Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas or Xmas?

Ideas for Keeping the true meaning of Christmas your focus:
  1. Do advent calendars or advent candles/wreaths to prepare yourself and family for the holiday.
  2. Do a Jesse Tree! See this link for more information! [Thanks to Kristina for this tip]
  3. Give just one gift to others in your family to symbolize the one special gift of Jesus' birth.
  4. Use a child-friendly nativity set to tell your kids the story of Jesus' birth.
  5. Participate in your church's Christmas activities as a family
  6. Read the Christmas story aloud on Christmas or Christmas Eve: Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.
  7. Teach thankfulness by role-modeling. Don't take back gifts unless you need a different size. Have your kids pose for pictures with their new possessions and send those with thank yous, better yet, have your child write the thank you! Why not make being grateful as big of a deal as opening presents?
  8. Volunteer at shelters, visit a nursing home or someone who's lonely.
I think there's a number of things we can do (and not do) to keep Christ at the center of this holiday that bears His Name. However, just as in Christianity it's no longer about what we do or don't do that brings us closer to God. Jesus' perfect sacrifice was the fulfillment of all our debts, and now what's left for us to do? " To glorify God and enjoy Him forever," according to the Westminster Catechism for children that my parents had me memorize when I was five. So too, with Christmas, we will get the most out of that day, as with every day if we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as we love ourselves. The true meaning of Christmas is love, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

In my last Zerbik post, I wrote that our relationships on Earth reflect our relationship with God. It goes without saying, though I'm gonna say it anyway, it's a good time to get right with God and mend broken relationships here too. How many kids are just wishing that their parent would just spend time with them or be nice to them, and secretly wanting that more than any other gift. Or maybe it's the parents wishing their kids would be loving toward them? The same goes for husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, co-workers and so on.

The best way to enjoy your holiday and keep the true meaning of Christmas all at the same time is to remember that you were created for something bigger than yourself and then act like it.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and other ideas on this subject.

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