It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, but check out these 18 ideas for how to make room for Jesus this season.
Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year—and not because of twinkling lights or shiny bows.
All the festivities of the Christmas season are our feeble human attempts to celebrate the most magnificent birth in history. In the small town of Bethlehem, the Word was made flesh and placed in a manger full of hay.
Jesus’ miraculous birth fulfilled the scriptures as God incarnate dwelt among mankind.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”Isaiah 7:4
Referred to as Immanuel in the Old Testament and Emmanuel in the New Testament, the word is still translated as “God with us.” God promised to send a Savior—and he did just that. He gifted his only son as the Messiah for humankind.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
And so this Christmas, all praise and honor should go to Him who has saved us. That’s why it’s so important to cut through the distractions around us at this time of year and return our focus to the wonderful birth of our Savior.
Here are 18 ways to redirect your focus back to the gift of Jesus this Christmas season.
18 Ways to Make Room for Jesus at Christmas
- Complete an Advent Study. For many years, I’ve completed Advent studies via She Reads Truth, Ann Voskamp, Paul David Tripp and this year I’m studying the meaning and history of many well-known Christmas hymns. For my kids, we have read a chapter of Luke each day in December in the past. But this year, we are really enjoying a nightly reading of Jotham’s Journey.
- Host a Holy Birthday Party. Bake a festive birthday cake for Jesus and let your kids help decorate it as a reminder of whom we’re celebrating.
- Provide for Needy Family. Partner with a local church organization to provide gifts, household essentials and gift cards to those in need in your own community.
- Read the Christmas Story Together as a Family. This is a favorite tradition for many families on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning that helps to bring the focus back to Christ at Christmas.
- Volunteer Together. Whether you are newlyweds, empty nesters or have a house full of kids, it’s important to volunteer together and serve others to point them back to Jesus (Matt. 5:14-16).
- Make Gift Giving Meaningful. Limit tangible gifts and instead focus on acts of kindness, giving essentials to a family in need, offering thoughtful homemade gifts to neighbors and family, and more.
- Read Christ-Focused Children’s Books. If you have kids or grandkids, curate a basket full of Christmas books that focus on Jesus. My kids still love looking at picture books, especially Christmas books. They are another way to cement the true gift of Christmas to kids.
- Reach Out to Neighbors. Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your neighbors. Drop off some homemade cookies and invite them to your church’s candlelight service or Christmas program.
- Display a Nativity Set. Placing a Nativity set in your home is one of the easiest ways to bring your focus back to Jesus nearly every time you walk past it.
- Plan a Jesus-Focused Christmas Movie Night. There are dozens of festive Christmas movies out there, but did you realize there are a handful of great movies that focus on the birth of Christ? My kids’ favorite is The Star, but here are other great options for all ages.
- Show Hospitality to the Lonely. Do you have friends, neighbors or new acquaintances who won’t see family this Christmas? Invite them over to your home for a warm cozy meal and devotional with your family the way Rosaria Butterfield does it.
- Send Christmas Cards to Nursing Homes or Deployed Soldiers. Besides those in your realm, there are plenty of lonely people all over the world. Send handwritten or kid-drawn Christmas cards to those in nursing homes or deployed military who won’t be able to see their families on Christmas day. Include hope-fill scripture in your card such as Isaiah 9:6 or Luke 2:14.
- Listen to Christ-Focused Christmas Songs and Hymns. At this time of year, many of the old Christmas songs and hymn are overshadowed by Santa jingles and festive music. Bring back the classic songs such as Joy to the World, The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High and more to bring your focus back to the birth of Jesus.
- Preserve Downtime. Between church events and school events and celebrations with friends and family, Christmastime is a busy time of life. But it’s important to carve out some downtime for you and your family to have a time of rest and reflection of the true meaning of Christmas and make room for Jesus.
- Enjoy Church Christmas Events. My two most favorite church events at Christmastime are the Candlelight Service and the Children’s Christmas program. The Candlelight Service is more solemn and reminds me of my deep need for a Savior, while the kids’ program is a manifestation of the joy that Jesus brings to the world.
- Prepare the Manger for Baby Jesus. Whether you have The Giving Manger set at home or decide to make your own, the concept is a great reminder of the joy that comes with giving that is based on the gift of Jesus. For ideas on serving others, check out 30 Acts of Christmas Kindness.
- Use Your Elf to Tell the Christmas Story. Many of us with young kids have an Elf on the Shelf during the Christmas season. So use this opportunity to teach your kids about Jesus and the Christmas story instead of just Santa’s story.
What’s your favorite way to make room for Jesus at Christmas?
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