The Greatest Gift Is Jesus
The holidays are quickly coming upon us and the ‘chaos’ that often accompanies this time of year. It’s easy to get caught up in all the rush and distracted from the real reason of the season
- the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
It’s also becoming harder to keep Christ in Christmas. Although the word, “Christmas” has His name right in it. Mass of the Christ, Christ-mas.
Just look at how employers are telling their employees they’re not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” but instead have to say “Happy Holidays”. And that’s just one example of many!
As Christians it’s important that we keep Jesus as the focus. It’s our responsibility to teach our family, especially if we have little ones, what Christmas is truly about. It isn’t about a man in a red suit and getting a multitude of gifts. Nor is it a competition of how expensive the gifts are in order to show or feel loved by others.
So, if you’re looking for ways to help you refocus on Jesus this year, here are 6 ideas to get you started.
1. Twelve Days of Christmas Family Devotionals
What better way to put the focus on Jesus than reading a daily devotion? Here are some I found when I did a quick Google search:
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas (this isn’t a devotions book but could be a great one to read during the Holidays)
Family Devotion: 12 Days of Christmas Devotion Kit (this looked like fun and a great family activity!)
Another idea for devotions could be to have each family member (if they’re old enough) focus on writing their own devotion for one day. Then spend time doing a Bible study each day based on the devotion that was written. This can be fun and a learning experience all in one.
2. Advent Calendar
These are a special calendar used to countdown the days to Christmas. They’re a lot of fun especially if you have little ones – they get a kick out of opening the doors on the calendar each day.
Not only does it help with developing basic counting and math skills, but it helps them with the anticipation of the actual day of Celebration.
Although we all know that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th all those years ago, it is important to set aside a time or season of reflection. Because without Jesus first arriving in human form and living among humankind, there wouldn’t be any later death, resurrection, and salvation offered to mankind.
So, enjoy the “advent” of the season and waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here’s one Advent Calendar you can check out: The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent.
3. Birthday Cake For Jesus
Bake a cake for Jesus and celebrate His birth with a piece of yummy cake. Which is His favorite? White or chocolate? Involve your children in the annual decision of what kind of cake to serve.
Just like with any birthday celebration of anyone else in your family—celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Before cutting into the cake and enjoying it, grab the family, say a prayer, and even sing “Happy Birthday”.
If you don’t have time to bake your own cake, why not just grab one, fully decorated, at the local grocery store. Have the bakery department even write “Happy Birthday Jesus” on top. Be prepared to be a witness of your faith and reason for the cake if necessary.
Don’t forget to grab some candles and have the whole family help to blow them out. Obviously you won’t be able to fully represent the age of Jesus, but who doesn’t like blowing out birthday candles?
Switch up some of the typical Christmas decorations and actually use Birthday decorations instead. This would certainly help everyone to keep the focus on a Birthday celebration.
4. Give Up A Gift To Help Someone Else
For this one you need to get your whole family on board. The idea behind this is that each family member agrees to receive one or two less gifts and the extra money that would have been spent on those gifts is given to a charitable organization. There are many you can choose from like Compassion Canada, just to name one.
Turn the focus on Jesus’ Birthday and give a gift to Him—through an organization working in His Name.
Perhaps you can help a family in another part of the world receive some life saving things such as:
- a chicken,
- mosquito nets,
- or even school supplies.
Many organizations publish a Christmas Gift Guide to help you decide and work within your own financial situation as well. For instance, to get you and your family started, even the gift of a simple mosquito net can mean life and death to a child in need.
Choose a local organization like a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, etc. and find out about volunteering some time. This is a perfect family activity and can be an eye opening and humbling experience for kids that are old enough to understand that some people don’t even have basic necessities like:
- a home
- or even a bed.
Help to raise financial funds for one or more of these organizations as well. Many of these worthy groups, right in your own community, are financially struggling year round, but especially during the Christmas season when demands for their services are huge.
Collecting donations can be as simple as an “Extra Change” jar on the counter. Have everyone daily empty their loose change into the jar daily for a month. See how much you can raise.
Collect aluminum pop cans at your school and cash them in at a local scrap yard and donate the cash to a group. Although not as money can be made per pound, even collecting and cashing in other metal cans such as soup, tuna, and vegetable cans are a great way to raise funds too.
Perhaps you have a gift of knitting or crocheting. Put it to use and make some mittens and hats for your local public school. This way when a child loses or doesn’t have these items, the school office can discreetly make them available to these children.
How about sewing some crib sheets for your local pregnancy crisis center?
There are so many ways that you can help volunteer:
- and more
6. Pray For Your Neighborhood
Grab your family, step outside and take a walk around your neighborhood looking at all the lights and decorations. As you do so, have you and your family pray over each house. Make it your “prayer walk”.
Everyone needs some prayer over their lives.
- Perhaps it is an elderly person who has lost their spouse and this is their first Christmas alone.
- Someone else might have health issues preventing them from shoveling snow.
- Others might be struggling trying to pay basic bills, and the stress of expectations of Christmas are leading them into deep depression.
Christmas is not a joyous season for all—remember to share the gospel—the Good News of the love of Jesus.
Through the prayers over your neighbors, be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, you and your kids can bake some cookies and return the next day to bring to HOPE and a FUTURE to one of those struggling neighbors.
Listen to what Jesus wants you to do in order to celebrate the Greatest Gift—Jesus.
Remember, The Greatest Gift Is Jesus
These are only a handful of ideas. It’s a good starting point, but there are so many other things you can do to keep Jesus the focus this Holiday season. Let us always remember: Jesus is the reason for the season.
And the greatest way to demonstrate the gift of Jesus is to do a “Christmas Living” every day, not just limited to a couple of weeks or days a year.
Your life should demonstrate the Greatest Gift Is Jesus, 365 days a year.