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Thursday, December 1, 2011

45+ Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas

It's December and the Christmas season is in full swing. It's so easy to get caught up in all the gifts, parties, shopping, and wrapping and forget the true meaning of Christmas. I recently saw a funny comic on Pinterest that said something to the effect of "I find it ironic that the day after we celebrate being thankful for what we have, we become greedy and go crazy buying more stuff." Too true.

It's important to consciously choose to participate in activities that keep the real spirit of Christmas in our homes and hearts. Below is a list of such activities that I compiled last year for a church activity. Many of them apply to members of the LDS (Mormon) Church, but plenty will work for you if you are of another Christian faith.

Keep Christ in Christmas

· Hold a family testimony meeting.

· Read about prophecies of the Savior’s birth in the Book of Mormon.

· Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

· Memorize The Living Christ.

· Make a list of your blessings.

· Watch the First Presidency Devotional on the first Sunday in December.

· Watch Music and the Spoken Word Sunday mornings.

· Make thank you notes to use after Christmas.

· Learn a Christmas hymn to sing as a family.

· Read a Christmas story from the Friend or Ensign.

· Make or use a service advent calendar- no one gets the treat until a service has been performed.

· Write down on paper, roll up, and tie with a bow, a gift you are going to give to the Savior.

· Keep track of all the service given by family members in December in a white stocking, gift box, or manger scene. Read the good deeds on Christmas morning.

· Write your testimony in a Book of Mormon and give it away.

· Make Christmas ornaments that focus on Christ.

· Visit Temple Square- especially the nativity scenes and the statue of Christ in the visitor’s center.

· Make a flannel board nativity and leave it out for children to retell the story.

· Use simple costumes to act out the nativity story.

· Write letters and make cards to send to loved ones far away.

· Color, paint, (or purchase) a nativity scene and hang it in your home.

· Watch an uplifting Christmas DVD together such as Joy to the World.

· Have a "white" Christmas--attend the temple.

· Go shopping together for Sub-for-Santa or angel tree gifts.

· Help children clean out toys and donate good used ones to charity.

· Make dinner for a neighbor in need.

· Help children write a story about the manger on Christmas night.

· Write a note to a missionary.

· Have a Bethlehem dinner.

· Have a family Christmas music night with instrumental and vocal performances.

· Attend a live nativity.

· Listen to Handel's Messiah and learn the story behind music. (See Ensign December 2010).

· Make a Christmas advent candle, and read a Christ related scripture each night as candle burns.

· Wrap meaningful and uplifting Christmas books and open one each day and read together.

· Collect uplifting Christmas stories and compile in a binder to read as a family each day.

· Collect or make from paper symbols of Christmas and teach children the meaning. They could draw one from a gift bag and tell how it reminds them of Christ.

· Go for a nighttime winter walk and enjoy the beautiful stars and talk about the special star that appeared at Christ's birth.

· Draw names of family members on Dec 1st. Secretly serve that person all month. Reveal on Christmas morning.

· Make handprints of children, cut out, and print "I will have helping hands for Jesus."

· Determine a need and perform a service anonymously.

· Forgive and make amends with someone.

· Give family members a “golden gift.” Wrap a Christ centered gift (book, scriptures, CD, etc) in gold paper and open on Christmas morning.

· Purchase nativity play sets for children

· Strive to be more like the Savior each day!

Helpful links:

Christ Centered Traditions Blog
Helps for memorizing the Living Christ at Discover the Scriptures
Nativity Matching game
CHRISTmas at I am Momma- Hear Me Roar


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