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Christmas is for Jesus

Christmas Is for Jesus

Like so many Christians with whom I share my faith, I truly believe that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season. Though there are so many awesome aspects of the holiday season, at its heart and core, Christmas is for Jesus.

Even though there are so many wonderful things that we enjoy as part of the holiday season, if it were not for the Babe in Bethlehem, we would not have Christmas. In this article I am going to share some of the ways that we can best show that we remember that Christmas is for Jesus. By keeping Christ in Christmas and even giving part of our energy to focusing on Christ at Christmas, we show how much we love Him and appreciate all that He has done for us.

 

Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article about how Christmas is for Jesus and ideas for how we can keep Christ in Christmas!

 

 

Why Christmas Is for Jesus: A Brief History of Christmas

You know, I have celebrated Christmas for more than a few decades, and yet I have never really heard or researched how Christmas came to be. And as I was thinking about and beginning to write this article, I started to think about that, about why we have the Christmas holiday and the history behind it.

The term Christmas comes literally from “Christ’s Mass.” Mass is a church service where Christians celebrate, worship, and remember Jesus Christ, His birth, life, and death.

We don’t know for sure the true date of Christ’s birth, but December 25 is the day that Jesus’s birth is celebrated throughout the world.

According to one theory, Christmas is celebrated on December 25 because it is 9 months after March 25, which some Christians believe is the date that Mary learned that she would give birth to the Savior of the world.

The middle of winter (the end of December and into January) and specifically winter solstice has long been a time celebrated because it meant that the longest days of winter were over and that the days would get longer and eventually warmer.

It is possible that one of the reasons that Christmas is celebrated on December 25 is because the time frame around winter solstice was already a celebrated time by many.

 

 

Why Celebrate Christmas?

For many people (and for me), Christmas is one of the best times of the year and perhaps even the best time of the year. It is a time when everyone, no matter their religious beliefs, can focus on family and on helping and serving others and giving of themselves.

But for those who are Christians, by remembering Christmas (and especially the more spiritual aspects of Christmas), we also remember Christ.

Yes, it’s true that Christmas has become very commercialized over the last several decades, but we can choose to focus on Christ during Christmas. We can choose to focus on the noncommercial aspects of Christmas such as spending time with family and loved ones, making wonderful memories, helping and serving others, giving to those in need, and enjoying fun activities and great meals and treats together.

And participating in the activities suggested in this article can help you to enjoy a more peaceful and less commercial Christmas.

 

Also be sure to check out these related articles for awesome ideas on how to save money on Christmas and ways to make more money to use for Christmas!

***Pro Saving Tip! Use the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan a frugal but awesome Christmas!***

 

Remembering That Christmas Is for Jesus: Focus on Christ This Christmas with Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Here are some of the best Christ-centered Christmas activities that can help make the Christmas spirit bright in your home this holiday season.

In our own family, we try to not let the commercialism that can seem to so easily permeate this holiday overshadow the reason that we celebrate the holiday. We try to help our children remember to think of Jesus Christ and His birth and His life and to follow His example of kindness and serving others.

Participate in these fun Christ-focused Christmas activities to help your family remember the reason for the season and to help you keep Christ as an important (essential :)) part of Christmas.

 

1. Read favorite Christmas scripture verses.

One fun and simple Christmas activity or tradition that can help you focus more on Christ this Christmas is to read favorite Christmas verses from the scriptures.

Each night for as many nights as you want leading up to Christmas, read favorite verses of scripture related to the birth of Christ and the life of Christ. Find ideas for inspirational Christmas Bible verses here.

 

2. Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

You can also read the Christmas story from the Bible, found in Luke 2, to help you remember Christ at Christmas. This is something my own young family does every Christmas Eve (that we did in my family growing up, too), and it is one my favorite Christmas activities.

I feel that reading the true Christmas story is one of the very best ways to help us focus on Christ as Christmas.

 

3. Read cherished Christmas books about the birth of the Savior.

Another wonderful family Christmas activity that can help your holiday season stay more focused on Christ is to read stories about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of my favorite Christ-centered Christmas books:

You can also find more Christ-centered Christmas books here.

 

4. Make Nativity sets a focal part of your cherished Christmas decor.

Another great idea for keeping Christ in Christmas and to have a Christ-centered Christmas is to display Nativity sets in your home.

I know many people who have collected lots of Nativity sets, and I think that is wonderful. In fact, I know of one woman who dedicates a room in her home to her various Creche sets. Our Nativity set collection isn’t huge (at least not yet :)). but we probably have a dozen Nativity sets of various sizes and made of various materials.

I think some of the most beautiful Christmas Nativity sets are these:

 Kurt S. Adler Nativity resin set

Holy Birth Nativity set

Holy Family Nativity set

 

Now that we have young kiddos, I love especially wooden and metal Nativity sets. Here are a few of my favorites:

Wooden Nativity ornament (we have this one or one very similar to it)

 Fun Express wooden Nativity set

Willow Tree Nativity set

 

You can find more fun and beautiful Christmas Nativity sets here

 

5. Hang Christ-centered Advent ornaments for a unique and fun family Christmas activity.

Another fun Christmas tradition for kids is to hang Advent ornaments.

The word advent means “coming,” and it refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day (which always falls between November 27 and December 3), and it ends on Christmas Eve.

More broadly, advent now for many people refers to the coming of Christmas, not just the coming of Christ, so many advent calendars and keepsakes have Christmas-themed objects, not just Christ-themed objects.

Some of my favorite advent or Nativity ornaments that we have are carved from wood (because they are less destructible; I love our glass ones, too, but I have to be a lot more careful with those ones with our young kiddos).
For example, I like this set of wooden Nativity ornaments.

You can find more ideas for Christ-themed advent ornaments here.

 

6. Count down the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar to help keep Christ in Christmas.

Another fun family Christmas activity related to Advent is to count downt he days till Christmas with an Advent calendar.

My personal favorite type of Advent calendar is one that counts down the days till Christmas with an idea for a different service project each day. I really like this colorful and bright advent service calendar geared fror kids from Nourishing Joy.

 

A couple of my favorite Christ-centered Advent calendars for kids and families are these:

Count Down to Christmas with Simplified Bible Verses Coloring Book

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas

 

7. Practice gratitude to help you focus on Christ at Christmas.

Another wonderful way to have a more Christ-focused Christmas is to focus on gratitude during the holiday season. Help your children to remember how blesses they are and how everything that we have on this earth is a blessing from our loving Heavenly Father.

The month of December is a great time to practice gratitude. Some fun ways to practice gratitude are to do an Christmas activity like the gratitude chain or gratitude box mentioned above,

You could invite your children or even extended famly like aunts and uncles and cousins over to be part of a gratitude activity where you all write down and share 5 or 10 things (or as many things as you can think of) that you are grateful for.

 

8. Serve others to help keep Christ in Christmas.

Christmas is a wonderful time to serve others and help those in need! You can visit a senior living center, visit someone you know is ill or homebound, take dinner to a family in need, serve at a soup kitchen, write letters to lift the spirits of those going through difficult times, buy Christmas gifts for a family in need—the possibilities are endless!

One of the things that I really love about the Christmas season is the fact that people are more inclined to give and to be kind and to serve one another. For example, you could do one or more of the following:

  • Take someone dinner.
  • Visit someone who is ill or homebound.
  • Take a plate of cookies to a neighbor.
  • Give a family winter hats, scarves, and mittens.
  • Leave a gift card in someone’s mailbox
  • Ring the bell (make sure they’re home first!) and leave cash in an envelope on someone’s door.

The possibilities are endless!

 

9. Do a service scavenger hunt.

In addition to the ideas above for serving others, there are many other fun Christmas-related service activities that can help us to remember that Christmas is for Jesus and help us keep Christ in Christmas.

And one of those is a service scavenger hunt. A service scavenger hunt is a fun way to serve those around you.

Some of actvivies you could include in your service scavenger hunt include:

  • Shovel walks
  • Take a meal to an elderly couple
  • Take cookies to your neighbors
  • Take toys or winter clothes to a homeless shelter
  • Donate money to a favorite charity
  • Leave dollar bills around the dollar store
  • Give gift cards to police officers or fire fighters
  • Leave a big tip to your server
  • Pay for the food of the vehicle behind you in the drive-through
  • Pay for the groceries of the person or family behind you

 

10. Make a list of ideas of random acts of kindness you can do, and then do them.

This idea is similar to the one just above, where you make a list of kind acts you can do for others throughout the holiday season, and then you cross each one off the list as you do them.

 

11. Participate in Sub for Santa.

Participating in a Sub for Santa with your work, your church, or as a family can be another great Christmas activity or tradition where you can help those in need and help you remember giving as part of the true reason for the Christmas season.

 

12. Participate in an annual toy drive.

Participating in an annual toy drive is another great Christmas activity for kids to help them think of others and serve children in the community.

There are many organizations who participate in annual toy drives, including many local stores. Generally, you purchase toys and deliver them, unwrapped, to the collection place.

 

13. Take your kids shopping to buy a toy to donate to a local charity.

Similar to the idea just above, you could take your children shopping to each buy a toy to donate to a local charity.

 

14. Donate money to causes you care about.

Another great way to serve those in need that you can do easily (you can even do it online, if you choose, and not even have to leave your house!) is to donate montey to local churches or charitable organizations.

 

15. Do the 12 Days of Christmas for a family.

Any family would appreciate being a recipient of the 12 Days of Christmas, and this another fun Christmas tradition that your whole family can be involved with.

You could even do the 12 Days for a family in need, where the gift or gifts for each day are something the family could really use, such as warm winter wear, a box of nonperishable food, a gift card with money or to a local grocery store or Walmart, cash, clothes (if you know the members of the family well enough to do that), and the like.

 

 

16. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

If you have older children, or just want an activity to do with your spuse or even your friends, then serving a meal in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter is a wonderful way to help out in the community. In some cases they ask the volunteers to provide the meal, too, so you are serving in two important ways.

 

17. Start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

As a fun twist on the Elf on the Shelf tradition, you could start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

I got this idea from The Imagination Tree, where they share that the Kindness Elves is “an alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf idea, and place the focus instead on positive, character-building activities for kids. [Their goal is] teaching love, kindness and gratitude with a hope to raise kids who move away from the entitlement attitude which is creeping into our modern generation.”

With the Kindness Elves, you could give daily (or however often you want) ideas for simple kind deeds or acts of servce that your chldren could do for others or for each other.

I love that their goal s to help put the focus back on serving others and away from the commecialism that often seems to permeate the Christmas season.

 

18. Fill a Christmas sack with toys to give away.

For this fun service-oriented Christmas activity, you give the kids a Christmas bag to fill with toys and items to give away to children in need. (You’ll probably want to go through them before the delivery day so you make sure they’re not giving away anything that you really would like to keep. :))

 

 

19. Make Jesus a birthday cake.

Another fun acitvity that can help young and old alike to remember that Christmas is for Jesus and to keep Christ in Christmas is to make Jesus a birthday cake to celebrate this most special of days.

This can be a particularly fun way for the kids to celebrate Christ at Christmas. You could make your own family favorite birthday cake, or try something that you have never done before. Or maybe decide to bake a different flavor or type of birthday cake each year to keep things fun and new.

Make Jesus a fun birthday cake to help you to remember Christ at Christmas.

 

20. Go to church.

If you already have a church that you regularly attend, be sure to go sometime during the Christmas season (at least once :)).

If you do not have a church that you regularly attend, Christmas is a wonderful time to go (or to begin going regularly! :)). You can Google Christian churches in your area to look for one that will be a great fit for your family.

 

21. Attend a Christmas musical performance.

Another fun family Christmas activity to help keep the focus on Christ is to go to a Christmas musical performance about the Savior.

I know that many people love to go to Christmas musical programs every year, like Handel’s Messiah program, for example.

 

22. Pray with your family.

It is wonderful if you as a family say prayers over your meals or at the beginning or end of each day.

If you have fallen out of the habit of praying as a family, or have not started this tradition yet, then this is a wonderful family tradition not just during the Christmas season but during the rest of the year, as well!

 

23. Invite a friend or family to attend church with you or a church Christmas party.

Another great way to celebrate the Christmas season is to invite a friend or family to attend church with your family or to attend a Christmas party hosted by your church.

 

 

24. Listen to Christian music.

You don’t have to listen to just Christmas music during the holiday season; you can listen to your favorite traditional Christmas music, as well!

 

 

25. Commit to a cash-only Christmas.

One of the ways to have a more Christ-centered Christmas is to have a cash-only Christmas! (This is one of my personal favorite ideas of all of those shared in this article. :))

For a cash-only Christmas, you commit to not go into debt for Christmas. So that means no credit card debt, no personal loans, and no other debt used to pay for Christmas presents and Christmas meals and parties and activities.

Having a cash-only Christmas, a no-debt Christmas, is a wonderful Christmas tradition and legacy to pass on to your children, as well.

And to help you plan for a wonderful debt-free Christmas, grab one of these awesome Christmas savings trackers!

 

3 Month Christmas Savings Tracker (Save $500 or $1,000 in 3 months!)

free Christmas Savings Tracker printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or grab this fun Christmas savings tracker printable!

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts on Remembering That Christmas Is for Jesus

I hope that this article has given you many ideas for Christmas activities you can start with your own family to help you have a more Christ-centered Christmas! Whether you want to keep things pretty simple and low key or love to go all out during the holiday season, you can find the right balance of perfect holiday activities and traditions that will help you remember that Christ is the reason for the season!

As you consider fun Christmas activities to enjoy with your family this year, consider creating a Christmas bucket list! This is a fun way to make plans for the fun holiday activities that you and your family take part in this Christmas season!

Christmas activities, and especially Christ-centered Christmas activities that help us to keep Christ in Christmas, can help to build stronger family connections.

So take a little time this year to plan the activities and events you want to participate in. This can help you to not only have a less stressful and more joyful holiday season, but these Christmas activities can bring your famly closer together and give you fun memories for decades to come!

What are your favorite ways to remember that Christmas is for Jesus? What Christmas activities do you enjoy to help you keep Christ in Christmas and focus more on Jesus Christ at Christmastime? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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