From October through the end of December, Christians complain about the holiday season.
“Christmas has become too commercialized. It’s too secular now,” they say.
“It’s all about Santa and shopping, but what about the Savior?”
You probably agree with these sentiments. After all, Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth, right?
But how do you keep Christ in Christmas when you’re already waist deep in the hustle and bustle of the holiday—decorating trees, shopping for the perfect gifts, Christmas caroling and nativity plays, hosting family and friends, baking cookies, and don’t forget about pictures with Santa.
In this post, I want to help you reframe your focus so that you can keep Christ as the center of your Christmas activities and enjoy the holiday in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Warning: This post is NOT about advising you to give up your holiday traditions or making you feel guilty about enjoying the “secular” or commercial aspects of the holiday season. It’s also not about cramming more projects into your already overloaded schedule. Instead, I want to show you how Christ can be a part of everything you already have planned this season.
As the centerpiece of Christmas decorations, the Christmas tree is a great place to showcase the true reason for the season. You can tell the Christmas story through nativity themed ornaments. As you string the lights, remember, Jesus is the light of the world. And, when you get to the top of the tree, whether you prefer a star or angel, think about the night Jesus was born. Tell your children about the star the wisemen followed or the angels that announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. Now, every time you look at your Christmas tree, you will see Jesus and the joy He brings.
The Nativity Story, The Star, and The Ultimate Gift are popular Christian Christmas movies. But even movies about elves, reindeer, and snowmen can spark conversations about faith, hope, and God’s love at work. So, pop the popcorn, pull up your favorite streaming service, and enjoy a great family night.
God gave us the most precious gift with the birth of Jesus. Giving is how He showed His great love for us (John 3:16). As you shop for gifts, thank God for Jesus. Be grateful for the blessings you’ve received. Reflect on the love you want to share with your family and friends through your gifts.
Even Santa? Why not! Can you not see Christ’s love at work through a man who makes toys and delivers them to children around the world? Show your children God’s love on display. Santa can be a perfect illustration of how God uses people to bless others. I can’t imagine the Jesus, who ate with tax collectors and ministered to the Samaritan woman, would denounce a man who makes toys and delivers them to children.
Whether you enjoy a Christ-centered Christmas is up to you. Keeping Christ in Christmas is not about denouncing Santa or the commercialization of the season. It’s more about the way you live your life than the things you buy. The best way to have a Christ-centered Christmas is to make Him a central part of your celebrations.
Recognize and celebrate the love and character of Christ that is present all around. Take every opportunity to remind yourself, your family, and friends about the true meaning of the season.