Remember Christmas pageants, former procrastinators? Children in their bathrobe and bed sheet costumes, the straw, the walking cane staffs. Everything led to the manger. The spotlight was always on Jesus. We know that’s the way it should be. There are so many enjoyable possibilities for the holidays, as adults it’s easy to put off quiet moments of focus on Jesus.
To help our family remember Jesus, there are certain things we do to bring attention to Him. These are some:
- Doing things ahead. My new tradition! I focus better on Jesus when I’m not rushed and irritable. Also helps me handle the unexpected more graciously. I’m learning not to put off tasks I previously thought should be last minute. Good humor is more crucial that freshly made.
- Using an advent calendar. Our large one is felt on canvas – simple Mary, Joseph, and donkey figures traveling a road to the stable. Each house they pass has the date behind shutters. Different figures go in the stable. You could assign a scripture reading to each day/house or an edible treat or an event (story time with Mom or church Christmas program). This year I hung the calendar before December 1 and not mid-month as in some years!
- Placing a nativity scene in a prominent place in our home. The one in our living room is visible from the front door and reminds me who is King. We also use the plaster of Paris one I painted in kindergarten – with the same shoebox stable. When our son was small we had an unbreakable nativity he could handle. One day he was pushing his little cars around, picked up Mary and said, “I’m going to give her a ride.” My friend commented, “That’s just the way it should be – the gospel so present in our daily lives.”
- Reading advent devotionals with the family – weekly or daily – or even reading it for my own quiet time.
- Finding ways to meet others’ needs.
- Hanging ornaments that depict the true meaning of Christmas -also those that prompt memories of God’s blessings – and talking about them. Along with fancy ornaments, we have notebook paper ones colored in crayon, yarn dolls from my childhood, a plastic bracelet, pewter baby spoon, a few gingham bows, a section of ribbon chain from our very first tree, etc.
- Hosting a coffee for the ladies in our neighborhood. I select a date early in the month and deliver written invitations noting that we will spend a few minutes focused on Christ, the meaning of Christmas. No surprises. It’s usually at night when dads can watch the kiddos. Food is simple. We ladies enjoy getting together. Seeking the Lord for how to communicate the wonder of Jesus helps me focus on Him. The scripture and devotional words help set a tone for the season. That’s coming up this week. Will you pray for our gathering? Thank you!
How do you shine a light on Jesus during this busy time?