I have been trying to embrace a simpler Christmas this year. But every day still seems to be packed with gift giving, family visits, parties, extra cooking, family activities and decorating. Even when we try not to, it is easy to become distracted by all the things that we have to do and not spend enough time celebrating the true reason for Christmas.
That’s why I put together this list of very simple ways we can focus on Christ this month. For you and for me. These 7 ideas aren’t meant to add more stress to your life, but to be small, meaningful things worth adding to your schedule.
- Read the Christmas story.
This is something my family has always done on Christmas morning, but I will likely move the tradition to Christmas Eve so it isn’t so rushed. You can find the story in Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-23.
- Bake birthday cake for Jesus.
I don’t think Jesus would care whether it’s a bakery cake or a cake from a box, but the point is to recognize that Christmas is Jesus’ special day.
- Do an advent activity.
I have a toddler, so the best I can get is working on an advent coloring page each night. As she gets older, we will switch to the Jesse Tree Project, which I purchased last year. I have also heard great things about Shepherd on the Search, which seems like a Christ-centered alternative to Elf on the Shelf.
- Hang a white stocking.
I love this idea from Clarks Condensed of hanging up a white stocking. On slips of paper, they write down acts of kindness done for each other or people outside the family and place those in the stocking. They read them on Christmas day as gifts for Jesus.
- Attend Christmas Eve service.
This year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, which makes this one easy to do. Take your family to a Christmas Eve service as a designated time to remember how special the gift of Jesus is.
- Watch a Christ-focused Christmas movie as a family.
The Nativity Story is a great one to watch and The Star, about the Christmas story from a donkey’s perspective, is in theaters now.
- Give everyone one Christ-centered gift.
This year, we are getting my daughter a Jesus Storybook Bible to read as a part of her bedtime routine. For adults, you could buy a Christian book, album or even a decoration for the house or office.