My December has not looked like any December I have ever spent. During most of my adult life December has always been full of shopping, meeting with friends, family times and tons of recitals, plays and church events.
Well, not this year. On those rare occasions that I have been around friends and family there are nagging questions, “Was this a mistake? Did they wash their hands? Where is my mask?” and more.
But. This is Christmas. Christmas isn’t really about shopping and tons of recitals etc. Christmas should be about ONE thing. We should be focused on the birth of Jesus. The very name “Christmas” has CHRIST at the beginning. He comes first.
Is it possible that after years of struggling to keep the main thing the main thing–that this year could actually RESET our way of thinking? Perhaps with the stopping of the hustling and running around we actually can put CHRIST at the very center of all of our activities.
Over and over we ask our friends, “Are you ready for Christmas?”
What does that even mean?
Some of us make lists.
5) coordinate calendars
6) send Christmas lists.
And maybe a great deal other items are on that list….
This year I added:
1) Find ways to keep Christ the center of Christmas every day.
Just putting that statement on the top of my list changed my awareness.
But I added a few others as well.
2) Read a chapter of Luke each day in December. (Doing that leads you through the life of Christ so that you focus on the whole gift of God)
3) I found a calendar for Acts to Keep Christ in Christmas. There weren’t 25 suggestions, but there were several that were interesting. (All focused on giving rather than getting and most in the spirit of Jesus–giving to those in need.)
4) Watch Christmas movies that incorporate the reason of Christmas!
5) Instead of writing a letter to Santa–write a letter to Jesus. Keep them. It will mean so much to read how your relationship and thoughts about Christmas might change year after year.
6) Have a Bethlehem dinner. Tell the story of Mary and Joseph and eat a dinner they might have eaten on Christmas Eve. Perhaps dress up and maybe even eat by candlelight.
7) Study the symbols of Christmas. It is interesting to know why bells, trees, candles are so important at Christmas. Take one a day or one a week and really highlight the reason many of them are part of our celebrations.
8) This year I heard about a new tradition that some friends are adding. They are going to celebrate Christmas Eve-Eve. They will have a traditional meal and then sing Christmas songs together. Sounds like a great way to usher in the real Christmas Eve.
9) Study Advent and prepare your hearts.
Whatever you do –remember that the true gift of Christmas is Christ. Remember, it isn’t about giving or getting the biggest or best present. It isn’t about having the best decorated house or the one with the most lights. It isn’t about getting everything done on your list.
This year let the presence of Jesus reign in your home and heart.
Let Jesus reign. Allow Him to give you the hope of peace that only He can give.
One final note: Growing up I used to love to watch The King Family Christmas Special. To this very day I remember one particular episode that well, was really meaningful. Home is pretty special more this year than others perhaps.
What are ways that you keep you keep Christ the center of Christmas?