Top 10 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love all of the lights and decorations. I am thankful for what the season is really about, the birth of a Savior, Jesus Christ. If we are not careful, the season can overwhelm us and pass us by. The hustle and bustle begins on Black Friday and continues all the way through New Year’s Day. Do not let another Christmas go by without taking some time to reflect on what Christmas really is about, Jesus Christ.
Here are ten things that you and your family can do to keep Christ at the center of Christmas and restore the joy to the season.
1. Remember the Gospel
The best way to keep Christ in Christmas is to remember the message of the gospel. God is holy and requires perfection. Man is sinful and separated from a loving God. The gospel is at the heart of Christmas because God loved us so much that he sent his Son to lay down his life and die in our place.
We need to repent of our sins and trust Christ to save us. That is the heart of the gospel. If we are a believer, we should reflect on the gospel and be grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. If you are not saved, this is a great time to get saved.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.— John 3:16
2. Share Your Faith With Others
Another great way to keep Christ in Christmas is to share your faith with an unbelieving family member, friend, neighbor, or a stranger. Take them for a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate. You could share how you got saved or what God is doing in your life.
People’s hearts tend to be more open during this time of year, but try to avoid getting in an argument over it. Remember that you are representing Christ to them.
But in your hearts separate Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.— 1 Peter 3:15
3. Read the Christmas Story
On Christmas morning, gather with family and read the Christmas story in Luke 1 and 2. Take some time to discuss what it must have been like for Mary, who was a young teenage girl that would now be responsible for taking care of God. Think about what could have been going through Joseph’s mind. How can an imperfect man before a father to God? The one thing that I wonder about is what was it like for God to come to the Earth that he created as a defenseless baby.
Also, take time to reflect on the love that God has for all of us that he was willing to leave his throne in heaven and come to live among his creation. Most of all, worship God for the gift of his Son, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.— Luke 2:11
What must one believe in order to be saved?
4. Invite a Widow or a Struggling Family Over for Dinner
Christmas can be a very lonely time for some. Be a light for Christ and invite over a widow, single person, or a family to share in a meal and fellowship. Go out of your way to make it a special time for them.
Give proper recognition to those widows who are in need.— 1 Timothy 5:2-4
5. Be Jesus to Someone
Be Jesus to someone who is in need and cannot pay you back. There are so many wonderful ministries and charities that you can support with either your time or money that reach out into the community to touch those who are desperately in need. This could involve working in a soup kitchen, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, or any number of different things.
Here is a short list of ministries that you could choose to support:
- Operation Christmas Child: You fill up a shoebox with all kinds of fun presents and necessity items (small toys, stuffed animals, jump ropes, yo-yos, pens, pencils, sharpener, crayons, toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar of soap, hard candy, lollipops, T-shirts, costs, hats, gum, etc.) and the box is shipped to a child somewhere around the world.
- Angel Tree: Angel Tree is a ministry by Prison Fellowship that gives presents to the kids of inmates. Angel Tree is a great opportunity to bless kids that are going through life with a parent behind bars.
- WBGL Radio (IL): WBGL has a great program called Random Acts of Christmas where people can post the needs of needy families and/or help other people with what they need. WBGL covers most of central and northern Illinois along with parts of western Indiana.
Many local churches have programs for helping people who are struggling this time of year as well.
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’— Matthew 25:40
6. Bring Christmas Cookies to Your Neighbors
Another great way to love Christ at Christmas is to take a day and bake cookies for your neighbors. If you have kids, make it a fun time by having them help you decorate the cookies.
With each plate of cookies, include a Christmas card that has the true meaning of Christmas on it. Take the family and one by one drop off the cookies with your each of your neighbors. This can also be a great time to catch up with them and talk for a little while.
The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’— Galatians 5:14
Glory to God in the Highest (Chuck Swindoll)
7. Celebrate Christmas With an Advent Wreath
Using an Advent Wreath is a great way to keep you focused on the true meaning of Christmas. An Advent Wreath is a horizontal evergreen wreath that has five candles on it symbolizing the four weeks of the Christmas season. Four candles are positioned around the outside of the wreath with the fifth candle in the middle.
The Meaning of the Candles on an Advent Wreath
- On the first Sunday of Advent, the “Prophecy Candle” is lit. This is a good time to reflect on all of the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, especially in the Book of Isaiah.
- On the second Sunday of Advent an additional candle is lit that represents “Bethlehem.” Think about how what the first Christmas was like in this small town.
- The third candle that is lit is the “Shepherd’s Candle” that represents the joy that they felt upon hearing the news that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem.
- The fourth candle is the “Angel’s Candle.” It is a reminder of the angels’ message of good news of great joy that a Savior has been born unto you, who is Christ the Lord.
- The fifth candle, typically white, is lit on Christmas Eve and represents Christ. Take time to dwell on the fact that God left His throne in heaven to come and live among his fallen creation. Also, reflect on the fact that God loves us so much that he would rather come to Earth as a defenseless baby to die on a cross 33 years later for your sins and mine. He offers salvation to anyone who trusts Him for his or her salvation. That just amazes me that the Creator of the Universe loves His creation like that. Awesome!
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.— 1 John 3:1
8. Attend a Christmas Worship Service at Your Church
One of the easiest ways to keep Christ in Christmas is to attend a worship service at your church. Many churches have candlelight services on Christmas Eve to celebrate our Savior’s birth. Most churches also have children’s programs around Christmas. They are always worth the time to attend because you never know what a kid will do in front of a crowd.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord God our Maker.— Psalm 95:6
9. Set Up a Nativity Scene
A nativity scene can be a great way to remind yourself of Christ’s birth every time that you walk by. We set up our nativity scene in our living room so that it is in an area that we frequently pass through.
Take some time to think what it was actually like on that night. You have a young couple in love about to have a baby and they could not find any place to stay other than a manger. Shepherds were minding their own business out in a field when all of a sudden angels appeared announcing the birth of the Messiah. The shepherds then go and worship the newborn Savior.
This will be a sign to you: ‘You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’— Luke 2:12
Happy Birthday Sung at the Brooklyn Tabernacle
10. Prepare a Birthday Cake for Jesus
Another way to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration is to make a cake for Jesus. Be sure to give thanks for all that Jesus has given to us before cutting into the cake. If you have young kids, sing happy birthday to Jesus.
Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!— Revelations 7:12
The Christmas season can be crazy with all different kinds of demands on our time. If we are not careful, Christmas will be over before we know it and we will miss it. Take time to reflect on Christ’s birth and the reason that he came to die on a Roman cross for your sins and mine.
If you do not know Christ as your Savior, I urge you to put your faith in Him and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Merry Christmas!
© 2012 Eric Cramer