Keeping Christ in Christmas – Practical Family Ideas

25 Nov
I’ve got a plan for keeping Christ in Christmas this year. And as I watch the news this morning, I’m convinced I need one. Just hours ago reporters shared touching stories of thankfulness. The clock struck midnight and poof! The footage morphed into crazed shoppers using pepper spray. Welcome to Black Friday.
So today, I’m thinking of ways to keep the attitude of gratitude going, way of being intentional to make our home’s Christmas about God’s lavish love that sent Christ to this world as a babe.
Here’s a beginning list of what I’m doing.
1. Making an advent calendar. This is my first time, here’s a great link  with instructions. I’m not following all the daily activities suggested (life is busy enough at our house). But, I’m thinking of every weekend putting a fun thing on a date card. And, I’m using the calendar in conjunction with the next item on my list. So I think I’ll put a family member’s name on each date to signify they’re in charge of reading the scripture from that day’s devotion.)
2. Reading a family devotional each day. We’re starting on Dec 1st . I’m using the free download by Ann Voskamp and Nancy Rodden (click here to read a sample and get your copy). 
3. Creating “Gifts of Gratitude.”  I’m putting a large, decorated jar out in the kitchen and challenging my family to write on provided strips of green and red paper any specific thing about a family member they appreciate. Something like, “Quinn, I love reading with you at night, taking turns reading a page at a time.” Or, “Randy, watching you toss the football out back with the boys makes me smile.”  You get the idea. We’ll do this from December 1 – December 24. The evening of Christmas Eve, we’ll read them together over cocoa and festive treats.
Let’s help each other make it a joyful Christmas that stands apart. 
It’s not gonna be easy folks. Everywhere we go, we’re pulled into other versions of the season. Things I’m not against by any means, but I don’t want them to engulf the joy the angels first came and sang about to the shepherds. I don’t want the shine of lights from our decor to compete with the bright star pointing to the Messiah.
What are you’re doing?  Post a comment with an idea. Or, if you have a blog entry that details a way to keep Christmas, include a shortlink for us. 
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8 Responses to “Keeping Christ in Christmas – Practical Family Ideas”

  1. Angie November 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I especially like #3, Gifts of Gratitude!
    Think you’ll like this link to Advent Conspiracy’s resouces page. http://www.water.cc/living-water/resources/ac-christmas?utm_source=Master+List&utm_campaign=3cf88d35a2-Worship_Fully_11_22_2011&utm_medium=email

    • Jeanette Edgar November 26, 2011 at 1:21 am #

      Hi Angie! Thanks for the link, looks like some cool stuff. I’m exploring it.

  2. Vonda Skelton November 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Great plan, Jeanette! And yes, I love #3, too! What a wonderful way to encourage and love on each other.

    I pray God’s richest blessings as we remember the Gift and the Giver!

    • Jeanette Edgar November 27, 2011 at 2:15 am #

      Thanks, Vonda!

  3. Angie November 28, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    Saw another link of family ideas for the season & thought of you! http://www.gbod.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=nhLRJ2PMKsG&b=5816845&ct=11303687&notoc=1

    • Jeanette Edgar November 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

      That’s a great link, Angie! Thanks for sharing it with me and posting it here.

  4. Rhonda December 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    One of the things we do every year is make a birthday cake and decorations for Jesus. We read the children’s book The First Christmas which actually has a few pages at the end that talk about Jesus growing up. It’s a great way to celebrate Jesus, but remind our kiddos that He isn’t a baby still. That he grew older on Earth and went on to die for us. As the kids get older, this opens us up to so many teachable moments about why we celebrate Christmas and Jesus’s life, the importance of our salvation, and what our family believes.

    • Jeanette Edgar December 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      Rhonda, I like how you point out celebrating the day of Christ’s birth with cake, etc. works with little kids, and as they grow– understanding that the heavenly baby grew up and became salvation for us in an ultimate sacrifice. Yet, He still lives and reigns today. Thanks for commenting, sweet friend.

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