Let's Keep Christ in Christmas! (...ideas for families)
Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year! My favorite Christmas verse for 2017 says, Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31) Christmas is all about Jesus! I love the decorations at home, the way the lights twinkle in windows, the Christmas music in stores and restaurants, and the chilliness in the air, but these are tangible blessings from the Lord to remind us the Christmas season is all about Him!
I am the teacher for the Wednesday night youth program at church, and just last night I began the Christmas season with the gospel message of salvation. Many years ago, Jesus was obedient to God and came to Earth as a baby so He could die for the wrongs we do as sinful creatures. This is why we celebrate Christmas.
When I was growing up, my parents explained to me that the Lord gave them money to buy my Christmas gifts. Of course, they let me get my picture with Santa, and we always decorated the Christmas tree and followed usual Christmas traditions. In fact, Christmas was a big deal to my parents, and they gave sacrificially to my brother and me so we could enjoy the gifts of Christmas day. One Christmas tradition that we had and continue to have to this day is a Happy Birthday, Jesus cake. This tradition is simple, but points us to the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. My little boy enjoys talking about Santa, and I just tell him that Santa is a dress-up character for Christmas time just like he plays dress-up with his fireman and train conductor costumes. I’m not against Santa or the festive traditions (I love them!), but it is important to keep the focus on Christ as we enjoy all the fun and exciting events. Remember, we can use these events to remind us of Him!
For sure, the Bible, God’s Holy Word, is our Greatest Resource for keeping Christ in Christmas, and I am so excited about some of the additional resources I have discovered this year to help my family focus our minds in the right direction. I want to share them with you, and I hope you will tell me in the comments what you are doing this year to keep Christ in Christmas!
Since I have a toddler and a preschooler, one of the first things I wanted them to have this year is the Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set.
They have played with this toy probably more than any toy they have ever owned. I set it on their little table in the kitchen, and they play with it on a daily basis! Our nativity was purchased from Christian Book Distributors.
A favorite resource that my family was introduced to a couple years ago is the Miss PattyCake DVD’s! I plan to tell you more about her in a future post, but for now let me tell you a little about her ministry.
Miss PattyCake exists to share God’s BIG LOVE with little lives, and help parents, grandparents, teachers and caregivers teach God’s Word through music, stories, scripture, and fun activities. She does this through biblically based resources and live appearances, and assists in the Kingdom work of spiritual formation, which is, laying a foundation for salvation and establishing a biblical worldview.
Miss PattyCake’s Christmas DVD teaches children all about the birth of Jesus. It is truly an excellent production. Click here to visit her website.
I also found an advent guide for children from the authors of The Jesus Storybook Bible. It is a free printable and provides 24 days of suggested Bible readings to help keep Christ in your family’s Christmas. I’m so excited about the printables, and we plan to make Christmas ornaments with our advent cards. Click here for the link to The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Guide. All you have to do is enter your email address and then print! I printed our guide on cardstock to make the advent cards more durable.
The third thing we plan to begin on December 1st is the book Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp. It is a daily advent devotional with a reading for each day in December. It includes a devotional reading, Scripture references for further study, and a section for parents and children for each of the 31 days. Click here for the link to his website where you can watch a great video about the book.
We plan to do lots of other festive things this month…
~ a Happy Birthday Jesus party with the young people at church
~ traditional Christmas events (We have already seen a fabulous light display this year, and we have some weekend plans!)
~ church Christmas program
~ presents, family time, and special meals
…but as we do all these things, our prayer is to Keep Christ in Christmas! Merry Christmas, friends!
For more Christmas reading, read one of my newest posts, No More Figgy Pudding, or read an old post from 2015, A Simple Christmas. If you need a Christmas morning muffin recipe, click here for Christmas Thoughts and a Muffin Recipe!
And check back soon for 2017’s A Simple Christmas where I will post pictures of my simple home Christmas décor!