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One of my absolute favorite holidays is Christmas! All of the lights, stockings, pumpkin-spice everything, Christmas trees, and stockings galore! I’m not alone in this sentiment–my brother has always had his fake little Christmas tree up the day after Halloween.
A brief history lesson…
As a Christian, I’ve often felt conflicted celebrating holidays like Christmas because of their pagan roots, dating back to before the birth of Jesus. The Romans celebrated December 25th as the birth of the sun god. When Emporer Constantine converted to Christianity, he combined the worship of the sun god and Christ. Christians accepted this joint celebration as “Christ-Mass.”
We don’t know the exact date Jesus was born, only that on January 6, John baptized Jesus. Christians later included his birth in this festival signifying a manifestation, calling it Epiphany. Many churches celebrate the season by keeping Christmas trees up until January 6th.
I do feel that Christmas has become too commercialized. That being said, the season is meant to spread holiday cheer with loved ones.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love – 1 John 4:8
One may argue that it isn’t really a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, despite many churches doing so during this time. However, does it help build faith, arguably the most important element in Christianity? If Christmas gives others hope and love, I’m all for it.
So how can we, as Christians, do His will during this upcoming holiday season?
- Volunteer as a family at a food bank or soup kitchen
- Send care packages to troops
- Volunteer as a family at the animal shelter
- Instead of a lemonade stand, have a hot cider/hot chocolate stand–for free
- Adopt a family (many local churches or schools have lists of families who are low-income with a list of needs)
- Deliver Christmas stockings with little goodies to a local nursing home
- Go caroling to those who are homebound
There are 12 more Fridays left until Christmas! Here are some ways to keep things in control during the holiday season:
- Use the 3 present rule:
- Something to wear
- Something experiential (an experience–such as tickets to a local play or a concert)
- Something from their wish list
- Get started early! Starting October 4th, Walmart has their first #ChosenByKids Holiday Toyland! Featured toys will include Fisher Price Little People, VTech, Hasbro, Just Play, Spin Master, Moose Toys, and more. You can find participating Walmart stores and event times HERE
- Shop after-Christmas sales for next year. I’m always on the lookout for gifts on clearance to use for next Christmas, and comes in handy when we have a last-minute birthday party invite
- Start a new tradition for your kids to remember–we always open one present on Christmas Eve after church service, which is a book and new pajamas (I don’t include these in the 3 present rule). The kids dress in their new pajamas, we make cookies for Santa and “reindeer food” (bird seed + oats + glitter–the kids set these out in the snow at night and in the morning they find bells in its place!), read our books and then drive around looking at Christmas lights while sipping on hot chocolate
- The kids usually look through Walmart’s toy catalog for their Christmas wish list. It helps them practice their writing by picking out each present and writing it on their list!
How does your family celebrate the holidays? What tips do you have to help keep things Christ-centered and less commercialized?
This post is sponsored, but my love for Christmas and bargain shopping is all my own!