This morning I was reading an article from Family Life Ministries. It was on how to start family traditions. As we enter into the Christmas season, my prayer is that we all focus on the right things throughout this time. This article will help you focus on the right things and how to engage in these as a family.
Starting Family Traditions by Sabrina Beasley
It may sound strange, but Christmas traditions don’t have to be … well … traditional. You can start new activities that bring meaning to your holidays and build a legacy for your family. Perhaps you came from a family of non-believers, and you have never celebrated traditions that were based on Christ. Or perhaps you have found that your current traditions have no meaning for your family. This year, we have compiled 10 ideas for new traditions, some from FamilyLife and some from our readers.
1. What Does God Want for Christmas? The Christmas holiday is really just a part of the gospel story—God came as man in the flesh to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His birth signifies God’s grace and love for His people. FamilyLife has developed an interactive nativity set that not only tells the story of the birth of Christ, but it also presents the gospel to children.
This resource, What God Wants for Christmas, can be used in your own family, in Sunday school classes, or as an outreach for neighborhood Christmas parties.
2. Use decorations to tell about the entire life of Christ. Christmas is a time that usually emphasizes the birth of Jesus, but decorations can also celebrate the remainder of His life on earth. In addition to the basic nativity set, angels, and stars, include crosses, verses that talk about the life of Jesus, and statuettes of Him while He was on earth.
3. Fast a meal. In America, Christmas includes a large focus on food. This year, during the week before Christmas, sacrifice a meal and pray during that time for the poor, hungry, and spiritually lost in the world.
4. Watch a movie that remembers the life of Christ. There are several good films that focus on the birth, death, and life of Christ. We recommend “Jesus of Nazareth,” the film, “Jesus,” or for mature audiences, “The Passion of the Christ.” Or for a change of pace, try “Ben Hur,” a movie that begins with Jesus’ birth and ends with His death, and tells the story of a man who was transformed by His love and forgiveness.
By watching movies that focus on other aspects of the life of Jesus, the Christmas celebration of His birth is put into proper perspective. This can be an excellent opportunity to talk to your children about why Christ had to come in the form of a child.
5. Share stories about how God has worked in your life. Have you ever told your children the story of your salvation? How about your spouse? While the family is together during the holidays, use the time to share your personal stories about faith, redemption, and life change. Also, reflect on the previous year and talk about how you have grown in your faith individually and as a family.