Sometimes family and cultural traditions trump Jesus on Christmas.
It shouldn’t happen. But it does.
I don’t want that to be my story. I am always going to enjoy visiting family, watching Christmas movies, looking at lights, eating loads of food, giving presents, and playing games. No doubt. God likes those things, too. But I also want to remember that Christmas is the day Christians set aside to celebrate the coming of Immanuel, God with us.
Here are some ideas to help center Christmas day on Christ:
- Worship at a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church service
- Read the Christmas story aloud (Luke 2:1-20 or Matthew 1:18-2:12)
- Bust out a guitar, piano, or cd player and sing Christmas hymns together (dancing allowed)
- Pray together before a meal, thanking God for sending Jesus
- Watch a local Christmas pageant presentation, or re-create one with your family
- Begin the day in prayer, one-on-one
- Instead of exchanging presents among adult extended relatives, have everyone pitch in to donate money to a worthy cause.
- Write in a journal about some of your favorite encounters with God during the past year
- Serve among the homeless or other kind of ministry as a family
Doing just one or two of these God-mindful activities can help a lot in combating the tendency towards attachments to less-worthy things on Christmas day. But these are only a few possibilities. Do you have any other ideas?