December 12, 2017

I believe we all begin the Christmas season with the same goal, to focus on what matters most. Somewhere along the way, we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our never ending “to-do lists” and commitments! If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, it’s never too late to reset! Maybe you understand the importance of focusing on what matters most, but you don’t know HOW to go about doing it? You’re in luck, because our family ministry team has been working hard to create a list of tangible things you can be doing to grow in your faith during this season of preparation for Christmas! (Thank you Amy and Susan!) We understand this is a busy time of year and we aren’t looking to add more to your plate, but I truly believe that when you set aside a few moments to focus on your faith, it makes such a difference in how you experience the Christmas season, things seem to fall into place. Here are three things you can do to focus on the true spirit of the season and to share God’s love with one another. These activities are perfect to do as a family with children, but can also be done with friends!

You can choose one activity to do each day or just randomly choose something from the list and make it your own!

  • Think of someone who might be having a difficult Christmas season and pray for them. Reach out to them with a card or special gift.
  • Make or buy a present for someone that would not normally expect something from you. Share this gift with them and why you chose them.
  • Do a random act of kindness today (ex. buy the order of the person behind you at the drive-thru, pick up trash)
  • Put all of your family members names in a jar. Have everyone pick one and have them do a secret service for the person they picked.
  • When you eat your meal together today, set out an extra plate and pray to look for ways that you can make room for others and extend hospitality. If any ideas come to mind, act on them soon!
  • Make Christmas cookies with friends or family and make enough to share with a neighbor.
  • Call a friend or relative and talk with them about a favorite Christmas memory.

All of these are very short and will just take a few minutes to read with your family, friends or even on your own for reflection.

  • Read Isaiah 9:1-7. Focus on verse 6. Which name of Jesus stands out to you the most today?
  • Read Isaiah 53:1-6. Think about the sacrifice of Jesus. How has someone sacrificed for you this year? Or during a past Christmas season?
  • Read Luke 1:5-25. Focus on verses 16 and 17. How did John prepare people for Jesus? How are you preparing for Jesus?
  • Read Luke 1:26-38. Why do you think Mary responded to the angel this way? How would you have responded?
  • Read Luke 1:39-45. The babies in the womb expressed joy. What are you joyful for this Advent season?
  • Read John 1:1-14. Turn off the lights and read John 1:1-14 by candlelight or flashlight. How can you shine Christ’s light to the world?
  • Read Luke 2:1-21. Then read it again in a different translation. Finally, retell it in your own words.
  • Make a list of the characters in biblical Christmas story. Who do you relate to most and why?

This list of activities is a wonderful way to help kids focus on the true meaning of Christmas by connecting as a family! These activities aren’t limited to kids, though! Gather a group of friends and have some fun making memories!

  • Find something that can be used as snowballs (cotton balls, socks) and have a snowball fight! (if you don’t mind a mess, use flour!)
  • Make up the words to your own Christmas carol. Sing it together and make a voice or video recording so you can remember it and smile about it in the future.
  • Have an indoor picnic by the Christmas tree. Share about your favorite Christmas ornament on the tree. What makes it special?
  • Don’t just write a letter to Santa. Write a note of gratitude to Jesus as a gift for his birth. Put it in or on a helium balloon and send it up to heaven!
  • Have a craft night where everyone makes a new ornament for the tree. Use whatever supplies you can find around the house.
  • Have a Christmas pizza night. Create a pizza in the shape of a Christmas tree, and use toppings to create the decorations.
  • Read a new or favorite Christmas book. Watch a new or favorite Christmas movie.
  • Get outside to take a walk around the neighborhood or in a local park. Hold hands, link arms, or give piggyback rides, just enjoy.
  • Christmas can be busy and rushed. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Be still, and rest. You might play relaxing Christmas music.
  • Tune out the noise today by taking a break from electronics. You might do this for an hour, all evening, or all day.