Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Make Christmas Extra Special At Home This Year

Does it seem like Christmas shows up all-of-a-sudden each year? In July it seems like it's a long way off but once fall arrives the holidays come rolling towards us with a rush, don't they? And if you're like most people, the Christmas season can easily suck the life and energy out of you rather than being an enjoyable, celebratory time to remember Christ's birth.

So while we're still a few weeks away, let me make a couple of suggestions to help you in your marriage and family perhaps make Christmas a little more special and meaningful this year. First of all, break a few traditions. Yes, break them. Do something a little bit different. If you always tend to travel think about staying home. If you always open gifts at a certain time change it up. Sometimes when we do something a little differently it means more and we remember it longer.

Second, give more away and keep less. What if you took a part of your Christmas giving resources and gave them away as a couple or family? That could take lots of forms from working through a local agency to helping out a particular family. What if your Christmas shopping this year involved you going to the store and spending most of your money on others instead of yourself? What a great lesson to teach your children that Christmas is more about giving than taking.

Some agencies like World Vision even offer gift booklets that allow you to give money to buy a large ongoing gift for someone in a third-world country that they could use year round such as an animal to provide milk or a well that would give water. What if you and your kids went through their ideas and picked something that you would together give?

Third, tell the Christmas story in a meaningful way. Read it from the Scriptures, act it out as a family, or watch a movie. Talk about what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to face the circumstances of their new baby being born in a manger in a barn or cave. Sing some Christmas carols together, too, and perhaps serve some goodies to top off the evening.

Fourth, make some cookies or other simple gifts to give to your neighbors just for fun. We used to go and carol for our neighbors with our two little kids and then offer them a plate of cookies.

Fifth, totally go away somewhere and forget the regular Christmas rush. If you don't normally travel this will be more fun. Take your resources, give some away, and then put the rest toward one trip somewhere and skip all the gift-giving. Just enjoy being together.

There are lots of other creative ideas out there. In fact, if you have some put them at the end of this post for others to see.

Let's face it, most of the world around us has stolen the real Christmas from us. They want the season, the lights, the trees, even the name but they've left Jesus out. It's more about what people can get rather than what they can give. And they've forgotten that God gave the greatest gift in all of history to the world on that first Christmas, Jesus, His son, born in a manger so that he could ultimately die for us.

Don't let the real story get lost this year. If anything, help it come alive by making your Christmas unique, special and full of meaning this year. Merry Christmas!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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