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An Intentional Christmas

An Intentional Christmas

The season of magic and joy is upon us. Lights twinkle, focus on giving, Christmas tunes blare, and our day-planners fill. Advertisers pull and coax, with promises of the best deals ever.

Our lives become a blur of parties, programs, and angel-clad performances.

What’s not to love?

If we’re not careful, Christmas—true Christmas—can become lost in a swirl of chaos. Worship and wonder over the Greatest Gift can take a backseat to endless activity.

So, here’s a challenge to keep it simple, with a few ideas to create family memories our precious ones will remember far longer than that got-to-have-it-now coolest-toy-in-the-world.

  1. Make your family Christmas story about The Story.  My favorite memories are of our little ones acting out Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Our family productions were the epitome of simplicity, but oh, the sweetness of toddler “Mary” with her baby doll Jesus! Our living room became a place of creative worship as we shared and remembered the foundation of our faith. Encourage older children to use their unique gifts in family worship. Is there a budding pianist or guitarist to lead in caroling?
  2. Focus on giving. Even our littlest ones can participate in family giving. Homemade cards and crafts are priceless treasures to grandparents, neighbors, and shut-ins. And our children will remember and cherish those messy times baking give-away cookies and fudge more than the interminable shopping trips. Other all-in family activity can include donating to local charities or volunteering in ministries to reach those in need.
  3. Fight for blank space on the calendar. What good are all our decorations if we only see them on our way to the next thing? Schedule evenings to simply Gather around an old-fashioned fire or grouping of candles and talk. Share stories of love, silliness, and dreams for the future. Give each family member the opportunity to shine. Ask questions of older children like, what were your greatest challenges this year? How did you see God work in your life? What are you envisioning for the year ahead? Younger children can relive special events as well. Remember when we all went to the beach? What was your favorite part? And when we as parents share how God worked in our lives during the year, we plant within our children a hunger to know and live for the Giver of all good things.

When we are intentional about how we navigate our December days, our family story takes on new purpose and meaning. This Christmas won’t become lost in the shuffle of years but will become a family treasure to be remembered for all time.

How does your family do intentional Christmas-ing?

By: Leigh Ann Thomas is a wife, mother, grammy, writer, and Peanut M&Ms enthusiast. She has penned four books, including Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (SonRise Devotionals) and Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone—Inspiration for Women in the Middle (Elk Lake Publishing, 2019 release). You can find Leigh Ann on her front porch daydreaming story plots or blogging at Connect on Twitter at @LThomasWrites.

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