Fun Christmas Traditions With Spiritual Implications
By Shane Pruitt
Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s really easy for us to miss the true meaning of Christmas amid the hustle and bustle that surrounds this season—family gatherings, parties, decorations, presents, movies, cooking, and eating.
As Christians, Christmas is a reminder that God kept His promises from the Old Testament to send a Messiah to rescue His people from their sins. Since that time, many traditions have been added to this holiday. And, this is often the struggle we all have … Can we do fun “Christmas” things without losing the true reason for this season? I believe the answer is, yes!
Here are some fun traditions that will also teach your children the true meaning of Christmas! Some of these traditions are practiced by our family, and others we’ve heard about from different families. I pray they’ll be fun memory-makers that help your family remember that He truly is Immanuel—God with us.
- Missing Jesus Nativity Set – Put up a Nativity Set that has the Baby Jesus missing. Where is He? You’ve wrapped Him as a gift that is placed under the Christmas Tree. However, on Christmas morning let the kids open Him first, explaining that Jesus is the Greatest Gift of all given to mankind. Then, place Him back in His rightful place in the manger for the rest of Christmas day.
- Four Intentional Gifts – This obviously does not limit your child/children to four gifts, but rather, there are four intentional gift categories: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to give to someone else. This is a beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ. He blesses us, provides for our needs, clothes us, and calls us to be a blessing to others.
- Annual Christmas Ornaments – Every year, each family member picks a new Christmas tree ornament representing that particular year for them. For example, when we adopted our son, Titus, from Uganda, we bought a Uganda flag ornament. The relevant year is written on the bottom of the ornament, so that it’ll be a reminder in the future. Then, every Christmas when the tree is put up again, it’s an incredible time of remembering and sharing stories about what God had done in our family during each of those previous years. Almost like a good journal, those ornaments are helpful landmarks of God’s faithfulness through the years.
- Looking At Christmas Lights – Pick a night to drive around as a family listening to and singing Christmas carols while looking at Christmas lights. It’s a great opportunity to be reminded that Jesus came to be the great Light of the World. Just like there are many houses decorated with Christmas lights, there are also many homes that desperately need the light of Jesus in them, and that is the very reason why Christ came to this dark world.
- Make A Gingerbread House – What’s more fun than building something made out of food? As fun as this activity is, it can also be a great reminder that Jesus is the great foundation that our lives must be built upon. He also came to earth to build His church—us. “… on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).”
- Attend Christmas/Christmas Eve Service – What says, “Christmas is all about the Christ”, more than gathering with your church family to worship the King on Christmas or Christmas Eve? Singing, praying, and reading Scripture as a family with your Faith Family is a great reminder that Christ came to save a people that would be witnesses to the truth that He has come and is coming again!
These are just a few traditions. There are literally hundreds out there that are all equally valid and valuable. I’d love to hear your family’s Christmas traditions by commenting below. Who knows … your present traditions may become our family’s future traditions to help us continue reflecting the glory of God!
“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:15-16