Christmas is coming!
For some readers that announcement provokes nostalgic sentiments and joy so tangible we feel it wrap around us like a soft blanket. For others, a dread—a cynical, stressed-out and guilty dread—settles over our hearts like a winter fog even while we tell ourselves we should be, “in the Christmas Spirit,” whatever that means.
For most, the approach of Christmas brings an emotional concoction of both extremes. We know Christmas should be a time of joy but we also admit that in reality, in our homes, it will be a time of added strain.
As Christians, this conflict can be exacerbated by the many platitudes that remind us that Christmas is no regular holiday. For us, it is a Holy Day: celebrating the coming of our Savior and everything that has meant for us: our redemption, our renewal, our resurrection.
- Jesus is the reason for the season
- Keep Christ in Christmas
- Wise Men still seek Him
- It’s not about the presents–it’s about His Presence
And on and on it goes. We see these reminders on our social media feeds, on quaint rustic home decor and on bumper stickers in the church parking lot. These words may function as a guilt trip reinforcing that we aren’t doing Christmas right. We know it’s all supposed to be about Jesus. He really is the reason for the season. It really is our responsibility as parents to make Christmas less about the presents and more about His presence…but there are just so many forces at work to distract us from what really matters. The spirit may be willing, but…still.
Is it even possible in the midst of Black Friday sales and company parties and white elephant gift exchanges and school holiday music concerts to make time to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way? When outside expectations pressure us to have a perfect Christmas, can we really give our families a purposeful Christmas?
What if we didn’t have to conclude each Christmas season feeling like we failed it. What if when December 26 rolled around we could all collectively smile and sigh, “Nailed it.”
It hasn’t been perfect but I want to share with you what our family has done to intentionally focus on Jesus during very busy seasons of life. We have raised four children less than five years apart. We later added two adopted brothers to the mix. We have been as busy as anyone at Christmastime. But we have continued this one simple practice during the many years of elementary school parties, church pageants, basketball seasons, high school show choir extravaganzas and now the college years. We have created a tradition that continues to give our celebration significance.
I want to give your family a simple template to nail Christmas year after year. It’s a simple tool that will help your family build a foundation for Christmas that could last for generations.
Nailing Christmas consists of holding a couple of family meetings thoughout the Christmas season. You are in control–you decide how many meetings, how often you hold the meetings, etc. Our family does one each Sunday night for four weeks leading up to Christmas.
If you’ve decided Nailing Christmas is something you’d like to try with your family, more information will be available with future blog posts.