By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer
The Christmas season is a time of joy and celebration. It’s my favorite time of the year! I love the decorations, baking, dinners with family and friends, listening to Christmas music, exchanging gifts and attending fun holiday events.
But if Christmas were only about those things I would be missing the most important part of the season, the birth of Jesus. Sadly, many of us get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget why we should be celebrating in the first place!
5 Ways to Keep the Right Focus this Christmas
Keeping your focus on Christ this season doesn’t mean you have to forget all the fun things you love about the holidays. However, I do think it means that you may need to be more purposeful in finding ways to remember Him this season. There’s plenty of ways you can do that so to help you out, I came up with five ways to keep Christ in Christmas.
1. Add reminders of Christ to your decorations
Growing up, I remember helping my mom pull out the little nativity scene every year while we decorated. It had a little barn with straw and porcelain figurines of the shepherds, wise men, angels, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and a few farm animals too.
I have yet to get my own nativity display, but I think this year I want to make it a goal to find one. I love how it is such a simple reminder of the real reason for the season. It’s a symbol of what happened that glorious night so many years ago. It’s also a great way to tell others about the gift of Jesus through the story of His birth.
There are lots of other ways you could decorate to have reminders of Christ around your home. Here’s a few ideas:
- Use words like Love, Joy Peace and Hope in your decorations somewhere. I have small frames with flowers in them that I have out most of the year but for Christmas I change these out for prints I made with those words.
- Find or make something to display that has the words of your favorite Christmas hymn or bible verse from the Christmas story.
- You could even do something as simple as changing the wallpaper on your computer or phone with something that focuses on celebrating Christ at Christmas.
2. Listen to worshipful Christmas music
I love Christmas music and usually start listening to it the beginning of November and sometimes even a few days earlier. However, hearing the same silly Christmas songs over an over again does get a bit annoying. I do like some of the silly songs and old classics. You will often find me playing the Christmas Jazz Pandora station, but I still like to make time for listening to something that reminds me of the real reason for the season.
My favorite Christmas hymn is O Holy Night. I have a lot of other favorites too so I created a playlist on Spotify with some of my favorite songs to about keeping Christ in Christmas. If you are looking for something to listen to this season, use this playlist. Enjoy!
3. Look for ways to serve others
Christmas can easily become self centered when we focus solely on our to do lists, family gatherings and finding the perfect gifts. When we are so focused on those things we can easily miss opportunities to serve those around us.
Looking for ways to serve can be something as simple as helping a neighbor shovel their driveway or helping out in the kitchen during a big meal for family or friends.
Serving can also involve helping people in need during the holidays. There are many people less fortunate that could use some extra love this time of year. Here’s some ideas of how you could help:
- Send a box to a child in need through Operation Christmas Child.
- Buy a gift for a child in need through Angel Tree.
- Give warm weather gear to a homeless shelter or organization looking for donations to help people stay warm in the winter.
- Make a holiday food basket for your local food pantry to give to someone who might not get a nice meal for the holidays.
- Spend time with someone who might not have family around for the holidays.
- Visit people at a local nursing home.
- Send an encouraging Christmas letter to a missionary or someone stationed away from home in the military.
4. Make time to read the story of Jesus’ birth
I remember as a kid we always read the Christmas story before opening gifts on Christmas morning. It was a good reminder that though gifts are nice the real reason we celebrate isn’t for presents and Santa Clause but because God sent his son as our ultimate gift.
I like the idea of reading the story on Christmas morning but it doesn’t have to be reserved for one day. You could also read just a verse or two every day leading up to Christmas as a to help you focus on Him everyday. An Advent devotional or calender with a new verse each day is another great way to do this.
5. Attend an event that focuses on keeping Christ in Christmas
Look for local events that celebrate Christ at Christmas. A lot of churches have Christmas programs or musical events during the holidays. You might even find some Christian Christmas concerts to attend.
One of my favorite ways to keep Christ in Christmas is attending a Christmas Eve church service or candlelight service. I love how peaceful it is to be in a dark room lit with nothing but candles singing Christmas hymns. It’s the perfect way to focus on Christ and prepare for Christmas day after a busy and rushed season.
As you plan for shopping, baking, decorating and gift giving this year, it is my hope that you will find a way to remember the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Have a blessed holiday!
What are your favorite ways to keep Christ in Christmas?
Do you have any special traditions that focus on Jesus at Christmastime?