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Trying to keep a Christ-centered Christmas this year?
You know, we can do all the right things. We can print the nativity coloring pages, read the Advent story each night with our kids, light the candles, bake star-shaped cookies and make baby Jesus crafts and . . . we can do all those things and still not have our focus on Christ at Christmas. In fact, I’ve been sitting here staring at a blank screen for the last two hours just pondering. What if celebrating Christ-in-Christmas isn’t about more celebrating at all. What if its about serving.
As moms, we so easily get caught up in the do’s and don’ts and everything’s of a holiday celebration and sometimes we lose our overall focus on becoming more Christ-like as a person. Is there anything about this Christmas holiday – this Christ’s Mass — that brings us closer to Christ-like? Living a Christ-Centered life is about living the life of a servant, thus following His example.
I’m not talking about becoming a slave to all-things-Christmas — the parties, the decorations, the activities, and the holly-jolly. I’m talking about selfless service that makes a difference in this world we live in and in our relationships. The folding of laundry when folding laundry breathes dread into our own hearts but speaks love into the heart of our husband. The menial tasks behind the scenes at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Pinching pennies to fill a basket of food for the hungry. That kind of service.
Here are five attitude checks for moms when keeping a Christ-centered Christmas.
1 – Are you spending more to make a big splash?
Whether it is an intention to impress the neighbors with lights, the boss with clothes, or the kids with shiny new toys – spending more is not the answer to a Christ-centered holiday.
2 – Are you nit-picking to make the traditions line up with the picture of perfection in your mind?
I’ve always been a bit controlling about the placement of ornaments on our Christmas tree. I have a proper order and optimal placement in mind, and I try so hard to give freedom while also expecting a certain level of compliance to my “rules”. Last year, hearts were hurt as those trying to please started re-arranging the tree. Within moments, what ought to have been a joyful celebration of the start to our Advent season became a fight, a struggle, tears, and separation. Not at all what I had in mind.
This year – I tried a new approach. I set all the ornaments in a staging area from first on the tree to last on the tree, gave the kids full control of coming to get ornaments and placing them on the tree at their own pace, and banned (completely banned) the moving of ornaments for any reason. The result was a lot more pleasant for all of us, and the tree is lovely as it is. Little ones will learn not to cluster ornaments together another day, and for now, I care more about the hearts of those littles than I do perfection.
3 – Are you sacrificing understanding in order to “finish” the Advent reading for each day or week?
Maybe you don’t celebrate Advent as such but you rush to finish the Bible picture book each night at bedtime instead of dwelling on this miracle of miracles? I was a bit startled on the first night of Advent this year when our entire evening got de-railed by some serious questions that led us a bit “off-track” but really served the needs of one of my children in that moment. Helping him clear up the burning confusion in his heart was far more important than reading all the questions about our Bible verse that night.
4 – What are you saying yes to?
I don’t know what your kids like, but mine want me to play games with them. If we are running to every holiday party, doing all the church things, and keeping the house pristine, chances are good I will get to the end of our Christmas break and find I haven’t sat down for a rousing game of Slap-Jack or Hand and Foot a single time. I really want to be a “yes” mom. I struggle with that, but it is my goal.
5 – Are you focused more on worldly traditions like Santa or Elf on the Shelf than you are on traditions that bring Glory to God?
I’m not saying you can’t have Santa in your Christmas, I’m just saying its hard to help your kids focus on Christ if you spend hours arranging the elf just so and taking pictures but don’t have time to read the Bible story to your kids.
At the end of the month and in thirty years, you won’t find a Christ-centered Christmas in the amount of time or money you’ve spent baking star-shaped cookies for neighbors. It will be found in the authenticity with which you live your faith in front of your kids during the most stressful month of the year.
Looking for more Advent activities and resources?
Find Christ-Centered Christmas Decor & Gifts Here:
Fisher-Price Little People A Christmas StoryLED Flameless Nativity Candles – Set of 3Nativity Playset for Children 19 Pieces by BibleToys. Includes Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus. Christmas Toys for ChildrenMelissa & Doug Classic Wooden Christmas Nativity Set With 4-Piece Stable and 11 Wooden FiguresFisher-Price Little People NativityPLAYMOBIL Nativity Stable with MangerKurt Adler 11-Piece Nativity SetThe Nativity StoryThe NativityOutdoor Nativity Store Holy Family Outdoor Nativity Set (Large, Color)EasyGo Large Outdoor Nativity Scene – Large Christmas Yard Decoration Set and Reusable For Many Years!!Winter Wonderland Holiday Nativity Set LED ProjectorNativity Shadow BoxChristmas Holiday Nativity Mason Jar Decal Sticker Set – 24 Sheets2 Dozen (24) Make a NATIVITY SCENE Sticker Sheets Religious Education – VBS CHRISTMAS Party Classroom Activity FAVORS – Holiday GIVEAWAY by OTCCelebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the SaviorCelebrating a Christ-centered Christmas: Children’s EditionA December To Remember: Creating Christ-Centered Family TraditionsA Christ Centered ChristmasJoy to the World: A Devotional Journal for AdventHow to Create a Christ-Centered Christmas for Your Kids: Practical, Hands-On Activities to Help Your Child Focus on Christ at Christmas12 Gifts for Christ: Traditions, Activities, and Devotionals for a Christ-Centered Christmas12-Day Nativity: Christmas Activities for a Christ-Centered HomeDiscovering the True Spirit of Christmas: Fifteen Minutes a day to a Christ-centered ChristmasChristmas: It’s Jesus’ Birthday, Not Yours (30 Day Devotional Series)Teaching the Gifts of Christmas: A Christ Centered Family Christmas Time TraditionChristmas Without Santa Creating a Christ-Centered Christmas