A Christmas Challenge

By Christine Bullock

How are you planning to celebrate Christmas this year? Take a moment to pause. Leave the calendars, lists, beckoning Christmas to-do’s, and pause to ponder the manger. The Immortal, Invisible God, All-Wise, came and walked among us.  Mind blowing isn’t it?  He who holds the Universe together chose to dwell with us - the Eternal Immanuel. Focus on Him. Putting Christ first will help you create a plan that will honor Him and bless your family.

Christmas should naturally be full of merrymaking and joyful gatherings, but sadly our culture seeks to transform it into a frantic, ugly display of commercialism. The Prince of Peace would have us bring real life examples of His peace into this frenetic confusion and not add to it.  Don’t let your family get caught in the trap and waste this season! We have our children only for a short time.  Take the challenge to use this time wisely to plant life-long practices of true worship during the Advent season. 

It has been our family tradition to take the month of December off from regular homeschooling activities.  What a blessing this has been.  My children have fond memories of math books being replaced with a unit study on the Names of Jesus. Crafting and baking, replaced science. Letters to grandparents became handwriting exercises.  Homeschooling gives us the rare privilege to teach our children the truth of Christ during the school day.  Make the most of this!    Saturate your December with activities that honor the new born King.   

Make Music – Pull out those hymnals and go to the Christmas carol section. Assign your budding musicians pieces to lead the family in worship. Sing the timeless tunes together as a family and talk about what the music communicates.  Many of the carols have stories behind them that you can look up easily online.  Knowing the history, the setting, or the hymnist’s life story often enhances the understanding of the purpose of the song. Print up a few favorites and take them with you to visit a loved one, elderly church member or hospital patient.  There are so many lonely people in this busy world. Pray and ask the Lord to lead you to those He would minister to through your family.

Create a Meaningful Heirloom – I vividly remember hanging ornaments on my parents’ tree.  My mom was a sentimentalist. Each ornament had a story behind it. Laughing and giggling were part of the joy in setting up the tree.  Some of those ornaments moved with me and they are doubly treasured as I share the story of them with my children. This has inspired me to make Christmas heirlooms with our older children for their future homes. Give them vision.

Build a Christmas Library – From very early on we began the habit of buying one good quality Christmas book each year.  We now have a wonderful collection of picture books, song and tradition books, and Advent stories. Every year I search for an engaging read aloud that will have us snuggling on the couch with daddy, begging for yet another chapter before bedtime.  I found a special Christmas box and we keep them all on the shelf in the hall closet for easy access all year long.  They come out the day after Thanksgiving when we decorate the tree, sipping cocoa and revisiting favorites once again. My husband and I look forward to sharing them some day with our grandchildren.

The bottom line is: Christmas is a special opportunity to build your family legacy.  Don’t let this year pass by without making the most of it. Take the Christmas Challenge and build on those family traditions that will bless the next generation as well as your own. 

 

Q.   What family traditions have you put in place to keep your focus on the Christ in Christmas?

 


 

Posted by Christine Bullock on Dec 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Categories: Discipling - Encouragement -

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