It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are presents to buy, parties to attend, relatives to visit and not enough time to do it all. Of course, we want to take time to honor Christ during the holiday season, but all too often, this focus fades to the background.
For Christian families, spending time together to celebrate Jesus’ birth is a precious treasure, especially when you have children in the household. This holiday season, try to stay grounded. Instead of getting swept up in stress and consumerism, take a moment to think about the traditions that matter most to you and your family.
If you’re interested in building family traditions that point back to the true meaning of Christmas, this list is for you. Here are five meaningful Christmas traditions for Christian families.
Sing Christmas Carols
A spirited sound is in the air! Wherever you live, your local radio station will probably begin playing Christmas tunes right after Thanksgiving. The abundance of music during the holiday season presents an excellent opportunity to celebrate joyously with your family — even in little moments, such as while you’re driving or running errands.
Children love music, so Christmas carols are great ways to teach them about the Christmas spirit. Find songs you like that you believe honor Christ. Sing with your kids and discuss the lyrics with them. If you feel so inclined, you could even go caroling around your neighborhood to spread the Christmas spirit. Music can bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Read the Christmas Story With Your Kids
Reading the Christmas story is an essential tradition in any Christian household because it reminds us of the origin of the holiday. You can choose to read the story from the bible or tell it by heart. If you’re sharing the story with your children, consider reading from illustrated children’s books on the nativity to keep them engaged.
With the right book, the Christmas story can become the centerpiece of your family’s Christmas. Plus, it can help your children build their reading skills.
Visit a Living Nativity Scene
Books can certainly help your children learn the story of Jesus’ birth. But, if you want to bring the wonder of the Christmas story into their lives in a way they’ll never forget, check to see if your local community has a living nativity scene.
Across the country, churches large and small hold living nativity scenes. In these often interactive performances, actors tell the Christmas story from start to finish, wearing beautiful costumes and sometimes incorporating animals, like camels and donkeys.
Living nativity scenes bring the story of Jesus’ birth to life. They make the history and the magic tangible to children and adults alike. Your local church will be delighted when you attend, and bringing your family every year can be a moving and humbling tradition.
Give Back to the Community
Another great way to honor Christ during the Christmas season is to do community service. In fact, when you and your children perform community service, the Bible tells us you are also serving God.
Many fantastic volunteer opportunities are out there for individuals and families during the holidays. You can ask your church if they have taken on any service projects and volunteer to help out. Additionally, your family might consider volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating toys and necessities to families in need locally or around the world.
When you’re done volunteering, talk to your kids about how Jesus wants us to help others. Let them know their service honors God and that their sacrifice is valuable to both themselves and other people in the community. In this way, you can make volunteering an essential part of your Christmas tradition and help your little ones understand the importance of charity.
Attend a Christmas Eve Service
Finally, take the time on Christmas Eve to attend a candlelit service at your local church. Even if you don’t always attend regularly, going to a service is a great way to bring your family closer to God during this important season. A Christmas Eve service brings a feeling of togetherness, hope and peace to all who attend.
Find Other Ways to Celebrate
With these and other traditions you welcome into your family, you’ll enjoy the Christmas season while remembering the meaning behind the holiday, which is, after all, what Christmas is all about. If you’re interested in incorporating Christ into your Christmas traditions, these five ideas provide great places to start.
As you take time to relax and celebrate with your family this year, feel free to incorporate your own traditions and make conventional ones right for you. The more of your own family’s story you bring to these traditions, the more memorable they will become.
In the end, whatever traditions you celebrate, remember that love and worship can be the most valuable gifts of all.