“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.

GiottonativityGiotto Nativity

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.

St_NicholasPC: 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.

operation christmas child

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.

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas

JoyAlive.net: O Radiant Dawn!

Simply Homeschool  Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25

Campfires and Cleats     How We Keep Christ in Christmas

Fifth of Five        Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013

Coffee Moments with Sam         The Light of Hope

Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition

Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas

Open Window   Making hay while the Advent wreath shines

Home to 4 Kiddos            Keep Christ in Christmas

Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas

Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual

Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 

Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All         Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
Canadian Catholic Mom            Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling      Keep Christ in Christmas

Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 

Adoro Ergo Sum:  How We Keep Christ in Christmas

JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

 Home to 4 Kiddos            Keep Christ in Christmas

Embedded Faith               Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas

City Girl, Country Home            Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?

Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats

Joy of Nine9       Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child

Splendor in the Home    Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy

Training Happy Hearts    10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year

A Catholic Life    Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations

Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus

Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas

 A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas


 Campfires and Cleats     How We Keep Christ in Christmas

17 Comments on 2013 Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas

  1. Teresa Dumadag
    December 3, 2013 at 3:36 am (3 years ago)

    I was reminded by your post to give away handwritten cards to family and friends this Christmas. Thanks!

  2. Sue Elvis
    December 3, 2013 at 3:49 am (3 years ago)


    I love your approach to Christmas cards. A handwritten message of love… I bet your cards are treasured! When I’m writing in cards, I usually say a prayer for the person who will receive the card. Yes, sending cards may seem like a lot of trouble but maybe it’s a tradition we should retain.

    God bless!

  3. Valerie
    December 3, 2013 at 8:47 am (3 years ago)

    So many wonderful ideas here…
    I agree, handwritten Christmas cards are lovely. We tuck in a prayer or two and send them on their way…

  4. kenzieandcoy
    December 3, 2013 at 10:47 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas to keep Christ in Christmas. We do many of the same things. Christmas is filled with so many wonderful opportunities to teach our children their faith. Thank you for sharing!

  5. monicaequippingcatholicfamilies
    December 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Ooh, I’m one of those delinquent moms who doesn’t always get to the Christmas cards. I’ll try better this year. Love the birthday cake for Jesus!

  6. Anabelle @Written By The Finger of God
    December 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm (3 years ago)

    WE do the birthday cake too! and I love your caption A blog of home and heaven. sometimes, I wonder if I am the only one who constantly ponders heaven.

  7. Christine
    December 4, 2013 at 2:12 am (3 years ago)

    I’m totally with you on trying to find beautiful religious Christmas cards. There’s definitely something tempting about doing the photo cards so many people send these days, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, and I think it takes something away from the meaning and the message we are intending to send. I’m impressed that you find the time to write personal messages in each!

  8. Andrea Veitch
    December 7, 2013 at 10:28 am (3 years ago)

    Wonderful and unique ideas. I haven’t come across the Jesus birthday cake anywhere else, what a lovely idea. We can’t fit on 2013 candles, but maybe e number equivilants!

  9. Chelsey
    December 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Love these ideas. I usually do some kind of Christmas card, but am wondering now, if I should wait and actually send them out during the Christmas season and not the Advent season – or maybe do some Advent cards? Love the homemade Jesse Tree ornaments, I’ll have to go check out how you made those!

  10. Mo
    December 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

    I love the 3 gift idea, what a wonderful way to put it too! We have bought 3 toys for each child, plus books and clothes…does that still count as just 3, since they will be most excited about the toys.

  11. Charlotte Braddock
    December 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm (3 years ago)

    I am a Catholic school teacher for 24 kindergarten students. We also have an Advent wreath, St. Nicholas, and “life size” Stable for baby Jesus. I am thinking of adding St. Lucy to our Advent activities since one of my student is named Lucy.

  12. tracybuasmith
    December 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m determined to make new Jesse Tree ornaments for our tree vs. the paper ones so I enjoyed reading your Jesse Tree tutorial. They look beautiful! I love sending and receiving Christmas cards also, yet I don’t hand write them…we just send a family picture. But, I do think written letters and thank you notes are becoming a lost art as you said! We do Jesus’ birthday cake too and my kids love it. We read books and we are really enjoying “Bartholomew’s Passage” family reading this year! Have a blessed Advent!

  13. tracybuasmith
    December 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm (3 years ago)

    PS: THANK YOU for your military service! God bless you!

  14. Noreen
    December 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow Sarah, your Jesse Tree ornaments are so cool! You should post pictures of them all. How long did it take to make them all? And I do think the three gift rule is in line with teaching value on giving rather than quantity. Then participating in Operation Christmas Child or a giving tree helps children understand that many others do not have the abundance of toys and necessities that we have.

    In my church, we do have the giving tree for a women’s center each year but we did start a new giving program this year. It’s a weekly giving of a bag of food to five children in a local public school. It’s a national program called The Children’s Backpack Ministry. Our church supplied the backpacks and weekly food collection and we bring it to the school. The recipients are anonymous to us because they live in our neighborhood and could be sitting in our church pews. The school social worker identified the 5 students and we would like it to be more but we thought for our first year, five was a reasonable start. We bring a bag of food each week to each student for the school year. So far, it’s going great! Our parish has responded positively!

    May God bless you as you teach God’s truth to your children!

  15. Matthew B. Rose
    December 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm (3 years ago)

    I love the St. Nicholas holy card.


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