- DISPLAY A NATIVITY. It’s the perfect visual reminder of the greatest gift ever given. My children love setting up our hand-me-down nativity set. They enjoy arranging the worn pieces, which were originally their great-grandmother’s, just so. As they place Baby Jesus, the Shepherd and their sheep, it gives us time to talk through the parts they all played—the details of the day that changed everything.
- ATTEND A CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE. This is my favorite church service of the year. Children wearing knit sweaters, wide-eyed with wonder and anticipation. Adults, sitting calmly, the weight of the world lifted—whether the wrapping is done or not. Peace has come. Hope is here. Attending a Christmas Eve Service gives us a beautiful opportunity to separate ourselves from the hustle and bustle, to quiet our souls and worship with our entire family.
- IMPLEMENT A 3-GIFT RULE. If presents seem to take center stage, consider implementing the 3-gift rule. It mirrors Jesus receiving three gifts from the three wise men, and a practical way to help little ones grow in understanding that Christmas is not all about the gift frenzy. To implement the three-gift rule, give something you want, something you need, something to read.
- HONOR CHRIST BY GIVING TO THOSE IN NEED. Giving comes in many varieties. We can give time, talents or treasure. Could you serve a meal at a shelter? Sing carols at a nursing home? Prepare a gift box for a child in need? Give a financial donation to a relief organization? I’m reminded of Jesus’s words, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
- A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR JESUS. Kids love birthday parties and who understands better than a child what a birthday means: cake, friends, singing and gifts. Having a birthday cake for Jesus at your Christmas dinner serves as a remembrance for kids and adults, a familiar symbol to celebrate the honored guest. Invite children to sing “Happy Birthday,” then serve cake along with other Christmas treats.
- READ THE CHRISTMAS STORY. Before opening gifts, open your Bible. It doesn’t have to be formal. In our house, we’re in our pajamas snuggled on the couch, coffee in hand. Read The Christmas Story, page 8, with your family this year.
- MAKE A WREATH. Share memories with loved ones while constructing a simple wreath with fresh greenery and a colorful bow, or adorn a premade wreath with holiday trims. Whether you offer the wreath as a gift or hang it in your home, let it serve as a reminder of God’s gift of eternal love.
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