Celebrate Jesus at Christmastime

Celebrate Jesus.

Christmas has always been such a special time for me, as it is for most people around here. Its a time full of memories and love. Family gatherings fresh baked cookies and extra special decor. Cozy cuddles watching sentimental movies. A time where you get to shower your family with love and get even more back. My family made more time for one another, we saw more relatives more frequently. I honestly think most, or at least a good chunk, of my favorite childhood memories are associated with Christmas.

Celebrate Jesus
Here’s Layla on her first Christmas last year. I think we’re in for lots of fun this year!

My parents went over the top to show us how loved we are and how special each one of us is. I’m so grateful for all of these memories and the lessons instilled through them. Lessons like: people are more valuable than things, giving is better than receiving, there are no other relationships that replace family, lessons of love, and deep gratitude. Now that I’m a mom, I see the value in traditions. I want to give Layla those extra special memories and instill life lessons through them as well. There is something about being a mom, that makes me think extra hard about this and the impact it will have. I think, in ways I’m probably overthinking it. I know traditions will kind of naturally happen and so will the special memories, but there is one thing I want to be really intentional about. Celebrating Jesus.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season and loose sight of what matters. I’ve been brainstorming and asking others how they celebrate Jesus. We, as parents, get to call the shots now, on how we as a family will honor Jesus this year. Thinking about what we’ll do has been so fun! I’m not exactly sure which things we’ve settle on yet, but here is a list of options that I came up with:

9 Ways To Celebrate Jesus

  1. A Gift for Jesus: We’ve found a cause that has really worn heavy on our hearts and so for Jesus’ gift we will make a donation. I think when Layla gets older it will be fun to help her decide where to make a donation.
  2. Advent: I remembered doing a candy advent count down to christmas. Now, I’ve learned that there are a bunch of different ways to do advent. Its a great way to extend the season and point to Jesus for weeks leading up to his birthday/Christmas.
  3. Christmas Caroling: When Mark and I were dating we went on a double and the guys set up a scavenger hunt inside a mall. At the end of it we came together and had to sing Joy to the World. I’m not sure why they added this to the list, because I don’t  think either of them really wanted to sing it. So there we were, the 4 of us, in the middle of a busy mall singing Joy to the World. It was a little awkward… but I decided to just go all in because well, who wants to hear people sheepishly sing about the Lords birth? I don’t really remember any other parts of the scavenger hunt, but I think I’ll always remember that. Who knows what anyone thought about us 4 singing Joy to the world, but I think we got a few smiles and pointed people to Jesus.
  4. Praying Before Opening Gifts: Okay, I’ll admit it; I’m like a kid on Christmas day. I still get so excited about all the gifts haha but really Christmas isn’t about that. Its so easy to rush into opening gifts and not even acknowledge Jesus first. This is a great one even if I do it in my own head, but I can envision my family sharing a prayer for years to come every Christmas morning and that something I want.
  5. Signing Cards with Scripture: Pick a few versus that speak to you and share them with whomever you give cards to this year. This is a great way to honor and celebrate Jesus.
  6. Reading the Christmas Story together: Instead of watching a movie, gather ’round and read about the birth of Jesus!

    Christmas traditions
    Papa reading The Christmas Story to Layla on her first Christmas
  7. Sharing Answered Prayers: This would be fun to do as a family but also something fun to do with guest that you have over throughout the month of December.
  8. Special Services: I went to my first candlelight service last night and it was so special. I think I was moved to tears at at least 3 different points during the service. My favorite part was singing Silent Night by candle light. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus as a tiny baby, as I was staring at this little flicker of light I was holding, and what powerful hope I now have through that little baby boy.
  9. Serving Opportunities: Jesus came to serve and as imitators we are always be finding ways to serve others. This time of year, particularly, can be such a joyful time for so many of us that we forget how hard it can be for others. There are lots of meaningful ways you can serve someone that already line up with what you’ve got going that day. You’ll see opportunities if you’re thinking about it. When Layla gets older, I can ask her to think about it as well. You never know who you’ll bless or just what a small gesture would mean to someone.

How do you Celebrate Jesus?

Please, give me some more ideas!? How do you celebrate Jesus during Christmas or what have you heard or thought about doing? If you don’t have a plan to feel free to use some of these ideas! Let me know which ones stands out to you that you can try!

Enjoy your Christmas!

P.S. I shared a couple of free printables last month (no email required). You can grab them here!

 

  1. Sheena

    December 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Laura this was great!!!!! I absolutely love your list! It’s so easy to get lost in all of the things we are “told” are important for Christmas that the real reason (the birth of Jesus) gets lost. Great post!

    1. lpenaranda

      December 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Sheena, I’m so glad you liked it! What are your plans to celebrate Jesus this Christmas? Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

  2. Heidi

    December 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    I love the idea of reading the Christmas story instead of watching a movie. I will have to do that – even if I am just reading it to my dog. ^_^

    1. lpenaranda

      December 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Yes! haha, aw we have a pup too that would love to snuggle up and listen <3 Merry Christmas Hiedi!

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