Ideas to Make Christmas Meaningful This Year
The year 2020 has developed quite a reputation for itself. We joke about it and wonder if simply turning the page to 2021 might bring life back to something more familiar and predictable. Yet when we stop to count our blessings, many are finding much to be thankful for – maybe it’s more family time, more time to focus on our homes, more time to be grateful for what we have and less time spent running around from here to there.
Possibly we’ve even gained a clearer picture of what’s most important in our lives. Has 2020 given you 20/20 vision of your life? Yes, it’s been a challenging year. For many, the words that come to mind are anxiety, loneliness, fear, or darkness. That’s one of the reasons you want to make Christmas extra meaningful in your home this year.
Let’s be intentional. A meaningful Christmas doesn’t happen by accident and it’s not about the gifts received. Ultimately it’s about Jesus and our relationships together. So start now to plan. Here are some ways to be intentional this year about making Christmas special for you and your family.
Week 1 – Four Weeks before Christmas
“Christmas is a time for stories”
Gather as a family and read Luke 2: 1-20, maybe by candlelight.
Notice that the shepherds were eager to go out and tell their story.
Activity: Ask each family member to tell at least one story about a Christmas memory that is important to them. Remember that stories are a way to pass values and convictions on to your children so sharing about a meaningful Christmas from your past can make a significant impression and help your children develop a deeper understanding of Christ and Christmas.
Week 2 – Three Weeks before Christmas
“Share Christmas Joy”
Gather as a family and read Matthew 2: 1-12, maybe all sitting on the floor in the living room to add atmosphere to your time. You might provide some Christmas cookies as a gift to your family.
Notice that the Wisemen were overjoyed when they saw the star. They were excited as they anticipated seeing the Messiah. They came prepared with gifts.
Activity: Determine a way to share Christmas joy with someone outside your immediate family. Brainstorm as a family for an idea and then schedule it or do the preparation work necessary to give to others and make their Christmas Season special. You might create a video, make some cookies, or find a way to bless a neighbor. You might also choose to give to a family or someone in need.
Week 3 – Two Weeks before Christmas
“Have a Servant Heart like Mary”
Gather as a family and read Luke 1:26-38, maybe all sitting around the dining room table.
Notice Mary’s servant heart. She didn’t have all the answers but she was willing to serve anyway.
Activity: Encourage each family member to serve in your home. Remember to think of your “home” both to represent the people and the house. After each serves, have them write on a card what they did and place it near the Nativity scene in your home. This represents their offering to God and willingness to be a servant. Some children may need more guidance and accountability than others. This activity might continue on for a few days but set a deadline to make sure it happens. Talk about serving and being willing to be used by God.
Week 4 – One Week before Christmas
“Create Holy Moments”
Gather as a family and read Luke 2:22-40, maybe around a fire, in a large closet in your home, or in a make shift tent to create atmosphere.
Notice each person in the story and how they are seeking God and focusing on Him.
Activity: Sing or play two or three Christmas worship songs. Then go around and have each person pray. If this is new for your family, you might want to use one-word prayers where the leader starts the praying telling God, “We each have one word that we want to share in thanks to the Lord” Prayer and worship bring you into holy moments as a family.