This time of year we are faced with all the materialism the world has to offer. One must stop and think of what happened to simple family Christmas tradition that keep the spirit of the holiday alive. Do we remember why we celebrate Christmas? Sugar Plum dreams fill our heads but is there room for Christ and family? This year many families are facing difficult economic times. This causes many to go beyond their means to provide what the world calls a good Christmas or feel depressed for being unable to provide presents. If you feel out of the Christmas spirit due to finances or inability to purchase gifts then you need to re-examine what the Christmas spirit is and how your celebrate it.
Ten simple ways to add the true meaning of Christmas back into your family
1. Special Christmas Breakfast. Every year I make French toast. I cut the toast in half crosswise to make a triangle shape. This serves as the tree. I sprinkle green sugar sprinkles on top to give it color. To finish it off, I use a sausage link for the tree bark. Try something fun for your family!
2. Present for Jesus. Wrap a box but leave a slit at the top where you can insert an index card. Each time a family member does something for Jesus have him or her write down the action on the card and insert in the box. Then on Christmas, open up the box and share with everyone what you gave Jesus this year.
3. Make Prayer Cards out of Greeting Cards. Each time you get a greeting card be sure to put it in a prayer rotation. Have cards lined up on a mantle or make into garland for the tree or however you store your cards, then each night have a family prayer time and pray for each person who sent you a card.
4. Read the Christmas Story. Read the Christmas story out of the bible. Either have dad read the entire story or have family members rotate verses. Do this before you open presents, so you can remember the true reason you should be thankful for another Christmas.
5. Christmas Craft. Every year, my family makes a Christmas craft. The craft changes yearly. One year we made ornaments, the next we made votive candle holders out of flower pots, and the next we made our own Christmas cards. Just choose something! As time goes on, you will be able to decorate your home with your Christmas crafts! I know I would rather see my family’s creations up than something I purchased.
6. Advent Paper Chain. Get red and green construction paper and cut it into thin strips. Then form a circle with one and glue end to end. Next, use an alternating color and attach it to make another circle and glue end to end forming a chain. You can make one link for each day in December up until Christmas day. Before forming the links and the chain, write on the inside a verse, an activity, or permission for a special treat, for the kids to open each day until Christmas.
7. Cookies for the Neighbors. Every year I make cookies for my neighbors. Included in the tin are strips of paper like confetti with printed verses. I also insert a track.
8. Christmas Caroling. When passing out your cookies you want to offer up some Christmas carols for your neighbor’s enjoyment. If you are too shy, then just make singing a regular family tradition.
9. Christmas Decoration Tear Down Day. Taking down decorations should be part of the fun! We make it a family affair because it goes faster and it makes it more fun. Use that time to reflect on the memories surrounded by the decorations, ornaments, gifts, greeting cards and so forth. Reflect on the meaning of Christmas and how you can keep that spirit in the upcoming New Year. Then when the work is done play a game, watch a movie or do some fun family activity.
10. Iron Chef Christmas Cookie Competition. We all love Christmas cookies and treats. I am sure every family member has a personal favorite. Well, one day get in the kitchen and whip up some cookies. Split up into teams and make your favorites to share. To make it more fun, have a secret ingredient! Pick out of a hat, a strip of paper with an ingredient on it, like chocolate chips. That will be the challenge secret ingredient for each team. This will make baking so much more fun and personal.