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Keeping Christ in Your Christmas – Your Turn

December 3, 2010

There’s something undeniably exuberant about the Christmas season. It’s a time when the attention of the world is on the Savior of the world.

Lights remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world; manger scenes adorn lawns throughout the land and families gather together to listen to Luke’s account of the Savior’s birth.

But with the flurry of activities that often accompany the snow during this most wonderful time of the year, it’s sometimes hard to keep Jesus the focus of the season.

There are lists, long lines and just the right gifts to buy. There are parties to attend, special times with old friends. There are decorations galore and lights and much more. There are cards to write and traffic to fight – but when it’s all said and done, Christmas is about Christ.

There are little things you can do to help keep Jesus the focus of your busy Holiday season. At our house, we love to decorate with “Jesus” stuff as sweet reminders that He took the role of a babe to become the ultimate Sacrifice.

So how do you keep Christ in your Christmas? It’s your turn to share with us some of the ways you keep Christ in your Christmas. Can’t wait to hear your ideas!



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16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 6:45 am

    I have a three-year-old daughter and it is important to me that she understand that Christmas is not a second birthday for her. I bought a Nativity Advent book from Usborne last year. Each day you pop out one character (a person, animal, structure, etc.) from the book and build a nativity. The accompanying story is fairly crude, but it shares the story and it is something that is on her level and we read it each morning. She sets the pieces up on her bookshelf in her bedroom and then we say a prayer thanking God for each person or thing of that day. Day 1 was Mary and the reason for thanks is obvious. Day 2 was the donkey so we thanked God for giving Mary a way to get to Bethlehem because she would have been too tired to walk (my daughter’s idea). Today is Joseph. I wanted to purchase a second book for a family member this year but apparently the company doesn’t publish it any more. In addition, when we give to people in need this time of year I remind my daughter that we do so as a way to thank God for what he gave us, his son Jesus.

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 10:33 am

      Kelly ~ Awesome ideas! Thanks so much for sharing that! What a great resource. I wonder if you can get that through Amazon?

  2. December 3, 2010 8:38 am

    Various nativity sets are the focus of our Christmas decorations. We have several from different seasons of life and places where we’ve lived, and they remind us of God’s faithfulness to us personally and to the world, so beautifully illustrated by the manger.

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 10:36 am

      Julie ~ I absolutely love manger scenes! A friend of mine used to put out a very large manger scene in their living room every year instead of a tree.

  3. December 3, 2010 10:22 am

    I wrote this a couple of days ago, explaining the story of how Advent traditions started in our household. They have definitely kept Christ our focus.

  4. December 3, 2010 10:22 am

    Oh, well, I guess the link would be helpful:

    http://annkroeker.com/2010/11/30/the-advent-of-our-advent/

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 11:45 am

      Ann ~ Thanks so much for sharing your post with us and the way your celebrate Advent in your home! So glad you’re digging with us! 🙂

  5. December 3, 2010 11:27 am

    On Christmas Eve we particularly try to keep our focus on Jesus. We bake a birthday cake for Jesus, attend the Christmas Eve service at church, and the family reads the Christmas story from Luke together.

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 11:47 am

      Kathy ~ An awesome way to spend Christmas Eve – focusing on the Savior of the world! (I never thought of the birthday cake idea. LOVE IT!)

  6. December 3, 2010 1:52 pm

    We changed our traditions 3 1/2 years ago from buying gifts and focusing on ourselves to focusing on the reason for the season. We now do not do any gift receiving we do gift giving. We pick my sons Angel Tree at school, we along with our church give to Gospel For Asia, we bake items for people and give them away with kind words of Jesus. We keep our focus on Jesus instead of all the wordly things that are going today, SANTA, SHOPPING, FOOD, GIFT GIVING TO OURSELVES and such!!! Thank you for this post in spreading the word!!

    here is a great video as to what our world truly looks like at this time of year!!!
    http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 11:36 pm

      Sonya ~ I love your heart for giving to others! What an encouraging and inspiring idea! Thanks for digging with us and sharing a little bit of your own traditions that help keep Christ in your Christmas!

  7. December 3, 2010 5:52 pm

    Praying together as a family each meal (and several other times throughout the day) helps us keep our focus on Christ as the reason for all that we have. We also read Scripture regularly and stories focused on Christ as the reason for Christmas. And, although we try to exemplify Him on all days of the year, we also attempt to model the peace and joy that come from Christ to our families and others during the “chaos” of the season.

    I’ve also been collecting several fantastic advent activity ideas to use when my son is older that focus on showing how we can do typically Christmas-y things (like making “snowflakes” or giving gifts to others) with Christ at the heart of all of them. (Sandra shared an advent calender on her homeschooling blog, and I’ve seen several others lately, too, including a book centered on this idea!)

    • stephanieshott permalink
      December 3, 2010 11:39 pm

      Caroline ~ Thanks so much for sharing how ya’ll keep Christ in your Christmas. I love how you share the basic things, like Bible reading and prayer help keep you focused on Christ. Sometimes, it’s just best to get back to the basic! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. December 3, 2010 9:51 pm

    We do a Jesse Tree. This year we are using the Jesus Storybook Bible for the scripture readings. I LOVE how it points to Christ in every story. It is perfect for the Jesse Tree. We are using the ornaments from Ann Voskamp’s Devo.

    We also give three gifts, to go along with the three gifts mentioned in scripture. One gift is just something fun, one gift is something that will encourage them in their walk with Christ, and the third is money to give back to Jesus. They will get a set amount, and will get to give a present to Jesus, by giving to others. This year, we will probably have them go through World Vision’s gift catalog. As they get older, we hope that they will have more ownership of this, and truly choose themselves how they want to give back to Jesus. I recently saw the idea (cannot find the post, for the life of me!) from a family that does similar to this, and on Christmas day, that third gift is an ornament that is a representation of what they gave. This is the “gold” gift, which will last for eternity!

    This year I am trying the “preparing the manger” with straw that the kids get, as they show the love of Christ in their actions. If they are kind, or helpful, share, etc, then (as I remember!) they are encouraged to go get some straw to put in the basket we’ve declared as the manger. 🙂 My kids are 5, 3 and 8 months, so this is a fun thing for them.

    This is the first year that we will be doing “stocking stuffers”. I like the idea of this being the thing that they wake up in the morning to. (The other gifts are already under the tree-except the ornaments I have yet to find). They will be filled with needed items (socks, toothbrushes, pencils, etc). I would like to find a good book that explains the origins of Santa, as really a man who gave anonomously to those in need, thus the needed items in the stocking. The Veggie Tales movie does this pretty well, so this year I think we will just stick with that!

    Of course, just talking everyday about the meaning of Christmas. I long for them to see that Christmas is not all about them, and not all about getting gifts. It is celebrating Jesus!

    • Kristi permalink
      December 17, 2010 12:53 am

      Katie, I have just been looking into some books to teach my oldest (almost three yrs.) the same thing about St. Nicholas (vs. Santa). I ordered a couple but haven’t received them yet. Because of this, I can’t give any personal recommendations, but the ones I considered were:
      o The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Christmas Story of Giving By: Dandi Daley Mackall
      o Saint Nicholas: A Veggie Christmas Story By: Karen Poth (A Golden Book)
      o Santa, Are You For Real? By: Harold Myra
      o Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend By: Julie Stiegemeyer
      Also, for specifically addressing the Christmas stocking, you could tryL
      o Legend of the Christmas Stocking By: Rick Osborne

      Hope these might help!! 🙂
      Kristi

  9. stephanieshott permalink
    December 3, 2010 11:44 pm

    Katie ~ You have certainly done a lot to focus on Christ during Christmas. You remind us all that if we are going to stay focused on Christ during the Christmas season, we have to be intentional. Thanks for the sweet reminder!

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