We have been having so much fun introducing a few new Christmas traditions this year, such as our Jesse tree, advent bags, and keeping our calendar pretty well cleared. We already have a few more ideas!
Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus, the greatest gift. It’s also a time to extend that love to others, serving each other in our family, in the church community, and in the world. Our desire is to have a family Christmas that is simple, peaceful, and focused on the truth and beauty of Christmas.
1. Gifts for Jesus. We’ll help the kids come up with three ways (like the gifts of the wise men) they can serve Jesus by serving others during the Christmas season. We may make them categories, like money (gold), worship (frankincense), and blessing (myrrh). During the month, they can wrap up some representation of that gift and put it under the tree. There will be lots of other opportunities for service, but these will be a special way we can focus on service as a part of our family culture.
2. Gifts for Each Other. It’s good to give gifts to each other. It is a small way we can love each other as Christ loved us. We’ll focus the kids on making gifts or buying something meaningful with their allowance once they start getting one.
We’ll set a limit on what we buy the kids. For example, we may do 4 for each kid: something to read, something to wear, something to do, and something to share. Plus little things in their stockings. Part of this is just to make it easier for me stay organized and within budget. The other part is to help prevent a me-focused, stuff-focused, clutter-inducing holiday.
We’ll have the kids choose toys to donate to needy children. Either just a general sweep or perhaps a toy for each gift they received that year. If we do it before Christmas, perhaps a toy for each of the ones we’ll be getting them plus one for each sibling and grandparent. Whatever. You get the point.
3. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We want to keep it really simple and decided on a few ways to do that starting this year. It will be a restaurant (like Chinese) one day and a simple roast beef dinner or something the other day. For Christmas Eve we’ll do a birthday cake for Jesus, read the Christmas story, and have a mini-party that ends with Christmas Eve service at church. Christmas morning will be some grand breakfast, gifts, and then whatever we feel like doing.
That’s what we’re thinking, and we’re excited about it! How does your family plan to keep Christmas peaceful and focused on Jesus?