Keeping Jesus at the Center of Christmas

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This week on Bedtime Babble, we talked about keeping Jesus at the center of Christmas. We first read the story of Christmas and then discussed small ways that we, as adults can keep the true meaning of Christmas at the forefront of our minds this season. We also talked about some amazing ways to incorporate Jesus into our family traditions for our children to learn that there’s more to the season than cookies and Santa. Check out the post here:

When I look back on Christmastime as a little girl, I don’t remember the exact gifts I asked for or received… I don’t remember the color of the dress that my mom picked out for me to wear… I don’t remember what we ate on Christmas Eve… I do, however, remember the traditions I looked forward to every year… opening family gifts on Christmas Eve, singing Christmas songs in the car as a family while we drove around looking at lights, eating Chili Cheese Grits on Christmas morning, having a sleepover with my sisters on Christmas Eve knowing that Santa was coming… reading the story of the 1st Christmas in the Bible by candlelight and then singing ‘Silent Night’ together… These are the things that I remember most.

As a mom, I’ve made it my goal to make Christmas special with traditions that encompass the joy of the season, make our family have something special that only we do together, and keep the true reason of Christmas at the forefront. Some of our traditions include:

• Drinking hot cocoa and driving around to look at Christmas lights
• Christmas Eve dinner of tamales and tortilla soup
• Christmas Morning breakfast of chili cheese grits
The Jesse Tree [see below]
The Singing Advent Calendar
The Giving Manger [see below]
• Christmas classic books, music, and movies
The Star From Afar nativity set and game [see below]
Elf on the Shelf

keeping Jesus at the center of christmas:

One thing I want to make sure that we focus on as a family is the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. I want little B to grow up knowing exactly what Christmas is all about, and that’s celebrating the gift of grace, love, and joy that was given to us through the birth of Christ Jesus, our LORD. I want, more than anything, for B to know that because of the gift we have been given, we want to give and love as God has given to and loved us. I want to focus on keeping Jesus at the center of Christmas. Here are a few Christmas traditions that we incorporate into our home that keep the true purpose of the season at the forefront:

the giving manger:

This tradition is so wonderful for teaching children that the true meaning of following Jesus is to love and give to others. In order to prepare the manger for Jesus, you have to put straw in the bottom to make it comfortable for him. However, you can only place a piece of straw in the manger if you’ve done an act of kindness or service for someone else. As a family at the end of the day, you share what you did for others as you place the straw into the manger. Children learn quickly that giving IS receiving… all year long.

the jesse tree:

This is a special advent calendar that you begin on December 1st and continue until Christmas Day. Each day has a devotional and a symbolic ornament to place on the tree that represents the devotional of the day. What makes this unique, however, is that the devotionals follow the lineage of Christ [in Old Testament order], starting with creation, following through Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Solomon, David, Daniel, and many, many more! How incredible to make this a yearly tradition for your family! Your children learn the stories in the Bible and see how everything points to Jesus!

the star from afar

We just discovered this awesome activity and decoration this year and I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite thing to do. After reading a book that recounts the story of the three wisemen following the star to Jesus, you and you little one will set up the nativity scene and discuss the characters associated with it. Over the next month [or week, or days] leading up to Christmas, you will move the star around the house for the children to find [ultimately moving closer to Jesus] and each day when the children find the star, they will move the 3 wisemen to it, following it all the way to Jesus on Christmas morning. I love this as a great way to teach our children that we are to seek after Jesus by following His light, just as the wisemen did that day. As the babes get older, there are verses to be read each day when the children find the star! Talk about keeping Jesus at the center of Christmas!

You can find all of our favorite Christmas must-haves that I mentioned above and more in the Holiday Shop under Our Christmas Must-Haves.

What are some ways you keep Jesus at the center of Christmas?

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