Celebrating a Christian Christmas


Every year, there seems to be a lot of talk about Christmas is getting more and more commercialized. 

I think everyone hears this at least a little, but it's definitely talked about within the Christian community.

The hard part is...sometimes I'm not sure exactly what it is people are mad about. A cashier saying "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas?" What the cup they drink their 5$ coffee cup out of looks like?

I just have trouble going "Yep, you're right, that's what my Christmas is all about!"

Supposedly it's all about keeping Christ in Christmas. Which, as a Christian, I am ALL FOR. But...I just don't think it comes down to yelling at a cashier.

And these same people are also the ones who would be SUPER upset if I give my kid gifts from me and my husband instead of Santa...but that's another whole conversation.

I'm not personally upset about other people celebrating a holiday differently than I do, or not celebrating at all. Actually, I'm kind of grateful.

Because it's making me really stop and think about what it means to celebrate Christmas as a Christian. Shouldn't it be about more than a flippant saying as I leave a store, where I just spent hundreds of dollars? How is showering my child with dozens of presents from a fat guy with a beard teaching her about the Savior of the World?

What exactly is it that will make Christmas a Christian holiday in my home?

Here are some ideas I have come up with so far:
  • The Giving Manger
    •  The link takes you to an "official" kit, which is gorgeous and I kind of really want. But, I also read about someone who just made their own. All you need is a basket, a baby doll, and "straw." Each day in December, you perform an act of service for someone. It can be big or small, but it's about teaching kids (and reminding adults) to be like Christ by serving the people around us. 
  • Donating Toys & Clothes
    • I remember my mom talking about going through my old toys and clothes around November for donations. It's partly self-serving, because it basically just makes room for new things that will show up soon. But it also teaches how to not be hoarder and generosity and other good stuff. Nowadays there are probably more regulations and lots of shelters, etc want new items- which I totally understand! But even if it means buying new things for others, I really want to make a point of helping others. Which leads into...
  • Operation Christmas Child
    •  We've done this every year for the past 2-3 years. You fill up a cardboard box or other similar sized container with gifts for children and they are distributed (along with Christian pamphlets) by Christian missionaries.
  • Singing Happy Birthday & Birthday Cake on Christmas Day 
    • Yes, this one is kind of silly. But it's the holidays! I always had to say "Happy Birthday Jesus!" before opening any presents from Santa. I'd like to kick that up a notch and do a cake and sing and the whole nine yards. Plus, birthday cake is Tank's favorite. And there are lots of "birthday cake" options- cookies/fudge/dip/etc. Just a little something to tie a traditional birthday celebration into Christmas.
  • Three Gifts from Santa
    •  I was always told that we exchange gifts at Christmas to represent the gifts that the Wise Men brought Jesus. And while I have really fond memories of lots of toys around the tree...I really, really don't want to turn into one of those people who goes crazy with presents. I can already tell it's going to be suuuuuper hard. But hopefully this rule would help keep that in check and also further cement Christ's birth as the center of our Christmas celebrations. We will give additional presents as parents (maybe the four categories) and obviously the grandparents and other family members won't have a limit or anything (because they wouldn't listen if we tried).

Tank & I haven't officially decided on all of these (or even discussed, actually, some of this is just me thinking out loud); Babycakes is still small- not even two. We have some time to figure it out...but I'm actually really grateful for this "war on Christmas" theory that has forced me to examine my beliefs.

I am grateful to have a close group of Christian friends to talk about this with thoughtfully and non-judgmentally. I'm grateful that despite the culture I'm in, good or bad, Jesus is constant. 

Oh, and we also will do some standard not-specifically Christian Christmas things. We go look at lights, either by ourselves or with a city tour, we watch Christmas movies like The Grinch, etc.

And since we are often out of town visiting family I started a tradition of making orange rolls on Christmas morning. I can do this wherever we are, and it can be enjoyed by everyone, at any age, for many years. Traditions that are reliant on a specific location or time or schedule just aren't logical for our family.

If you celebrate a Christian Christmas, what Christ-focused traditions do you enjoy? 

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash, edited with Canva

1 comment

  1. MFD is a volunteer with a homeless organization, and for the past few years he has done the overnight shift on Christmas Eve. We get to sleep inside in beds every night of the year. These people don't. I know as a Christian he focuses a lot on service all year, but especially around Christmas.

    I like the idea of the four category gifts - we all really have so much - and it is so so very important to teach kids what you think the reason for the season actually is.