“I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom, and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”
Majority of people around the world are counting the days ’til Christmas. Everyone I know is already on holiday mode, looking forward to last-minute shopping, wrapping gifts, doing the grocery, cooking, dressing up, and finally celebrating that special day when everyone is expected to share more love than usual.
For us Christians, we know the reason for Christmas. That is–the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But do us people who can celebrate Christmas still think and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas? Admit it, most of us get excited about the coming holidays because of the 13th month pay, for some extra Christmas bonus, the thrill of decorating, the cool breeze, the chance to dress up, and a week-long vacation for some. Christmas has become too commercialized that even Christians take for granted the real meaning of the season. We know it, yes, but we do not make it a priority.
CHRIST is the Reason for This Season.
Christmas is a time of commemorating the birth of Christ. And who is this Christ? Jesus, the Messiah. The Savior and Lord of the fallen world. God, the Father, sent His one and only Son, to give us an everlasting life, because He loves us so much (John 3:16).
Jesus became man to do the Father’s will (John 6:38). Christ came to this world to be our salvation. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin has its consequence and that is death but God loves us so much that He has given us eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Man has become separated from God but there is Jesus–the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:16). It is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father and be reunited with Him in heaven. It is by His grace that we have been saved, through faith, and not because of who we are or what we have done, but because it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Oh what a beautiful gift! The Gift of Salvation which started on a manger one holy night in Bethlehem. It may be hard to fathom that the King’s Son came to this world, born in manger, to a young but faithful and obedient couple, Mary and Joseph. But because God loves us, He offered Jesus to give us eternal life. God’s Plan of Salvation started on Christmas day.
Christmas is the time we can declare louder that “Jesus is Lord”. God’s plan of salvation calls us to believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead for us to be saved. Not by our good works or the amount of money we give to the church as offering, but our hearts who believe, and with our mouth that we profess our faith and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).
The essence of Christmas is CHRIST. Christianity is about being a follower of Jesus Christ. Him alone and no one else. Holidays may be the best time to preach this Good News–that a sinner can be made free and righteous through our faith in Jesus Christ. But really, we must make every season an opportunity to share His love not just to those who are closest to us, but also to those people we think are not deserving. God’s love is unconditional and that is the kind of love we should also be giving.
As Christian parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children The Greatest Story Ever Told. Christmas is a perfect opportunity for us to teach our young ones our faith. As a mom to a 3-year old, I need to make sure that my son recognizes that we have Christ in our family. This year is his fourth Christmas but it’s only now that he can begin to understand what Christmas is all about.
And how do we that?
(1) We tell him The Story of Christmas. What better way to get him interested in listening to us tell the story of Jesus Birth than this LEGO Christmas Story book.
We’re not robbing him off the joy of getting to know Santa Claus but as early as now, we’re not teaching Noah that gifts come from Santa Claus. We’re not gonna lie to him about Santa Claus and we’re not gonna make him believe that he is real. Instead, we’re trying to teach him who Jesus is by reading him The Christmas Story and praying with him.
Our son may still not fully grasp the meaning of Christmas but it’s not too early to build a foundation of faith. The faith we have will be the greatest heritage we could leave him. It’s only by God’s grace that we can be the kind of parents God wants us to be.
(2) This is the first time we’ve set up a Belen at home. My mom gave me this wooden Nativity scene that was previously owned by my sister’s mom-in-law. More than the beauty of this wood sculpture is the story behind it– the birth of our Savior.
Displaying this Nativity scene is another opportunity where we can share the story of Christmas to our son.
(3) Simplifying Christmas is another way that we remain true to the Reason of the Season. We only have few decors this year at home and most of them are DIY Christmas Decors and because we decided on a Spend-less Holiday.I mentioned this already but you see during Christmas time, people tend to be selfish and excited with the gifts that they would receive. Christmas isn’t about the “I” (that’s you and me) receiving gifts but it’s about celebrating the Real Reason for this Season– His name is JESUS. This year, we’re going thrifty by not spending too much on gifts. Some of the gifts I prepared are even handmade and personalized. I think gifts become more special that way.
(4) Since Christmas is also a time of giving, we’ll be giving away Noah’s old but usable toys to other kids. I’ve already sorted his toys and clothes but haven’t decided on whom to give to or where to bring them. We also intend to give some of my and husband’s clothes to people who need them more. We both work from home so we don’t really need a lot of clothes.
(5) Kids are welcome. Christmas Caroling is one tradition of Filipinos during Christmas. Some cities in the metro may have banned Christmas carolers in the streets but I feel we need to keep this tradition especially for the kids. I am excited for Noah to be the one to give coins to the kids. We’ve started as early as the first week of December actually. I’ve prepared coins and some candies and chocolates to give. Kids are welcome to sing in front of our house but of course, I still have to be careful and wise in giving. As much as possible, I take note of the kids’ faces so we know we’re not being fooled. I know giving and sharing must be from the heart and without any questions but we still need to exercise wisdom. If other houses are shooing these kids away, our family will try our best to at least give them something. I’m not promising that we will give to every kid who comes our way but we will try our best to be more kind, loving, and understanding.
(6) For this month, our church pastor’s sermons are focused on Experiencing God. Last Sunday, our church choir gave a very beautiful musical presentation entitled “Experiencing God” by Gary Rhodes and Clare Cloninger based on the Experiencing God book by Henry Blackaby. We wanted Noah to join the children’s choir but we weren’t able to bring him to the practices. We’ve been playing the song “My Abba’s Child” for him to sing along since September. He knows the song but it’s been a busy working December for my husband and I so we regret that we weren’t able to have him join. It would have been nice and heartwarming to see Noah up there like when his dad and I used to do when we were still part of the Children’s Church. He only got to join one practice but that was enough to make me cry.
Next year, we’ll see to it that he joins the presentation. By then, we hope that he understands that singing for God is one way of worshiping Him. For now, we’ll continue playing Christmas songs and letting him sing along with us.
(7) Christmas parties are inevitable. Others may get excited in all the food they can partake or all the booze they can finish but for us Christians, it’s important that we celebrate in more meaningful ways. Parties are opportunities to connect with friends and relatives. Use such time to relate with people on a more personal level. Do away with the gossip and senseless fun. Criticisms, hatred, and envy should have no place if you want to keep Christ this Christmas and every season of your life.
On Christmas Eve, we’ll celebrate just the three of us at home, just like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We’ll use that time as another opportunity to experience God as a family who loves and worships the Lord. This is a tradition we intend to keep.
Here’s another song recorded by my husband:
What Child is This
What Child is this, who laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Full Lyrics HERE
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
Here are the links to the other blog carnival participants. I hope you’ll take the time to visit them and leave a comment on their posts! The list will be updated throughout the day, so please do come back and check on them. God bless us all!
- Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
- The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
- TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
- The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity Story
- Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
- Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Dominique’s Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
- Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
- Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying…
- Lique’s Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
- Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
- Cymplified: Christ-Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
- Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
- Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
- City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
- Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
- Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas (link not working yet)
- Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
- Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
- Blueberry010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
- Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
- Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings
9 thoughts on “Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season”
What wonderful traditions. My boy would love the Lego Christmas story.
I loved this, and particularly connected with “Parties are
opportunities to connect with friends and relatives. Use such time
to relate with people on a more personal level…” Personally, I
prefer small visits to parties, but have come to see (now that I’m
of grandmotherly age :)!) that Christmas parties and family
gatherings can be a time of actually reaching out, caring about
others, even gently witnessing to the Lord Who came to us in the