Advent season is here along with the much-awaited Christmas celebration comes that comes with it. While Christmas is often associated with Santa Claus, gifts, and decorations, it is essential to remeber the true meaning of this Holy Day — the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here are some tips for keeping Jesus in Christmas and making this season meaningful:
Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection and renewal. Most people recognize this, because of a supernatural occurrence at this time of year when we all stop to pause and reflect. Christmas is a time of connection with others and God. Attending church is one of the great gifts from God to connect with our faith and deepen our understanding of the significance of Christmas. This Christmas, participate by serving at church and inviting others to attend services with you.
Oh, and did you know statistics show that 82% of unchurched are somewhat likely to attend if invited? All the more reason to extend invitations.
Turn on Christmas songs and playlists and, when those about Jesus are playing, stop and really listen. In stores, your car, your home, and everywhere right now, Christmas music is shouting the glory of Jesus everywhere. Stop and hear the Holy Night give you delight.
Read the Christmas Narrative
Make it a tradition to read the Christmas narrative as a family or with a group of your friends. Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to keep Jesus in Christmas. Read through Matthew and Luke by reading a few verses each day in December. The journey of Joseph, Mary and all creation anticipating Jesus is a journey you can embrace today.
Focus on Giving
Christmas is a time for giving, just as God gave his son Jesus to the world. Instead of focusing on receiving gifts, re-focus on giving to others. Volunteer at food pantries, your kid’s school, homeless shelters, or church. Give up the Starbucks holiday cup and donate to your favorite charity or church. Give the gift of a friendly encounter at a packed mall or store by holding the door open or saying to the cashier, “I’m thankful for you.” By giving to others, you spread the love and joy of Christmas.
Create a Christmas Family Tradition
Start or continue the tradition of making Jesus center in your home. Use an Advent calendar, Advent Blocks, or set up a Nativity scene. These things keep your home life focused on Jesus’ birth and love and the way He has transformed your life. If you have kids or grandkids, invite them to help and teach them about Jesus’ birth. If you know a family with little kids, invite the family over for hot chocolate and share why your Nativity scene is important to you.
Prayer is the greatest way to keep Jesus in Christmas. Pray for yourself, family, friends, community, and world. Pray for those who are less fortunate and those who are going through difficult times. Praying connects you with your faith, as you experience the presence of Jesus in your life.
Keeping Jesus in Christmas is about reflecting on the true meaning of this Holy Day and sharing the love and compassion of Jesus Christ with others. Attending church services, listening closely to Christmas songs, reading the Bible, giving to others, starting a Christmas tradition, and praying will make this holiday season meaningful and joyful.
 Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door