent devo this year, and I’m really excited about it! The devotional looks like it may be more for the adults, but we haven’t done it yet so I can’t say for sure. However, I spent a little more $$ ($35 total – but a % of the proceeds go to clothes for Sudanese Orphans) and bought the “Fun Extras.” Just flipping through it got me pumped! There are some great ideas for activities to do with the kids each week. There are also sections on decorating, entertaining and cooking during the holidays. I’ll post more about this as we get into it.
3. We Killed Santa – But we killed him softly, I promise. We gathered our kids and read a book called, Santa, Are You For Real, by Harold Myra. This short board book tells the story of St. Nicholas and his heart for giving gifts. It helped us point our kids to the ultimate gift-giver, God, who gave his Son, Jesus. We still love Santa as a symbol of gift-giving, and we’ll still get the kids’ picture taken with one of his minions at the mall as long as the grandparents will pay for it.
4. We have a new gift strategy – You probably have your own. Maybe you give 3 gifts because that’s what the wise men gave Jesus. I’m allergic to frankincense, so we went with this: Our kids get four gifts from us: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. Now they know what to expect, and it protects me from going overboard, which I would totally do because I love giving tons of presents at Christmas! Now we can be more generous to others, have people in our home, and look for fun ways to bless friends and neighbors.
There you go. Four ideas to help you get a little more Christ this Christmas. We are always learning. I bet you have some great ideas, too. Feel free to leave a comment and share your ideas!