‘Tis the season for baubles, baking, and bows!

‘Tis also the season for a baby boy, the real meaning of Christmas who can sometimes get lost amidst decking halls, roasting turkeys, and wrapping presents. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas with gifts, but it’s important to keep the greatest gift of all in the center of every celebration: Jesus.

We spend so much time on our phones sharing ideas and making memories, especially when there are important events in our lives. Here are some ideas on how to share the true joy of the season with your Instagram followers this Christmas!

Re-enact the Nativity

Assign the roles of Joseph, Mary, and any other roles to set the stage, having everyone wait off to the sides until their part. Grab some bathrobes – keeping the plush velour ones for the magi – and any other props to dress the scene. Read the nativity starting at Luke 3. Bonus points if there’s a newborn in the family to play baby Jesus.

Decorate With the Names of Jesus

Whether you use ornaments or paper garlands, decorating the house using the different names to honor Jesus is a great way to discuss how we speak of the King. You can use this list of names, with the corresponding Bible verses, and write them on decorations as a reminder of Christ during Christmas. Glitter not optional.

Give Presents to Jesus

Just as the magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the baby in a manger, we can offer gifts to Jesus during Christmas too! Instead of physical gifts, give Jesus acts of service, kind words spoken to strangers, and praise for his majesty.  Have the whole family make a point of doing an intentional act of kindness or worship every day leading up to Christmas and write them down. On Christmas morning, read them together before you open your own gifts.

Have a Birthday Party

While you’re giving gifts to Jesus, why not eat some cake to go with the celebration? Make a special birthday cake to celebrate the birth of the most important person in the world. Sing Happy Birthday and use sparklers so no one fights about blowing out the candles.

Go Caroling

Stay in or go out, but definitely sing Christmas songs that highlight the true meaning of Christmas. Who cares if your family isn’t musically inclined – you can get the kids (or adults!) to perform a song or two for the rest of the family, telling everyone why they picked those ones and what they mean.

Make a Christmas Kit

Put traditional symbols of Christmas, including an evergreen tree, a star, candy cane, bell, holly & berries, and a gift, into stockings, onto gifts, or under napkins at Christmas dinner. Explain what each symbol means, as well as the Bible verse that corresponds to it, and talk about why these things are now part of Christmas traditions.

Build a Gingerbread Nativity

Making gingerbread houses are a great way to consume copious amounts of sugar in the name of holiday cheer. Don’t give up the sugar rush, but how about a Gingerbread Nativity, complete with marshmallow sheep and toasted coconut straw?

Put Jesus in the Manger

Set up a nativity before Christmas, but wait until Christmas Day to put baby Jesus in the manger. It builds excitement surrounding the celebration, with the emphasis still on the person who  died for our sins.

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Photo Credit: Ben White