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Keeping Christ in Christmas – 18 Days Until Christmas

Christmas - O Holy Night

I love the Christmas season and it is my favorite time of the year.  It can be a very busy time of the year, a time where if we are not careful we can get swept up in “all we have to do”or “all we don’t have and can’t do” and miss out on truly celebrating the season.  It can also be a season of sadness when you have lost a loved one like we did my Mom this year, and you really don’t feel like it, but it is with joy I decorate this year like Mom did.  I have two special “really old” ornaments from Mom’s and Dad’s tree placed on top beside a picture of them and my sisters that was a simple, precious homemade gift from one of my sisters a few Christmas’ back.  What a treasure!

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I love all of it, and what I love most is keeping Christ in Christmas.  So how do you do it?  I would love to hear your ideas.  I wanted to share a few ideas of how I do it and looking for some new ones this year so please share. I want Jesus to be the focus, and I want to make memories and continue traditions that my parents taught me, and continue those that my husband and I have started.  Hopefully some of them will be special enough that our children and grandchildren will come to cherish a few and pass them on.

Tip 1 – Some of my tree ornaments reflect Christ like this little ornament that says, “Jesus is the best gift of all.”DSC02721 And there are crosses and mangers.  DSC02771DSC02770

I want to start adding the names of Jesus as ornaments on my tree.  Maybe I can buy some after Christmas.

My tree skirt has angels all over it.DSC02772

Tip  2 – As I ponder on what happened on the cross started in a tiny manger, I am so excited as I pull out each one! I put a manger in every room of the house, and I keep my crosses out and decorate them with red or green beads to make them festive.  Here is a plate with a manger I have in the master bedroom.  DSC02778

I have a large kneeling Santa on my fireplace hearth in one of my dens. christmaskneelingsanta

I put a huge manger my Mom gave me years ago on my piano.  Isn’t it beautiful.  I started to tear up when I put it up yesterday, but I kept pulling it out of the boxes and so thankful that Mom gave me pieces of this for several Christmas’.  DSC02837

And here are just a few more of mangers I have over the house.  Christmas mangers

Tip 3 – My stocking hangers spell out NOEL and JOY!  Did I tell you that JOY is my favorite word?  Perhaps that will change someday like my favorite Bible scriptures do, but for now it’s JOY!DSC02773

Tip 4 – Send Christmas cards that reflect something about the Messiah!

Tip 5 – I have a hanger on one of my fireplaces that says “Savior, Messiah, King.”DSC02776

Tip 6 – Read the Christmas story to your family on Christmas Eve or Day.  Luke 2.

Tip 7– Attend a church candlelight service.

Tip 8 – Give a gift of service to someone you love.

Tip 9 – Give to a special project or to something important.  I have a compassion child that I support throughout the year with a special gift on Christmas.  And I always send that little girl a special scripture each time I write her hoping that someday she will continue to spread God’s love in that country.  Support projects at church and for others.  This year we also gave to several causes one of which is close to our heart.  Our grandson Colt was born with EB (a horrible skin disease).  If you are looking for a project to donate to please consider donating to finding a cure for EB.  Check out the Pray for Baby Colt page on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pray-for-baby-Colt/350863471710362

Tip 10 – Have an advent table or a Jesse tree.  I have not done this because I didn’t learn about it until the kids were grown, but can’t wait to do it with our new grandson.

Tip 11 – Have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Tip 12 – Last year I started a new tradition.  I hung a single stocking for Jesus on one of our fireplaces and a kneeling Santa was underneath.  christmasstocking

I put a pad and a pen on a table and I asked each family member to give something to Jesus, write it on the paper and put it in the stocking.  Make sure it is private and ut I told them it would be private and between them and Jesus.  This could also be a stocking where you kids place coins from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve and then that money be donated to a needy family or organization.

Tip 13 – Bake treats for neighbors (including those you don’t know – it’s a good way to get to know them), and shut-ins in your church or take some to the staff at a hospital if you are visiting there.  I always  took some type of treats to the staff when I would visit my Mom at the nursing home during any holidays.  Add a ribbon and a special Bible verse to bless them.

Tip 14 – Make a names of Jesus garland and hang it.  Instructions here.  http://thehomespunheart.blogspot.com/2008/12/names-of-jesus-garland-tutorial.html JEsus garland

And here is another with the names of Jesus: http://worthyoftheprize.blogspot.com/2012/12/25-names-of-jesus-day-21-savior.html jesus garland a

And here is a names of Jesus Christmas wreath.  http://www.posedperfection.com/2012/12/names-of-jesus-christmas-wreath.html jesus names wreath

Tip 15 – KEEP your Christmas cards.  I actually hang all my cards on my mini-blinds in my dining area and the letters go in a box on the kitchen counter.  They stay up until about February.  Each day beginning January 1 we pull a card and pray over that family.  We do this every year.  A new tradition I started years ago.  Some years when time permits I will drop a letter, an email, or a facebook message to let that family or person know we lifted them in prayer.  I do this instead of Christmas letters.  Many years I’ll add a letter to the response we send back to them.  (You can also read my blog about how I pray over each card I address here. https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/christmas-cards-18-days-until-christmas/ )

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Tip 16 – I have plates in my kitchen and coasters in one of the dens that read “Love, Hope, Joy and Peace from 1Corinthians.DSC02769

Tip 17 – A star.  Place it on top of your tree or somewhere else.  I have one on top of one of my curio cabinets and some on my Christmas tree.  Talk to your children and explain what the star represents and why it is important. And if you begin to feel stress or hurry through this season, stop and remember Christ’s birth every time you see the star.

Tip 18 – Find things that honor the season.  In my bathroom that guests use, I have snowmen, but I wanted something to reflect the season.  I found this snowman plate.  DSC02779

In my laundry room I hung this little sign.  DSC02775

And I also added a chalkboard picture and wrote Come Let Us ADORE Him!

In the kitchen I have this joy sign DSC02777  and I have a chalk board that I change with the season.  Right now it says Joy to the World.

Tip 19:  Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.  It isn’t Xmas.  When we put an X in CHRISTmas we take out life’s most precious name.

Tip 20:  When you are out shopping remember to say Merry Christmas – not happy holidays.  When someone says Happy Holidays, tell them thank you and Merry Christmas.

Tip 21: Enjoy good Christian music and books.  I blogged a bit with a few of my favorite Christmas songs.  I recently bought the book “The Women of Christmas” by Liz Curtis Higgs and hope to start reading it tomorrow. Play some music while you are decorating the tree with the family.  How about Come on ring those bells, light the Christmas tree?  While you play that the family is reminded in that song that it is Jesus’ birthday.

Tip 22: Take your pastor and his family out to eat or have them over to eat.  Give them a special gift either homemade, baked or bought.

Tip 23:  Gather the family around your Christmas tree.  Hold hands and pray before you open presents giving thanks to the One who gave us the greatest gift of all!

Tip 24:  Invite a widow, widower or someone alone (like a college student) for Christmas dinner with your family.

Tip 25:  The baby Jesus received three gifts.  Give you children 3 gifts.

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6 thoughts on “Keeping Christ in Christmas – 18 Days Until Christmas”

  1. Totally blown away by your great decorating ideas- so meaningful. I am praying for you this Christmas with the loss of your mom- there’s nothing quite like a mom, but what a beautiful tribute to her that you keep Christ first! I tried to think of things we do to keep Christ in Christmas, but it really seems like you do all of it already:) Merry Christmas from WFW:)

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