And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” -Luke 2:10-12
I love traditions. And one of my favorites is collecting nativity sets. Well, it's something my husband enjoys, and that makes me happy. Now, he doesn't like your typical Hobby Lobby dollar section nativity scene! Our sets are usually from special people or were purchased on unique occasions. The oldest was given to me the day I was born and is from my mom and dad. Our newest is from a jeweler whose daughter was on our True Girl tour team. The Mexican nativity set was purchased during my cousin’s honeymoon. I have a bit of a problem as Christmas approaches this year. Baby Jesus is literally missing from one of my favorite sets. I don’t know where He’s gotten to and I’ve been searching frantically! Looking at our world today, I can’t help but think of that missing baby Jesus from my nativity scene. The holiday meant to celebrate the birth of our Savior has been taken, twisted, and turned into something all about us. In fact, a Pew Research Center study revealed this alarming stat:
Only 55% of Americans view Christmas as a religious event instead of simply a cultural holiday.
Is Jesus missing? Now, I’m not saying that our events, gift exchanges, and other secular traditions are necessarily bad. I love going to our local tree farm and picking out the perfect Tannenbaum as much as the next girl! But when December 25th rolls around, we’re often so obsessed with what’s under that tree that we forget Jesus. It might be a sign that our priorities are a little off course. Let’s get back on track! This year, our traditions may look different because of the pandemic. We may not be able to gather the whole family together or go caroling around the neighborhood. But that may be a blessing in disguise. It could help us slow down and teach our daughters the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Here are 3 ways to integrate Christ into your Christmas celebrations.
1.) Observe the Advent by being in God's Word
Set aside time each day leading up to Christmas to spend time in God’s Word, dive deeper into the Christmas story, and prepare your hearts as a family. If you’re not sure where to start, you might enjoy this advent devotional by my friend Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. It's the one I'm reading this year. To get your children into the Christmas passages of the Scriptures, my team and I wrote five Advent devotions for moms and daughters. They're a little taste of the daily devos we've written for our new True Girl Subscription releasing this month. If you want something more intense, I highly recommend this family advent devotional by Barbara Reaoch. You can always add in a sweet treat by getting a chocolate advent calendar to help you keep on track!
2.) Revolutionize your Christmas Gift habits
Charlie Brown complained about the commercialization of Christmas way back in 1965, and while most of us likely agree, our wallets sure don’t show it! According to a post-Christmas survey in 2019, the average American spent over $900 on Christmas gifts, while 21.5% percent of respondents stated that they went into debt over Christmas. This year, take some time as a family to re-evaluate your Christmas spending and instill an attitude of gratitude in your daughter. Here are some ways to do that:
- In keeping with the three gifts the wise men brought Jesus, give each family member three gifts.
- Exchange names and have each family member provide a gift for just one person.
- Ask your children to write a wish list for what they want to give and to whom.
- Get the gifts out of the way on New Year's Eve and spending Christmas morning with each other and Jesus!
3.) Start a new Christ-centered tradition with your family
Begin by talking with your daughter about your current traditions. What are your favorite family traditions? How did they start? What significance do they hold for your family? Then, this year, create a new tradition that helps you focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas! Here are a few ideas:
- Host a socially-distanced drive-by nativity for your neighborhood.
- Read the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 1 aloud on Christmas Eve.
- Christmas carol at a nursing home (outside so the residents can see you through the glass).
- Shop for a family in need and share the love of Christ in a practical way.
P.S. Speaking of new traditions, I want to invite you to The Great Christmas Decorating Party! It's an online event happening on December 7th with myself, True Girl lead teacher Staci Rudolph, and Revive Our Hearts' Erin Davis! We’re hosting a super cool online mother/daughter night that helps us treasure Christ in our traditions.
There will be cookie decorating and deep Bible teaching. We will be starting the season with our hearts focused on Jesus so He isn’t missing from Christmas in our homes. Head to mytruegirl.com/Christmas to sign up for a donation of any amount. If you make a gift of $100 or more to support the ministry of True Girl, we'll thank you by sending a Flour Box decorating kit with everything you need to cookie with confidence!
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you have to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.
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