During the busy days of the Christmas season, do you ever think longingly of that peaceful night in Bethlehem so long ago? Don’t we usually picture that first Christmas as a quiet, star-lit night filled with beautiful angel songs and a radiant new mother cradling a tiny Baby?
It seems, though, that the days leading up to the very first Christmas were quite hectic in their own right. Mary and Joseph were making a major trip, paying their taxes, and preparing for the birth of a very special Baby! In modern terms: packing for an extended trip, dealing with the IRS, and delivering a baby without the conveniences of a hospital.
Suddenly sounds a little less idealistic, doesn’t it? And yet, peace and joy surrounded that night long ago. Why? Because in the midst of those busy days, their hearts were focused on Jesus.
In the midst of all the decorating, shopping, and baking, we can find that peace and joy in the same way that Mary and Joseph did. We just have to keep our minds and hearts focused on the real Reason for the Christmas season.
Here are some of the ways we have kept Christ in Christmas over the years:
- Children’s program at church–Every year our children recite and sing in the children’s program at our church. This is an excellent way to make Christmas meaningful to them, even when they are quite young. It also offers them an opportunity to give of themselves to others at Christmas.
- Christmas caroling–Yes, people really do still Christmas carol! It is such a fun way to spread joy during the Christmas season. We have caroled door-to-door and also in nursing homes, and it is always an enjoyable experience.
- Candlelight sevice–Each year we have a beautiful candlelight service on the last Sunday evening before Christmas. It is truly one of the most meaningful celebrations of the season, giving time to reflect quietly on the Light of the world.
- Displaying a nativity scene–We have a small nativity in our living room and also a beautiful window nativity that we look forward to displaying each year.
- Playing Christmas carols that reflect the true meaning of the season–”Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and “Away in a Manger” speak volumes about the real meaning of Christmas.
- Reading the Christmas story aloud on Christmas Day–There are several different passages in the Bible that tell parts of the Christmas story. My favorite is Luke 2.
- Singing carols together when our extended family gathers to celebrate Christmas–When my extended family gets together shortly after Christmas, there is likely to be singing (yes, by all 30 or so of us!). Beautiful memories with beautiful meaning!
- Search for Peace–One of the highlights of our Christmas season is attending Search for Peace, a local Christmas pageant detailing the entire Christmas story. This performance seems to literally bring Christmas to life; if you are within driving distance of Curwensville, PA, I highly recommend this annual event.
What about you? How do you keep Christ in Christmas?
Take a minute to read about Christmas activities that these three families enjoy!
This post also contributes to Thought-Provoking Thursday.