Another year has come and gone and Christmas will soon be upon us. We're all busy putting up Christmas trees and lights, buying endless gifts and preparing for the day when Santa Claus finally comes to town. More and more each year we see Christ being left out of Christmas. But there are things you and your family can start now to help you remember the reason for the season.
Here are 10 fun traditions you can start doing this year that will bring you closer to Jesus Christ:
1. Watch a movie about the birth and life of Jesus Christ
What better way to remember Christ than watch a movie about the life of Jesus Christ? Watching your choice of movie will help you to remember Jesus Christ this Christmas season, his birth, his life and ministry, his death and his resurrection.
2. Set up a family nativity set together and keep it the focus of your home
With all of the other Santa decorations scattered throughout your home, be sure to add a Nativity scene to round things out. Put it in a place where it can be seen daily by all members of your home. Keeping it the focus of all other decorations in your home will allow your family to ponder the birth of Jesus Christ and keep Him in their hearts and thoughts during the Christmas season.
3. Share stories about how God has blessed your life
Don't be afraid to talk to your family about the spiritual experiences you have had throughout the past year or during your entire lifetime. Tell them about those times when God blessed your life. You'll be able to bring the spirit of Jesus Christ into your home and you'll be able to feel His love for you and your family. The Christmas season is all about remembering the things we are thankful for and striving to become better people.
4. Talk with your family about the symbols of Christmas
A lot of Christmas symbols have become Christmas staples. We decorate each year, but often forget what they truly mean. Talk about the tree, and how it points marked the birth of our Savior. Talk about the lights and how they represent the light of Jesus Christ. Talk about the candy cane, which is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate shepherd. Remember that gifts themselves are symbols of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh wise men brought to the newborn King.
5. Bake a birthday cake for Jesus
Besides putting out milk and cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, consider baking a birthday cake for Jesus. This will be especially fun for little kids as they get to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. This will be a great opportunity for you to teach your children about Jesus, and why you celebrate Christmas while eating some yummy cake.
6. Invite someone over to have Christmas dinner with your family
Reach out to those in your community who may be lonely on Christmas or have nowhere to go. Invite them into your home to celebrate Christmas with you and your family or invite them to dinner. You'll be sharing the true spirit of the holiday with a giving and kind spirit. Most importantly, don't forget about those in need for the rest of the year. They need love and company all other days of the year, not just one.
7. Read Luke 2 with your family on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning
Perhaps the best way to remember the birth of Jesus this Christmas season is to read the nativity story right out of the Bible. Take time with your family on Christmas Eve or morning to read through the story together. Discuss thoughts, feelings and questions with your children so you can bring the spirit into your home.
8. Go out and serve people on Christmas Day
By the time the gifts are unwrapped, it's often still early in the morning. Rather than sit in a living room full of ripped wrapping paper and empty boxes all day, get out of the house and do something nice for someone. Find ways you can serve, be it feeding the homeless, giving gifts to children in the hospital, or spending time with the elderly. Any way you serve, you'll be able to spread Christ-like love wherever you go.
9. Be a Secret Santa for someone in need
Not everyone will receive toys from Santa this Christmas. Help someone in need this Christmas by giving them the supplies they need in order to have a wonderful Christmas and get back on their feet again. You will be a miracle in this person's life and be able to make a huge difference. Whether big or small, do something with your whole family so you can help someone in need.
10. Do a 12 days of Christmas service project
When I was younger, my mom would involve me and my sister in a 12 days of Christmas service project. We'd choose a friend or neighbor who was in need of some cheering up and give them 12 gifts over the course of 12 days before Christmas. Each gift would be something unique and have something to do with the song 12 Days of Christmas. We'd attach a lyric from the song, leave the gift on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run and hide until someone came to collect the gift.
It was so exciting as a little kid to be able to do something nice for someone in secret. You can do this with your family too. You'll be able to brighten someone's eyes and teach your children about giving, love and kindness.
There are so many other Christmas traditions you can begin with your family that will bring you closer to Jesus this season. Do you have any you do with your family that aren't on this list? Let us know in the comments!