6 Tips to Keep Christ in Christmas

Santa can play a part in keeping Christ in Christmas

So much talk this year about Christmas gifts and the best Christmas gifts for Men, Women and Kids. Heck we even wrote blogs about this contributing to the very commercialization of Christmas that I am in such a conundrum about. I’m a total hypocrite, but I have such a hard time scaling down. On the one hand, Christmas is not a secular holiday, but on the other, it is a day filled with magic and hope and joy and miracles. So, I’ve found many ways to Keep Christ in Christmas, while also creating the most magical day filled with Santa Claus and mind-blowing gifts. Read below for 6 of my favorites.

Keep Christ in Christmas and splurge!
I’m one of the gazillion of parents whose kids believe in Santa Claus long beyond the normal years. It’s magical, it’s brilliant!

I’m a Christmas splurger. I’m sure this comes as a surprise to most of our readers because we are bonafide minimalists. Seriously.  But … Christmas.  My only excuse is a two-fold one, of course, making it more compelling (to me). One, I grew up having the most amazing Christmas mornings. Every wish, every possible dream was fulfilled on that one magical day. And two, we don’t buy things year round. Our kids simply don’t get much throughout the year, save necessary gear for our adventures.

So, here we are preparing to spend a small fortune on Christmas gifts for our brood. Knowing it’s not necessary, not even a little bit, but not wanting to break with tradition, or have a less-than magical morning. Traditionally, our Christmas is HUGE. And, I know, it’s mostly for me. Dan found underwear, socks and jeans under the tree. He’s cool with finding the medium ground between our two experiences. 

And, it would be easy to do. Our kids literally have a hard time putting together a Christmas list. Partly because they aren’t in school so they aren’t privy to all the new fads. And partly because they aren’t really into material things … their lists consist of gear, Ruroc snowboarding helmets, Smith goggles, Kokatat PFD’s, Jackson Kayaks. And, saws, Rustler Kits and a baby doll or two.

And so, we give ourselves a pass because literally we spend every breaking breathing minute together year round, the gift of time is one we value over anything. It’s something we gift to each other every day of every week each and every year. And their lists are filled with things that enable us to do things together.

I understand the push back against the commercialization of Christmas, I really do. I mean, it’s lost it’s meaning amongst so many. But there are ways to make Christmas about the birth of Christ and also enjoy a little splurging and commercialization. It’s all about how you approach the season.  So, how do you approach the season and keep Christ in Christmas while also making the day a magical memorable experience for your kids? Read on …

Make Advent a Mini Lent

And Advent Wreath counts the Sundays to the birth of Christ keeping Christ in Christmas.
Counting the weeks down to the birth of Christ with the traditional Advent Wreath.

Advent is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas. Many Christian households treat Advent as a little Lent. Around here, instead of giving something up, as we do for Lent, we add something, or a few things to our daily lives.

For instance, one year we went to daily mass. Another we said a daily rosary. Another we made a Jesse Tree. This year we are adding more religious education to our curriculum. There are literally hundreds of ways to to centralize Christ in the days leading up to Christmas … and what’s more is that often these little additions become part of your Christmas traditions. In essence keeping Christ in Christmas and beyond.

Shepherd on the Search

Go religious with the Shepherd on the Search to keep Christ in Christmas.
Such a cute story and idea and the ultimate alternative to the secular Elf on the Shelf.

I don’t know about you, but I abhorred the idea of the Elf on the Shelf. My friends stressed themselves out to the max placing this stupid elf all over their house, trying to come up with new ideas each and every morning. But, I also thought it could be fun, and knew my kids would love finding him, and it might make mornings a little more fun.  

But, an elf?

When I found this adorable little Shepherd on the Search set, I was in, hook line and sinker. This is more along the lines of what we teach our kids They aren’t good and kind and generous because Santa, or one of his elves, is watching. They are all these things because of the promise of eternal life. Also, gift giving isn’t because you are deserving, it’s because you are loved.  And so, this sweet little activity, that celebrates the birth of Christ, was the perfect alternative to the Elf.


Keep Christ in Christmas by playing Christ centered Christmas music.
Who doesn’t love music? Playing Christ centered songs keeps the focus in the right place.

There is nothing better than an epic playlist to set the mood for every activity.  I literally have a playlist for everything … and I mean everything {wink, wink}.

So a Traditional Christmas music playlist via Spotify is obviously something that plays a lot during Advent in our home. Put together your own, or follow any number of epic playlists and get your kids belting out the lyrics to songs like The Little Drummer Boy, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and more! Yes, beautiful traditional music helps to keep Christ in Christmas.

Put Down Your Phone

Keep Christ in Christmas by putting down your cell phones and giving the gift of attention.
Cell phones are the bane of most parents existence. On the one hand our kids are reachable instantaneously, on the other, it’s seemingly all teens do.

Folks, this is an epidemic of mass proportions. Everywhere I turn I see teens and adults alike glued to their phones. What a collossal waste of time. In our home, and in many homes of our friends, phones are forbidden at the dinner table. But I think we all need to take that a bit further during Advent and have a strategic ban during certain times.

Electronics are stealing our attention and our ability to enjoy the moment. Hence, this year phones are forbidden at family and or close friend gatherings as well. These moments are few and far between and I’d like our children to bond with those we surround ourselves with. Giving the gift of your full attention can keep Christ in Christmas.

Give Jesus a Gift

Keep Christ in Christmas by giving Jesus Christ a birthday gift.
Give Jesus a gift of time, forgiveness, whatever … it may just transform your life!

I was talking with Dan the other night and we were remembering a time when we would make Jesus a birthday cake for Christmas morning. With all the hullabaloo that goes along with having a large family, this tradition went by the wayside.

But it made me think. Birthdays are synonymous with gifts. What could we possibly give Jesus Christ for his birthday? I talked to the kids. They came up with a bloody brilliant idea. A sacrifice.

We talked about a few possibilities. Forgiveness was one. That was probably pointed because my kids are forgiveness kings, but they know I am struggling to forgive a neighbor who made our lives a living hell for 8 years!

Kindness. In a home that has 12 people living in it, tensions can get heated and lines can be drawn. We talked about making a concerted effort to be kind to someone with whom you may have an ongoing feud with.

Spending time with God. Maybe an added 15 minutes of prayer would be an amazing time of much need contemplation. We all love to spend time with the people we love, so why not spend more time with Jesus Christ?

The options are endless … be creative.

Write a Christmas Letter to a US Soldier

Keep Christ in Christmas by sending a letter to a US Soldier.
We pray for our servicemen and women every single night, so it only made sense to send a gazillion letters to them for Christmas.

So many of our servicemen and women are unable to come home for the Christmas holidays. This is hard for me to fathom.

Our church has a list of all deployed servicemen, so each of us pick a name and write a letter. Ask around in your circle of friends for names and addresses and brighten the day of a few brave soldiers!

I could go on and on and on. I could write a book about how to keep the Reason for the Season up front and central to your holidays. But short-ish and sweet is my motto. None-the-less, I’d love to hear a few of your ideas for keeping Christ in Christmas.




1 Comment

  • Thanks Susie. I was asking our priest how to make Advent more important to our kids just this week as my youngest is going through Confirmation this year. I work 2nd shift and started a parttime job during the day while they are in school. I miss them like crazy and we live in the same house. Blessings.

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