What are you planning to do on Christmas Day? Your calendar may say, “Go to Grandma’s house” but that really doesn’t represent the specific plans that you have or maybe you don’t have specific plans, only a general estimation of how the day turns out.
There are a lot of traditions and ways to add some fun to Christmas Eve or Day. One of my passions the past few years is to help families see that intentionality around Christmas time is important. The Celtic Christians believed that there were places around the world that the space between heaven and earth was thin. While I don’t believe that, I do believe that the season in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and his first and second (future) Advent, is a unique time of year that is full of all kinds of amazing opportunities.
It is these opportunities that I hope families don’t miss out on. Opportunities to create valuable traditions, opportunities to bond and connect, opportunities to spend more time together, to make lasting memories, to share the gospel story, to be filled with the awe that the season deserves. And before your head fills with feelings of angst, pressure, or regret, I’m not talking about you becoming your family's event coordinator or spending a ton of time and money to make everyone happier so that you look like the fun family on Instagram. I’m talking about a season that is authentic with simple intentionality, and a gentle pursuit of the Gospel Story.
There is this great passage in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 that speaks to parenting in a clear way, it says “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” This scripture tells us is that God desires us not to limit the gospel to Sunday school, but that the good news of the gospel is for every day. Especially the days where heaven seems clearer, and Jesus nearer like on Christmas. Even if you don’t have children in the home, you can see how ironic it is if in the time in which God came to us (Emmanuel), we don’t go near to Him. This reminder then is for everyone, unless you don't celebrate Christmas - then this is not for you, but for everyone else let me dive deeper into what I exactly I am getting at.
When our kids were young, we decided before we ran down stairs and plowed through the gift opening and cut a trail to grandma’s house for lunch, we would slow down. So now we get up, stay in our pajamas, make coffee, and spend some valuable time as a family. Every Christmas morning is the same because we want to teach our kids that some traditions are sacred. Here are some possible ideas to help you thoughtfully, intentionally, shape that time;
After attending a Christmas Eve Service, get to bed at a decent time.
Set out cookies for Santa, if you don't recognize Santa, get your oldest kids up to eat the cookies.
Wake your kids up with bells or a special song.
Everyone stays in your pajamas for a while.
Make cinnamon rolls, serve eggnog, and boiled eggs for protein.
Talk about how we are blessed & how we can help bless others this year.
Open stockings and presents.
Watch a Christmas show.
Above all Read the Christmas Story (Luke 1 &2) and share the gospel with each other.
Above all things this season is about generosity, family, and making much of Jesus. If you're doing that then you are doing Christmas well. I hope this helps in that pursuit and I hope you, have yourself a merry little Christmas time!