Establishing a Meaningful Christmas
In order to establish a meaningful Christmas we must teach our children about what Christmas is really about. It's not about Santa or the toys or candy. It's about our Savior! It's about his miraculous birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection. I know most people only focus on the Birth of the Savior for Christmas, but really; without the rest, the birth would be pointless.
How can you help your children learn about the true meaning of Christmas and experience a meaningful Christmas? There are lots of different ways. But I will share with you 5 ways that can help you have your heart centered on the Savior this year. You don't have to do all five, even just one is a great idea, but if you can do more; the greater the blessings will come to you and yours.
5 ways to have a meaningful Christmas
1. Christmas Jars! Have you read the Book Christmas Jars by Jason Wright? If not, I highly recommend you do! Get it, read it as a family, and be sure to have tissues on hand! Just reading the story together will be a moving experience, but then when you implement the idea of a Christmas Jar in your own home, it will help your entire family to think of the Savior and experience a meaningful Christmas; and not just in December, but year round! The idea is you have a jar labeled Christmas Jar. And at the end of each day, everyone deposits their left over change into the jar. On Christmas Eve, you have a family counsel, and prayer and you seek for a family who could benefit from this gift; and then secretly gift it to them on Christmas Eve.
2. A Memorable Advent Calendar. Create or find an advent calendar that focuses on Christ, or the manger scene. What I really want is a beautiful Manger scene advent calendar which allows you to add a piece to the manger scene each day; but in addition each piece has a story or scripture along with it, that teaches about the Savior's life, ministry or his birth.
3. Display a Nativity; and have it be the center of your decorations. One year, my parents didn't put up a Christmas tree. Mostly because my mom was tired, there were no kids left at home to help decorate it; and she just didn't want to go through the hassle. Instead they displayed a large and beautiful Nativity set and all the presents were placed below it. It was the center of all the decorations. Now this may not have been done on purpose, but the feeling I got every time I saw that Nativity, was that THIS was where our Focus should be. But if you are like me; and just can't do away with the Christmas Tree, think about altering some of the decorations on the Christmas tree. The majority of the decorations on our tree are manger scenes, including blown glass ornaments from Germany, and Olive wood ornaments from Jerusalem and my amazing find of Jim Shore Nativity from the BX in Germany. The other half of the tree is decorated by my children with the ornaments they have made from past years and their yearly ornament; as they get a new ornament each year for Christmas. This helps us to continually think about the true meaning of Christmas and gives us a more meaningful Christmas.
4. 24 days of Christmas Activity book. This is a great project to do together as a family. One year for Christmas, a family member gave my little family this white binder. And inside is an amazing collection of ideas for each day leading up to Christmas. Each day is labeled as December 1st, December 2nd, etc. So you always know which page to read for which day of December. Each page has a Scripture talking about Christ's birth, life or ministry; a Christmas Carol, and a Christmas Story. For Example:
- Scripture: Isaiah 7: 14 " Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel".
- Carol: Angels we have Heard on High
- Story: the Gift of the Magi
Each day we read and sing that day's collection. My boys have really grown to love this book and were so excited when I pulled it out last night in preparation for today: Dec 1st. It would be easy to create your own. Simply have a binder, page protectors and then collect Scriptures, stories and carols. Print the odd days on red paper, and the even days on white paper (it just makes it look nice and festive), place them all in the binder and you are good to go. It brings a meaningful Christmas spirit to each and every day of December.
5. Help A family in Need. A friend of mine just shared an amazing story about what her siblings and her family does every year. They are all grown up, married and living in different locations. Each year, instead of buying each other gifts, they all donate money. Each family takes turns being the "collector". So last year it was my friend's turn. They collected all the money from her sibling's families. Then her husband, children and herself selected a family that was in need in their area and secretly donated the money to them. And then each year the "collector" rotates between the family, so each family has a turn selecting a family in need in their area. She says it still works without the siblings, but she really enjoys the fact that with more people involved you can give a greater gift.
Remember what the Savior said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. " (Matthew 25:35-40)
There are many other amazing ideas on how we can have the Savior centered in our hearts this Holiday season; these were just 5 ways for a meaningful Christmas that I have come across!
How do you have a meaningful Christmas and celebrate the True meaning of Christmas?