Christmas Traditions for Jesus- Mark Driscoll

Since we are in limbo this Christmas season while waiting to move into our new home, we haven't been able to do many of our own Christmas traditions and activities. Mark Driscoll did a poll on facebook asking what people's Christmas traditions for Jesus were. It was a great post with so many good ideas I want to remember, so I'm posting his article below! Hope you can find some good ideas too!

Christmas traditions for Jesus: Your ideas
By Mark Driscoll

Recently I invited folks online to share their favorite Christmas traditions—specifically, ways to keep the celebration about Jesus. Turns out lots of people bake a birthday cake for Jesus and read the Bible on Christmas Eve, but here are some other ideas for making the most of the season.

1. Make the most of your Nativity scene

“Our Nativity scene starts empty. Just a barn,” writes Lisa. “And as we unfold the story through our Advent devotions, we add to it accordingly. My kids literally anticipate the arrival of the Christ child.”

MaryJane’s family does something similar: “We do not put Jesus in the manger in the Nativity until Christmas morning. The empty manger is a great reminder of what the world was before Jesus came down.”

2. Make the most of Advent
Alicia recommended a resource called Truth in the Tinsel. “Each day there is a Scripture to read to the kiddos and a simple craft for them to complete to help them better understand why Jesus came and who Jesus is,” she writes.

Christina shared a friend’s family tradition: “They have a bowl of 25 ornaments (for Advent) and on each one there is one name for Jesus with an accompanying Scripture. They then discuss the Scripture, the name, and why it’s important.” Each day of Advent, the family hangs a new ornament.

3. Make the most of your Christmas tree

Sharon’s family has 12 special ornaments, each representing a different aspect of Jesus’ character: living water, King of kings, Lion of Judah, bread of life, the good shepherd, God with us, the door, the vine, light of the world, bright morning star, Lamb of God, Savior. “Each Christmas we start the season by making these the first ornaments we put on our tree to keep Christ the center,” she writes. “I have four boys, so as each name of Jesus is mentioned in the story, each boy reads the accompanying verse for that name of Christ and places the ornament on the tree. My guys are 16, 15, 13, and 12 now and they still love to start the season this way!”

Andy explained a tradition his father-in-law started called “the Christmas Nail.” They hang a large spike “on a sturdy branch close to the trunk,” he says. “Every year we pass the nail around and say what we are thankful for and there is nevera dry eye! The nail reminds us of not only the birth of Jesus, but also the death of our Savior! It really puts things in perspective!”

4. Make the most of your time together

Between school vacations and a little extra time off from work, Christmas is a crucial opportunity to bring the family together to celebrate, bond, and reflect on the year past.

In Timothy’s family, “Each person in the family writes on a card what they are giving to Jesus this year. We then put it in the tree to look at on Christmas day. It can be anything really, an idol that’s been getting in our way of worship, something we have been holding back from God, etc.”

Scott has his family “write end-of-year letters to each family member, recalling events and how we cherish each other.” Rachel’s family does something similar, using a candle: “When the candle is in front of you, the rest if the family shares a word of encouragement, or a way they see God working in your life. Very uplifting family time!”

5. Make the most of open hearts
During the Christmas season, Christians have a unique opportunity to reach outand connect with others who might not be as open to the prospect at other times during the year.

In Narelle’s family, “We usually invite for Christmas lunch someone we know who is unchurched and who may or may not have family to spend a meal with—this means we have the opportunity to practically show and tell about God’s love!”

I hope you find these ideas helpful for your family, your Community Group, or whoever you share Christmas with this year. Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas.

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