As the weeks pass and we begin thinking about Christmas (and all the hustle and bustle of the holidays), I need to ask you something: Do you enjoy Christmas? Is your holiday season the meaningful, Christ centered Christmas you’re longing for?
Now, I know you know the right answer to that question. In fact, I’m guessing you might say something like, “Sure, Christmas is awesome! Christmas is about family, traditions, and fun and that’s all a good thing.”
But what I’m really asking is: Do you ever feel like there could be more to Christmas? Ever wish that your holidays actually looked more like a Christ centered Christmas?
I’m asking because, even as a Christian, for many years I felt like I missed the true meaning of Christmas. I longed to have a Christ centered Christmas season, and year after year, I wasn’t able to find it.
I want to share with you my story, and to let you know that if you want a meaningful, Christ centered Christmas too, I’m here to share with you how to discover it–step-by-step!
How My Christian Christmas Really Wasn’t Christ Centered
For years my family and I celebrated (what we thought was) a Christmas about Christ. We went to all the Christmas celebrations and bought the right gifts for everyone.
We made the cookies and did the cute Christmas crafts. We went to all of our church’s Christmas events with a “Merry Christmas” greeting to all.
But every year I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something deeper we were missing. Something intangible. Something whose absence left my heart thirsty and dry.
More than one year, I woke up on December 26 feeling empty and exhausted, wondering, “Was that it? Darn. I missed Christmas. Again.”
Can you relate? Do you know exactly what I’m talking about?
I started asking around and it turns out that many other Christians also felt this way.
In fact, I couldn’t find one who didn’t feel like this.
6 Incorrect Mindsets that Keep Us from a Christ Centered Christmas
I started thinking about why: Why are so many of us struggling with having a Christ-centered Christmas? What is keeping us from heartfelt, soul-quenching Christmas season that truly brings us closer to Christ?
It seemed to boil down to 6 mindsets (that so many of us are trapped by):
- Saying Yes Without Saying No. Instead of slowing down in other areas during Christmas, so many of us just add more to an already overflowing schedule. Which adds to stress, overwhelm and craziness (three things hardly conducive to the Christmas spirit).
- More Activities Equals More Fun. We clamor to shove in more “Christmas fun” because we believe that more activities equals a better Christmas experience for our families. But all too often, more activities (even good ones) become just more distraction from what our hearts really need–time to slow down, process, savor and enjoy the simple miracle of Christmas itself.
- Must-Dos That Aren’t Must-Dos. We each seem to have developed a mile-long list of “must-do” Christmas obligations that leave us feeling exhausted instead of refreshed. We have to visit this person. We must participate in this event. And let’s not even get started on all the “must-purchase” gifts.
- Too Much Materialism. And speaking of gifts, we find ourselves caught up in the madness of finding the right presents (and of course the right amount to spend on each present). Instead of being a joy-filled act of love, gift giving has become a tit-for-tat ritual that consumes what should be a season full of simple reflection and meaningful activities with loved ones.
- Mixed Messages from Christmas Cultural Influences. I may be stepping on some toes here, but if we really want a Christ centered Christmas, doesn’t it make sense to focus only on those Christmas elements that are about the birth of Christ? Of course everyone has different opinions on this, but it’s a simple question: Are Christmas cultural traditions (such as Santa Claus or “Elf on the Shelf” in the United States) distracting us from the true message of Christmas? If you’re looking to create a meaningful holiday season centered around God, I encourage you to consider abandoning other outside Christmas elements.
- Same Old Story? Many of us no idea how to add freshness to the same Christmas story we’ve told our kids for years. With a glazed over look in their eyes, even our youngest kids can say, “Yep, there’s a baby named Jesus who is born in a manger. Got it.” But do we really understand the living, powerful significance of that treasured event? Do we allow ourselves to experience it anew each year, asking God to reveal to us how that incredible event can change our lives right now in this current moment?
Anyone, anyone? I can almost hear your head nodding as you read this.
How to Have a Truly Christ Centered Christmas
We all seem to long for a more Christ centered Christmas, but very few of us seem to discover how to have it.
And so we continue on, content to placate our longing hearts with a new Christmas cookie recipe, the latest Christmas CD from our favorite artist, and sparkly decorations on the fireplace mantle.
But what we really need is more Christ. Not more nativity sets or perfectly decorated Christmas trees.
We need God incarnate. Just like in that ancient village in Israel, today we Christians desperately need a miraculous touch come down from the heavens to light up our dark, cold, chaotic world.
We need to rediscover what it means to have a truly Christ-centered Christmas.
Discovering a More Meaningful Christmas Experience
But here’s the thing: We can’t find this Christ-centered Christmas in the current way we celebrate. We’ve got to do Christmas differently.
We’ve got to be willing to individually examine every aspect of our Christmas celebrations and ask ourselves: Does this bring our family closer to experiencing God’s miraculous joy found in the birth of Christ?
That is the question my family and I have been asking ourselves for several years now. And we’ve found this to be the path to discovering the authentic Christmas joy that we’re all searching for.
It’s been a process of letting go of what we don’t need to embrace what we really do.
And while we’re not here to judge what “should” or “should not” be a part of any Christian family’s Christmas celebration, we can testify that laying everything out on the table and asking, “Is this really necessary?” has brought much clarity and beautiful simplicity to the Christmas madness.
2 Secrets of a Christ Centered Christmas: Activities & Atmosphere
My family and I have discovered that a holiday season centered around Jesus is composed of two key elements: planning Christ centered activities and creating a Christ centered atmosphere.
Christ centered Christmas activities are those actions that tangibly allow us to interact with the true Christmas story; while a Christ centered Christmas atmosphere is the welcoming environment we create in our homes to reflect the true meaning of Christmas.
I want to introduce you to a simple solution for how your family can truly create actions and atmosphere centered around God: the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System.
In fact, I developed this resource as a direct result of my family’s struggle to discover a richer, fuller Christ-based Christmas experience.
The Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System is a set of powerful, beautifully designed printables that help your family create meaningful Christ-centered activities and establish a spirit-filled atmosphere throughout the holiday season.
- A fun 30 Day Countdown to Christmas Bible Study
- 30 days of Christmas Acts of Kindness Activities
- Scripture response tools, including journaling pages and a inductive Bible study
- Adult and child Christmas-themed coloring pages
- Beautiful, Christ-inspired Christmas home decor pieces
- and so much more!
In fact, there are over 143 pieces in the system and they can all be used interchangeably to create a myriad of Christ-centered holiday activities and fun!
How to Plan for Christ Centered Christmas Activities
In order to live out the truths of Christmas (and grow closer to God), I’d encourage you to plan Christ Centered activities–fun family activities like Christmas Bible studies, Christmas countdowns and Christmas acts of kindness.
I wanted to make it as easy as possible for families and individuals to plan these types of activities so that’s why I created the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions Resources.
These resources contain fun and easy-to-organize activities–everything is included!– that allow us to learn deeper truths about the Christmas story and thus encourage our family to grow closer to God!
For example, the 30 Day Countdown to Christmas Bible study (along with the Scripture Response Tools) allow your family to experience God’s rich presence as you respond in fresh new ways to the Christmas story.
All the printables to create these resources are in the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions Resources.
The 30 Christmas-themed Acts of Kindness Challenge is another simple-but-powerful way your family can to actively live out the truths of Christmas. Everything you need to create these Christmas Acts of Kindness is in the resource as well.
And the Birthday Gifts for Jesus activity is a wonderful Christmas morning activity that helps your family keep the birth of Christ forefront in your celebrations! For many families, it’s been one of their favorite parts of the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions Resources.
How to Create a Christ Centered Christmas Atmosphere
And what about that second element–creating an Christ centered Christmas atmosphere? It starts with beautiful faith-based Christmas home decor that shares about the real hope of the season–the joy of the birth of Christ.
In the past, I’ve had a really hard time finding Christ Centered Christmas home decor. That’s why I created several different printable Christmas home decor elements in the Christ Centered Christmas Family Traditions Resources.
These beautiful printables–including 8 x 10, 5 x 5 and 3.5 x 5–can be used in many different ways to create a warm, welcoming Christmas atmosphere focused on Jesus.
Here are some examples of how to use the 8 x 10 home decor printables in the resources:
When we use tools like the 5 x 5 or 8 x 10 Home Decor Printables to create banners, dry erase boards or other Christ-infused Christmas home decor, we’re inviting God’s spirit to minister daily in our homes.
Simple Christmas-themed decor pieces (like hanging scripture cards from a ribbon or decorating a light fixture with Christ-themed printables) serve as simple messages of encouragement about the true meaning behind the season.
Finding Less Chaos & More Christ in Your Christmas
Remember, having a Christ Centered Christmas is not about including more in your Christmas. It’s about welcoming in the right elements–the aspects of Christmas that will encourage you and/or your family to grow closer to Christ.
It’s about saying yes to those things that celebrate authentic Christmas joy and bring your entire family closer to Christ during this season.
And this system makes it really easy to do that.
Not only does everything coordinate and work well together, it’s also easily organized by section so you can find just what you need.
Plus, the system contains both a guidebook and a list of 50 ways you can use the printables to create incredible Christ-filled experiences for your family!
There are also 4 different how-to videos so you can see firsthand how to create these incredible Christmas memories as a family. Here’s one as an example:
I highly encourage you to check it out and to re-discover that deep, heartfelt Christ-centered Christmas that you’re longing for!
Other Posts About Creating a Christ-Centered Christmas
- Easy 30 Day Christmas Countdown Bible Study
- How to Easily Create Christ-Centered Christmas Home Decor
- How to Plan Christmas Acts of Kindness with Kids
- Christmas Morning Activity: Happy Birthday Jesus Gift
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