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SHARING CHRIST: Planning a Christ-Centered Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Christ. The holiday is filled with wonder, love, and joy. There is something special about Christmas and the feelings you had as a child. It's not only about toys and presents, but the real meaning of the holiday is important. As we get older, we tend to lose that truth. Christmas has gotten so commercialized that we hardly recognize the true meaning of Christmas.

The message of Christmas is timeless. Christmas is about the birth of God's Son – Jesus. He came to give us love, hope, and joy. That message doesn't change from year to year. His name is Immanuel which means "God is with us."

What if you could get back to the true meaning of Christmas? What if you spent this holiday sharing the message of Christmas and holding that wonderful feeling of love, wonder, and joy? You can do that. You can share Christ with others this season, give them the true meaning of Jesus's birth, and share what a gift He is to the world.

Here are some great ideas to help you do just that:

1. Read the Christmas story: The Christmas story is found in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:5-56 to 2:1-20. Take the time to read this with your family or share it with someone that doesn't know Christ as Savior. Share with them the real meaning of Christmas

2. Sing Christmas carols: There is almost nothing more Christmas-like than singing Christmas carols on the street or to neighbors. Get some friends or church members together and sing the beautiful songs of the season. You can visit a retirement home, a shut-in, or a hospital.

3. Give to someone else: This is a fun one. This Christmas, give someone else a Christmas experience. One year I gave a family who did not have the means to do this themselves a tree, presents, a dinner, and the story of Jesus's birth.

4. Bake cookies: Everyone loves homemade cookies. Why not bake some for Christmas this year? Wrap them up pretty and share the love with the sick, or shut in with sweet treats. Visit them while sharing your homemade cookies and cheer up their day. Shut-in people are often lonely, and some have no family.

5. Make homemade gifts: This one will take a bit of planning and heart. Instead of shopping and making the stores rich, make gifts from the heart. Think about each family member and friend you might want to gift and get creative. You never know what fantastic ideas you will come up with.

6. Have a Christmas dinner for others: How about you invite someone new to dinner? Invite a stranger or a co-worker to dinner. You could also invite a college student who can't return home to their family. What about someone newly divorced or grieving a family member's loss? The list is endless.

7. Attend Christmas events at church: Nearly every church has a program for Christmas. Plan to attend or participate in one. This will remind you of the true meaning behind Christmas.

8. Random acts of kindness: This is a fun one. Take the month of December, and commit to doing random acts of kindness. Get your kids involved in this one. Make a kindness calendar and list things you can do for others in your community, family, church, neighbors, friends, relatives, or strangers. These acts can be simple and inexpensive. Gifts of time mean so much. They can be in person or anonymously.

Now that you have a short list of ideas to choose from, as you prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, make sure you put Christ first. The simple, meaningful actions can become cherished traditions for you and your family and will keep the meaning of Christ in Christmas alive in the hearts of your children and family.

Christ was all about people. He served them, blessed them, and cared for them. You can be His hand extended to others this holiday season.


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