Christmas Family Time Ideas
Christmas is a time of great joy with family and friends, time spent relaxing and away from the normal grind – the air seems fresher, the people seem nicer, the stores are open longer hours, holiday greetings flow as easily as the eggnog, and there is cheer all around.
However, for some people, Christmas is a time of anxiety and comparison. There may even be a sense of guilt that families or couples aren’t doing what they see others doing. If you feel like you are falling short in Christmas preparations when you peer fabulous facade of Facebook, this blog is for you! If you feel like you and your significant other could do better when you scroll down the carefully curated homepage of Instagram, this blog is for you! If you suffer from low-grade guilt that you aren’t doing enough at Christmas time, and want to do better, this blog is for you!
We want to help you with practical ideas no matter where you are on the spectrum of holiday celebration. If you have never done anything but put up a tree and buy presents, and feel like you have focused too much on the commercial aspect of Christmas, or if you are a seasoned pro at putting together Advent Wreaths, and working through advent calendars replete with Scripture readings for the month, we want to help you take the next step in celebrating the Incarnation – God become man.
Beginner Christmas Enthusiast
If you characterize yourself as a beginner Christmas enthusiast, great, this blog is for you! Maybe you’ve only ever put up a tree and bought presents for your spouse or family. That’s cool, it is celebrating! If you want to put Christ more in the picture of this Christmas, it’s not too late to start. I would say, the best way to make it happen is to start reading in the Bible the birth narratives of Jesus. Don’t know where those are? No problem, we are here to help. The birth of Jesus is contained in Luke 2:1-21, Matthew 1:18-25 (many include Matthew 2:1-12, however, it is likely that the magi visited Jesus when he was around two years old, since Herod killed all of the babies two and under when trying to kill Jesus). The best time to read the story is just before opening presents, that way you talk about what the real meaning of Christmas beforehand.
Intermediate Christmas Enthusiast
Let’s say that you are an intermediate Christmas enthusiast, great, this blog is for you! If you have had a few advent wreaths, and read the story with your family, but you still want to take another step, we want to encourage you to take your advent to a whole new level. This year, instead of the classic advent calendar, make one that not only walks through the Christmas story, but also explores how Jesus fulfilled prophecy, you can find one example here of how to make your own, with the option to buy one as well.
Professional Christmas Enthusiast
If you consider yourself a professional Christmas enthusiast, this blog is for you! Let’s say you are a pro at Advent calendars, and advent readings, and all things advent, maybe you even make your own wreath out of the trimmings from your real Christmas tree. If that’s you, then we want to help you take the next step too, you can always go higher! This year, maybe it’s time to think about reenacting the Christmas story with your family. A great script can be found here. You can keep costs low by using bathrobes you already own to make costumes!
Uber Christmas Enthusiast
If all of these descriptions fall short of you and your family, great, this blog is for you! You are a lover of all things Christmas, and have lots of experience at making the season merry and bright, but you still want to do more? This one takes more work, but we are sure you are equal to the task. Make names of Jesus ornaments, fill boxes with parts of the Christmas story i.e. straw, stars, gold, and toy animals. Each day you open one of the ornaments, or pieces of the story you talk about how they fit into the story, and reflect on the joy Jesus come to Bethlehem.
Teresa Filyes, our Kids Ministry Director, has created a Kids Ministry Pinterest Board that has easy & helpful crafts/ideas for families. Check it out here: www.pinterest.com/
Whatever You Do
Last thing to remember, this season if about Joy. It is about the joy of God, in sending his son to redeem his people from the house of slavery. It is about the joy of the Lord in sending his Son, the eternal Word, to ransom his people from their sins. It is about the Eternal God, becoming flesh, and dwelling among us. Keep those things in the forefront of your mind and celebrations, that in Jesus, God the Father was fulfilling ancient word, and keeping ancient promises made to his people. Nothing compares to that, so leave behind the guilt of failing at celebrating Christmas “the right way” and remember that Christ died to save us from our sins – the Gospel is the reason for the season, and that news is always better. A great way to add to the celebration of God giving his best is to give. You can give money to the funds we have at church, make an Operation Christmas Child shoebox for an impoverished child, or make cookies to give to firemen, nurses, or police officers to show your love and appreciation. Whatever you do, do unto the Lord with a heart full of thanksgiving!