10 Ideas for How to Keep Christ in Christmas
Christians can refuse to celebrate Christmas, citing all that is pagan and commercial about the activities; or they can take advantage of the joyous community atmosphere to focus open minds on the true meaning of Christmas.
Here are ten ideas on how to keep Christ in Christmas and influence a Christ-centered celebration.
1. Present Jesus as the Best Gift
For many children (and adults too) the focus of Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts. To direct the family’s attention toward the gift that started Christmas, wrap the Bible in Christmas gift paper and place it among the other gifts. After all the other gifts have been opened, ask family members to be seated and announce the last and best Christmas gift for the entire family. Read the story of Jesus’ birth (from Matthew 1 or Luke 2).
When we ask our children 'What do you want for Christmas?', we are asking a question that breeds selfishness.
In order to develop selflessness we should be asking 'What are you going to give?'
Christmas is the celebration of God's great gift giving -'For God so loved the world that he gave...'(John 3:16)"— Robert Flatt
2. Send Cards That Say "Christmas," Not "Xmas"
Send cards which have specific reference to Jesus, rather than those which abbreviate Christmas, by appearing to X out Christ in favor of Xmas. Some cards simply send Holiday greetings. Let your cards emphasize that you are celebrating Jesus.
3. Sing Songs About Jesus Instead of Santa
Play and sing songs about Jesus’ birth. Songs about Saint Nick (also referred to as Santa Claus) probably refer to the fourth century Bishop who was known for his generous gift-giving; but Jesus deserves to be honored all by Himself. Choose Christmas songs which are void of reference to the miracles of St. Nick or any other mysterious figure, and which honor Jesus only.
4. Explain the Christmas Colors
Know and share why you decorate with red and green. They were not inspired by Santa suits and reindeer.
Why Is Christmas Green and Red?
"There are two accepted beliefs about the origin of traditional Christmas colors, one based on Christian faith, and the other based on historical fact,” which dates back to the fourteenth century, according to Anthropology Suite 101. Since apple trees were not available year round for use in theatrical productions of Adam and Eve in the garden, the evergreen pine emerged as a symbol of the Christian’s faith in eternal life—evergreen corresponding to everlasting. Red symbolizes blood—necessary to produce life.
5. Decorate With Christian Symbols
Decorate the Christmas tree with symbols of the real Christmas: angels, stars, shepherds, Mary and Joseph figurines, and so on. Also include the main symbol of the Christian’s faith: the cross. Let the cross be a reminder during the Christmas season that Jesus did not remain a baby, but grew up, lived and died to complete His mission as Savior. The Christment Tree Pattern Book Vol. 3: 21 Christian Ornaments on the Meaning of Christmas (Christment Tree Pattern Books) by Elaine Clanton Harpine, is one of several sources for instructions on how to make ornaments depicting the life of Christ.
6. Discuss the Christian Symbolism of the Candy Cane
Talk about the Christian symbols of the candy cane. For example, it is shaped like the Shepherd’s crook which introduces the topic of Christ as the Good Shepherd, or like a J for the name of Jesus.
"Some say the white of the candy cane represents the purity of Jesus and his virgin birth. The bold red stripe represents God’s love. The three fine stripes are said by some to represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Others say they represent the blood spilled at the beating Jesus received at the hands of the Roman soldiers" (according to Laura Witcher Goldstein in The History of The Candy Cane).
Throughout the season, whether as decorations or for a taste of sweetness, let candy canes remind family members and visitors of the story of Jesus.
7. Let Christmas Lights Symbolize Jesus
Christmas lights have different meanings in different cultures, but light for the Christian symbolizes Jesus, the light of the world. Consequently, whether they are on the rooftop or on the garden rail, in whatever form as candles or electric bulbs, point to them as reminders that believers are commissioned to be Christ’s light to the neighborhood, during and after the season.
8. Explain the Circular Christmas Wreath
The Christmas wreath, by its circular shape symbolizes the eternal nature of Christ and also His endless love. You’re sure to receive compliments on your display of friendly welcome to neighbors and friends. Add a small personal touch in the form of a small label with a Christ-centered message like, “Jesus, the reason for the season,” or The Savior is born,” or even candy canes which give you an opportunity to make a short, sweet statement of faith.
9. Talk About Angels
Angels feature in the Christmas story: announcing the birth of Christ to Mary, to Joseph and to the shepherds, guiding the shepherds to Bethlehem, and advising Joseph to take Mary and the Child to Egypt. Remind everyone that angels continue to minister to human beings everyday. Share stories or dreams about angels.
10. Personalize the Nativity Scene
Spend a few minutes occasionally, talking about the characters on display in the Nativity Scene. Help family members to make personal applications with questions like:
- “Which character would you like to have been, if you were present during the first Christmas?”
- “What aspect of the story do you enjoy the most?”
- “What do you think about Jesus?”
Christmas may be the only time of year that some people listen to you sharing your faith. Share it with excitement while you spread Christmas cheer.
Bonus: 5 Christmas Quotes Featuring Christ
- "The most important part about Christmas is the first six letters." —Life Research Universal
- "Take Christ out of Christmas, and December becomes the bleakest and most colorless month of the year." —A. F. Wells
- "All the Christmas presents in the world are worth nothing without the presence of Christ." —David Jeremiah
- "If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: 'God with us.'" —John MacArthur
- "You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father's face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift." —John R. Rice
© 2011 Dora Weithers