Keeping Christ In Christmas

Making cookies is always a fun Christmas activity and a good way to make memories.

This time of year can be busy between decorating, shopping for that last minute gift and keeping your kids occupied while you are working, not to mention parties, school and church activities and countless opportunities to volunteer or help others. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in doing Christmas that before you know it, the holiday is wrapped up for another year and we’ve missed the whole point of the celebration. We’ve missed Jesus!

How can we get back to what Christmas is all about? How can we keep Christ in Christmas? I think keeping Christ in Christmas requires being intentional, taking time to inviteHis presence into our lives. Let’s ask God to help us love like He loves. Jesus came to this world because that was God’s plan from the very beginning. Man sinned and in so doing separated himself from God, but God loved us. He loves people and yes that includes you. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus to earth to live with us and ultimately to die for us so that we might have forgiveness and so much more. Jesus willingly came to earth and willingly went to the cross for us. That, my friends is love! Thankfully, Jesus didn’t stay dead. Because He is God, He has ultimate power over everything including death. He rose again in victory so that we might also have life forever. Then He sent His Spirit to guide us, be with us and empower us to live for Him. If I am empowered by the Holy Spirit then Christ is with me during the Christmas season. How can I keep my focus on Him during Christmas? How can I love like He loves during this very busy season?

  • Be intentional instead of distracted. Start or end your day with God. I like to start my day with God, but if it works better for you to take some time to spend with God in the afternoon while your baby is napping, then go for it. Put aside that huge “To Do List” and spend even five minutes with God. Soak in His love for you. Breathe in His presence because He is with you. Then when you get back to your “To Do List” remember, His presence is with you even when you are changing diapers or doing laundry.
    • Walk slowly, focus first on Jesus and then on the people around you. God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us. Ask God to order your day and show you how to slow down and value people, especially the ones you do life with everyday. Walking slowly also involves being there for friends or people in your community. No, you can’t do everything, but you can do something whether that is taking soup to someone, watching another mom’s kids because she is sick or just needs a break or buying an extra grocery item for your local food bank. God sent Jesus to earth because He loved us, let’s also make time to love others.
      • I love “To Do Lists”. There is nothing wrong with having one. It keeps me on task and helps me to be productive, but make sure to do the most important things first and remember you don’t have to do everything. Homemade cookies for your child’s school party might be fun, but you can always buy cookies at the bakery too. Again, ask God to order your lists and your day. He wants to be with you in every aspect of life.
        • Feeling overwhelmed? Partner with others. God never meant for us to do life alone. There is so much more we can accomplish when we partner with others. We can partner in our giving and helping. We can partner with our family in preparing. You can partner with that other mom whose kids you watched and swap babysitting so that you too can have a little time off.
          • Be aware – God is with us. Jesus is in Christmas. Let the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas, remind you of that day long ago when Jesus was born. Remember, He is the light of the world, God in flesh, the one who walks with us through every single moment of the day.

            PARENT PRAYER:
            God,
            Thank you for sending Jesus to earth to walk among us, to give his life for us. You truly loved us. You loved enough to give your very best. I want to give my best. Help me to focus on those things which are most important. Help me to love you and to love people above all else. I love decorating and shopping for that perfect gift. I love the Christmas recitals, concerts and parties, but amidst all of these things, refocus my mind to dwell on you Jesus; to remember why you came to earth and to kneel at the manger and at the cross to worship you. Help me to be an example to my family of the reason we celebrate. Amongst the busyness that comes this season, let me not forget that the greatest gift I can give my family is the gift of presence. You came and dwelt among us. You are God with us. You were present and you still are present with us. I want to be with you and with my family this Christmas. I want to give them my undivided attention when I am with them. Thank you, God, for teaching us to love. Amen
    • KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS FOR YOUR CHILD
    • Let your kids hear you talk to God throughout the day. Include your kids in the conversation by saying one-sentence prayers together. EX: “Thank you God, for Jesus.” “I love you Jesus. Thank you for loving me.” “Wow! God, the sunset is beautiful tonight.” “Help me at school today, God.” “God, I scraped my knee. Will you help it get well quickly, please?”
    • Set out a non-breakable Nativity set for your child to play with.
    • Attend church together.
  • Ask questions that would get your child thinking about God such as, “Why did God send Jesus to earth?”
  • KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS FOR YOURSELF
  • Let the sights and sounds of Christmas remind you of what Christmas is all about.
  • Lights – Remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.
    • Candy Canes – Remind us of the shepherds.
      • Bells – Remind us of the good news that God sent His Son to be with us and forgive us.
        • Cookies – Remind us that God gives us good, sweet gifts. His best gift is Jesus.
          Do something to spread Christmas cheer and show love to others.
    • Pick a country or a person from another country to pray for with your child. How about a missionary from your church? Talk about how God loves people around the world.
  • RECAP:
  1. Walk slowly and spend time with Jesus.
    1. Focus on people, not stuff.
      1. Do the most important things first.
        1. Keep it simple.
          1. Ask God for help and partner with others.
            1. Be aware, God IS here.

Kid Section

STORY: God Loved The World  – John 3:16
A favorite book to share with your child – “For God So Loved The World” by Dandi Daley Mackall.
Jesus said, “God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son.” – (Give yourself a hug.) Who is God’s Son? Yes, God’s Son is Jesus. God loves you and me so much that He sent Jesus to earth as a baby. – (Pretend to rock a baby.)

This month is a special month. Do you know what we are celebrating this month? We are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
Even though you’re little, you can love God and thank Him for sending Jesus.

God loved the world so much that He gave us Jesus. – (Hands out as though giving a gift.) God loves you and me and He loves boys and girls all around the world. Let’s think of some ways we can help others. We can ask God to help us show love to others this week as we get ready for Christmas.

PRAYER:
Dear God,
Thank you for loving me and sending Jesus to earth as a baby. I love you. Help me to love others. Jesus, I want you to be my friend forever. Amen

MEMORIZE: John 3:16 NIrV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Reach up and then fold arms and place hands on heart.)
The world – (Make w’s with fingers and roll hands around each other.)That He gave – (Extend outwards as though giving a gift.)
His one – (Hold up one finger.)
Only Son – (Pretend to hold a baby.)

KNOW: God loved the world. God loves me.
TALK ABOUT: Why did God send Jesus?
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO… I can thank God for sending Jesus and I can love others.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK

  • Make and frost cupcakes and thank God for who He is Thank Him for all He created. Thank Him that He made you, you belong to Him and He cares for you. Thank Him for sending Jesus.
    • Tell a friend, “God made you. God loves you and you are
important to Him.”

       

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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