Ever felt like you’re doing all the “right” Christmas activities, but somehow you’re missing the true spirit of Christmas?
It’s so easy to fill the holiday season with activities and stuff… and completely miss the reason why we’re celebrating.
For many years, that’s how I felt about Christmas. And every year around this time, it drove me crazy because, despite all the festivities, I never quite had the encounter with Christ that I was hoping for.
In November 2013, these feelings came to a head.
Although my discontent with our family Christmas celebrations had been growing for several years now, my husband’s health scare (TK) earlier in the year gave me new resolve.
I had a long talk with my husband about what I was feeling. And it turns out that we realized that we were both tired of the fluff. We decided that we didn’t just want more activities, but instead wanted our family to experience God’s true joy, peace and love during this season.
We wanted more out of Christmas. Way more. And we were ready to do Christmas differently.
Maybe that’s also where you’re at as you look upon another Christmas season. Maybe you too are tired of all the overwhelm associated with the holidays, and you’re ready for more Christ and less crazy.
If so, I’ve got great news for you: It is entirely possible! You can have a more Christ-centered Christmas.
Christmas can be more simple and less stressful. Christmas can be more about putting your faith into action instead of running from one Christmas activity to another.
It’s starts with four simple questions.
The 4 Questions That Will Refocus Your Christmas Back on Christ
Before your family gets into the thick of the season (and the invites and obligations start piling up), take a few minutes alone with your spouse and your schedule.
Talk through what your typical Christmas season looks like and what you’d like to change about it. Consider which activities are truly necessary. Categorize the importance of each activity by considering the following questions:
• Does this bring our family closer to Christ and to the true meaning of the season?
• Is it an activity that celebrates non-Christian elements of the holiday?
• Is it a fun activity that creates family togetherness (but not necessary grows us in Christ)?
• Is it an obligation that none of us like but we have to do?
Even if it’s a “good” activity, consider if including it will bring overwhelm and chaos into the holidays. If it will, can the activity be modified to be less stressful? Or is to possible to skip it (even for just this year) in the name of being able to truly stop and savor the season?
These are the questions we’ve asked ourselves the past few years and it’s really allowed us to create the type of Christmas season that brings joy instead of chaos.
Consider Atmosphere When Choosing Activities
I’m not advocating that we ban all Christmas activities that don’t have a direct spiritual connection.
Instead, I’m challenging you to consider how your chosen activities affect your family’s spiritual atmosphere during Christmas and to say no where possible if it doesn’t bring the joy of Christ to the season. Only you and your spouse (infused with God’s wisdom) can make that call.
I know I’m treading on sacred ground here since many of us have lots of “Christmas wouldn’t be the same without this” activities.
But my challenge to you is to be choosy and mix things up this year in the name of making Christmas more Christ-filled. Experiment! Try some new things and let a few others go.
Remember, if we want to have a different Christmas experience, we have to choose to do Christmas a little differently.
Simple Ways to Bring Christ Back to Christmas
Once you’ve had a chance to examine what you don’t want your family’s Christmas to be about, consider what you do want to include.
We found that we longed to add in simple, Christ-centered Christmas traditions that allowed us to grow closer to God and to each other.
That’s why I created several faith-based Christmas activities (such as a 30 Day Christmas Countdown Bible Study and a 30 Day Acts of Kindness Activity) and faith-based home decor that have helped our family re-discover the authentic Christmas joy we’ve been longing for.
I’d love to share these with your family too! These incredible tools are just one part of the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System!
Along with the countdown Bible study and the acts of kindness activities, this awesome set of printables also includes loads of other valuable resources, such as:
• scripture response tools, such as Bible memory cards
• adults and kids’ Christmas coloring pages
• “Birthday Gift for Jesus” Christmas morning activity
• beautifully designed faith-based Christmas home decor
• kids Christmas ornaments
• DIY Christmas banners that the whole family can easily decorate
Learn more about it here.
Merry Christmas! I pray your family can enjoy a wonderful holiday season that grows you closer to God and to each other!
P.S. Another great way to keep Christ central this Christmas is by focusing on His many names. Our Names of Jesus Advent Pack goes hand in hand with our 28 day Names of Jesus Scripture Writing Journals. Celebrate His name in a beautiful and intimate way this season!
Alicia Michelle writes about living a beautifully imperfect journey through homeschooling, parenting, marriage and all family-related matters at YourVibrantFamily.com. She has been married to her best friend for 14 years and together they spend their days lovingly guiding their four passionate and creative kids.
Alicia is the author of Plan to Be Flexible and the Back to School Survival Manual. She’s also the creator/producer of Vibrant Homeschooling’s online video courses “bloom: A Journey to Joy (and Sanity) for Homeschool Moms” and “rhythm: Guiding Your Family to Their Ideal Learning Flow.”
She believes each day offers new opportunities to grow in grace and to trust God in unexpected ways; and that “acceptance with joy” is one of the hidden secrets to a full, contented Christian life. When she’s not keeping her household and the site firing on all cylinders, she can be found snuggled under a warm blanket with a cup of tea and a good book (and, if she’s lucky, something drenched in chocolate).
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