With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, keeping Christ at the center can be difficult, but since He is the reason we are celebrating it is also the most important thing we need to do. Our focus should be on Him, not just during the holidays, but all year long. Here are just a few ways to make this holiday season a Christ-centered one:
- Celebrate Advent
Celebrating Advent is one of the best ways that I know to have a Christ-centered Christmas. Advent is about waiting and watching for Jesus to come. It is about preparing your heart for His coming.
The most common way to celebrate Advent is with an Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath holds 5 candles. Four of the candles are white, and they represent hope, peace, joy, and love. The fifth candle is red, and it represents Jesus. The four white candles are lit on the four Sundays leading to Christmas, and the red candle is lit on Christmas day.
Another popular way to celebrate Advent is with an Advent calendar. Most Advent calendars that I have seen are usually done with children and families in mind, but as a person who happens to be single, I still love the idea of creating an Advent calendar for myself every year. The Advent calendar can include many things from activities to Scripture readings to random acts of kindness.
A third way to celebrate Advent is with a Jesse tree. A Jesse tree is a special tree and study that takes you through the Bible in a way that is designed to lead to Christ. Ornaments are placed on the tree one ornament per day, and each ornament represents the story of someone in the genealogy of Jesus.
- Decorate your home with Christ at the heart
Whether you are single or in a family, I think you should decorate for Christmas. It doesn’t matter whether you keep it simple or go more elaborate. Decorating for Christmas can be fun, and there are many ways that you can decorate your home for Christmas with Christ at the heart. One quick and easy way is to put a Nativity scene up. (I actually recommend putting one up in every room of the house.) Another easy way is to use Bible verses or Christmas carols in your decorating. Make posters or find some free printables and print them out. Frame them and hang them around the house.
- Write a letter to Jesus
Writing a letter to Santa is a tradition that most children have every year, but once we stop believing in Santa we stop writing those letters. What if we started writing letters to Jesus instead? Jesus is real, and He hears our prayers and our thoughts. The letter doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be about the things we want for Christmas, but more about honoring and praising Him.
- Play Christmas carols
It seems like when I turn on the radio at Christmas time most of the songs I hear are about Santa. Now I don’t have a problem with Santa, but Christmas isn’t about Him. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ so the songs that I enjoy the most are the ones about Christ. Playing Christmas carols (because traditional Christmas carols are about Christ) is a great way to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas and Advent. Create a playlist of Christmas carols and maybe take some time to learn the stories behind some of them too.
- Learn about how some of the more popular Christmas traditions can point to Christ
Do you know the stories behind some of our favorite traditions like the Christmas tree or the candy cane? What about the story of St. Nicholas who later became known as Santa Claus? Did you know that many of the traditions we celebrate today got started as someone’s way of sharing Christ with others? Take some time to learn about them and how they were started. Learn from them and maybe find some way of your own to start a new tradition that points others to Christ.
- Prioritize your Christmas schedule
You might be asking, “What does prioritizing your schedule have to do with having a Christ-centered Christmas?” My answer, “Everything!” If you want to have a Christmas celebration that is centered on Christ, then Christ has to be the center of everything and that includes your schedule. You have to be making time for Him every day both personally and as a family. The activities that you schedule should be things that you know are the things that the Lord wants you to do and not just things to fill up your time.
- Watch the movie, The Nativity or go see a live Nativity
For me, there is something special about seeing a story come to life, and the story of Jesus’ birth is extra special. The movie The Nativity with Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Isaac is a great way to see the story come to life, but so is going to a see a live Nativity.
- Read the stories (Matthew & Luke) of Christ’s birth on Christmas morning.
Reading the story of Jesus’ birth is the best way to kick off Christmas day.
Keeping Christ as our focus should be our #1 priority at Christmas and all year long. What are some of the ways that you keep him as your focus?