“I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Monica at http://www.equippingCatholicfamilies.com
Erika at http://raisinglittlesaints.blogspot.ca/
Tina at http://trulyrichmom.com/
Laura at http://daybydayinourworld.com/
Sarah at http://onthewayhome2.com
Chris at http://campfiresandcleats.blogspot.ca/
Birgit at http://designsbybirgit.blogspot.ca/
Please consider following your hosts
in appreciation for the work that they do…
and be sure to visit as many links as possible,
listed at the bottom of this post.
My family is not perfect at it. In fact I see the beautiful little bumper sticker with the nativity and the “keep Christ in Christmas” slogan and think, Oh yeah! That’s what we need to do! I love the decorations, anticipation, sights and sounds of Christmas. But it is easy to get wrapped up in the wrappings and trimmings. Being a competitive person… I even get caught up in how does my house look compared to anothers? That’s when I know I must stop. Take a breath and remember:
Jesus came because He is in love with us, He is God incarnate. He calls us to love in everything we do. In every present, wrapping, cookie, light lit. If it does not have love behind it then it is in vain. Here are some simple ways that our family takes this message into our home to transcend an already beautiful season, into a heavenly one as well.
1. Jesse Tree. This Christmas we are trying something new. Instead of an ornate tree, with gold glistening ornaments, sugarplum fairies and snowmen, we are transforming our tree into a simple reflection of the scriptures of Jesus’s coming. From Dec 1-Dec 25th each day we add a different ornament with a special scripture and message. See my article HERE on how we made the Jesse Tree Ornaments.
2. Christmas Cards. Now this might seem simple or a no-brainer. But I can’t tell you how many people don’t send Christmas cards anymore. In this digital age, I love taking the time to hand write with love messages to our family and friends. It’s a language of love for me, I love recieving them and seeing the beautiful pictures of Jesus and winter scenes. We intentionally try to pick beautiful images of Christ & the Holy Family to keep it sacred.
3. Advent Wreath. Like many Catholic families, we light the advent wreath each night at dinner time during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Much can be done surrounding this tradition, including nightly prayers and devotionals. We keep it simple and enjoy the illuminating presence of candles to remind us of Christ’s light in the world.
4. St. Nicholas brings 3 presents. If three presents were good enough for the wise men to bring to Jesus, then it is good enough for us! We limit the number of presents St. Nicholas brings to just three. This cuts down on the commercialization of Christmas and keeps the symbolism alive of the nativity and the three kings bringing three presents.
PC: Orthodoxy Today
5. Giving back. Operation Christmas Child or Angel Tree or one of the many others.
I’ve been a part of groups who have done both and they are wonderful worthwhile organizations. It gives our daughter a chance to see her faith in action. To get involved visit: Operation Christmas Child or Angel Tree.
6. Baking with love. We are a military family, so every year we participate in an Airmen’s Cookie Drive. If you live near a base, chances are they are doing one at the beginning of December! But we don’t just bake dozens of cookies for it. We be sure to do so with love. We usually do Christmas Cookies with custom decoration to brighten their day. My Christmas Cookie Recipe can be found HERE.
7. Participating in a Christmas Pageant. Each year we attend the children’s mass and partake in a Christmas Pageant. This allows kids to act out the story of our Saviors birth. This hands on approach creates lasting memories and brings the whole family closer to Christ.
8. Birthday cake for baby Jesus. After the Christmas Pageant, we have a “fiesta” at home. We make traditional southwestern dishes and eat a delicious cake we have made from scratch. We have done peppermint chocolate and vanilla chocolate, each year it is a special task to figure out what the flavor would be! Then we get to after church and dinner sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus.
9. Practicing random acts of kindness. We’ve done a month of thankfulness in November followed by random acts of kindness in December. It has range from paying it forward at the coffee shop by buying the next person’s coffee to giving somone a smile who may need one. Be sure to follow along On The Way Home on Facebook as we will be doing random “flash” acts of kindness throughout the month!
10. What would you add? Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear what you would add to Keep Christ in Christmas! Be sure to visit the many other blogs participating in the Keep Christ in Christmas event. Blessings.