It is Christmas time and the holiday season is in full swing. Families all over are moving faster than ever to purchase gifts for family members, shopping for festive decorations, and getting the necessary items together to prepare that perfect dinner for their loved ones. It is a happy time; an exciting time, but, for most, also a very busy time as well. And, in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle that have now become synonymous with this time of year, it becomes easier and easier to lose focus of the essence of what Christmas is all about. For a significant portion of people, celebrating the birth of mankind’s Savior, Jesus Christ, gives way to the more material, consumer based aspects of the holiday. And though, showing love to your family and friends through food and festivities are well and good, as believers, our primary focus ought to be on lifting up Jesus on the day we set aside to rejoice in His birth. The question then becomes how can one still keep priority on Christ’s birth while still engaging in all of the revelry tied to the holiday? Despite all that we may have going on, how do we put Christ back in to Christmas? Listed below are a few simple things you can do with your family & loved ones to help place some genuine spirituality back into the holiday season.
- Pray together as a family BEFORE opening any gifts Before opening any gifts, before turning on the television, before all of your Christmas merriments get underway, take time to thank God for all of His blessings, pray for those who may not be as fortunate as your family has been, and, most of all, to give God praise for loving all of us enough to send His Son to Earth for our collective salvation.
- Tell the story of the Jesus’ birth to your children Do not presume that your children (or some adults, for that matter) know the Christmas narrative or understand why the birth of Christ matters so much. Sharing the story of Jesus’ birth not only gives perspective to holiday but also to all of the events that are part of it (the Star, giving of gifts, etc.). The nativity story can be found in the Bible in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Matthew (verses 1-12) and in the 2nd Chapter of Luke (verses 1-20).
- Attend a worship service on Christmas morning. No matter where you may reside, there are several churches that conduct worship services on Christmas morning. The services tend not to run long (for those concerned about timeframe) and to worship Christ on the day we commemorate His birth, in the edifice centered around Him is a truly spiritual experience one should share with their family members.
- Plan to visit a soup kitchen, nursing home, or homeless shelter to serve others. There may be no better way to celebrate Jesus Christ than to spend time taking care of those He was most concerned with. Taking the onus off of one another and placing it on those who may be in need, as a family unit, is a great & unique way to keep the Spirit of God abiding all through your holiday. Many social service sites are looking for volunteers, especially to serve this time of year and the perspective gained from doing so is both a sobering and fulfilling one.
Whether you choose to do use one of the above mentioned suggestions, all of them, or come up with an idea all your own, be sure to make time this holiday to put Jesus Christ at the forefront of your mind. Consider that in the times that we live in, if there is anyone who ought to be able to lift up praises to our Savior…if there should be anyone whose Christmas celebration ought to be exceptional, it ought to be those who profess belief in Him. But it cannot be exceptional if the way we approach Christmas is the same way the world does. This Christmas, look to put God’s Holy Spirit into this season. Look to put Christ back into Christmas.