In the midst of consumer-centered holiday advertising, it can be hard to remember that Christmas isn’t all about glittery decorations, delicious food, and beautifully wrapped gifts. Just as you can choose to keep your faith at the center of your education by getting a graduate degree from Colorado Christian University, you should also choose to keep Christ in Christmas with these Jesus-centered practices.
Observe Advent: The four Sundays leading up to Christmas are traditionally part of Advent, a season of expectant waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Observe this tradition with your family by lighting a candle each Sunday, reading a passage of the Bible, and praying. Alternately, you can use an Advent calendar with an activity or reading for each day of the month.
Read Your Bible: In addition to reading the traditional “Christmas story” found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2, branch out into other passages of Scripture focused on Jesus coming to earth. For example, you could read Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 40:1-11, and Luke 4:16-21. These passages all describe the circumstances and reasons for Jesus’ birth.
Listen to Christmas Carols: Step away from the songs about Santa, Rudolph, and snow and turn to old and new Christmas carols. Classic tunes like “Away in a Manger” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” offer reminders that Christmas is all about Jesus. Look for new Jesus-centered songs by your favorite Christian musicians, too.
Choose Decorations Centered on Jesus: There’s nothing wrong with decorating your home to be festive, but keep Christ in Christmas by choosing your decorations intentionally. Set up a nativity scene in a prominent location in your home as a visual reminder of why you are celebrating. In addition decorate your Christmas tree with angels, stars, and other symbols with ties to the story of Jesus’ birth.
Help People in Need: Jesus was born to bring hope to people who would seem to have none. In Luke 4, he quotes Isaiah 61:1-2, which say, “The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” You can focus on Jesus during the Christmas season by doing your part to carry on his mission.