Tuesday, December 13, 2016

{{Keeping Christ In Christmas}} - 7 Ideas For Families

Christmas will be here soon!!

Twelve more days!!!!

December 25th marks the *beginning* of Christmas, not the *final* day!!!

Although most of the world around us is celebrating Christmas now,  as Catholics, we are called to hold off and wait until Christmas Day and use this season of Advent to prepare ourselves.  Then come Christmas Day, we can rejoice in the Newborn Babe and celebrate His birth and presence in a number of ways.  Here are 7 tips on Keeping Christ in Christmas....

#1 - Keep your decorations up!   Don't take them down and pitch the tree in the ditch on December 26th.  Let the tree and all your decorations stay up for at least the 12 Days of Christmas to get you to Epiphany.  The Christ-child is the Light of the World, so keep celebrating his birthday by keeping your home decorated until Epiphany.   Feel free to leave all this up til Candlemas (Feb 2nd) even!   But at least follow the Church's example by celebrating with decorations until the feast of Epiphany.

#2 - Speaking of the 12 Days of Christmas, celebrate them!   They begin ON Christmas, not END on Christmas.  Again the 12 Days carry you all the way to Epiphany.   We have a few books on the Twelve Days of Christmas, that we read a page a day (only on that day of Christmas).  We talk about the symbolization about what each day means in our faith.  Every day, the kids open a simple gift that represents that day.  And, of course, we sing the song about the twelve days of Christmas, motions and all!  When you finally reach Epiphany,  go all out with an Epiphany play - with the 3 wise men and their gifts, Mary, Joseph, a baby Jesus!  Click HERE to see posts on how we celebrate these special days.  (there's also a gift idea for a Twelve Days of Christmas gift basket, if you are still looking for that "perfect" gift - it's obviously religious themed and one that keeps on giving!)

#3 - Keep listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies!!!   
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is 
singing loud so all can hear" 
~Buddy the Elf (from Elf)
Our local radios stop playing Christmas music at the New Year, so dig out all your Christmas CDs or get your playlists ready to keep the Christmas Carols playing.  Make a joyful noise!!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!!!  
Likewise, keep the joy of Christmas going by watching your favorite movies together as a family.  Pop the popcorn, turn down the lights, push play to start your favorite Christmas movie, and enjoy some fun family movie nights remembering the JOY sent down on Christmas Day to be a gift to every one of us.

#4 - Add baby Jesus to your nativities on Christmas day.  If He's already in your nativities at home, go pull him and hide him until Christmas Day.  Wrap Him up and put the wrapped baby Jesus under your tree. And then on Christmas Day, read the story of Christ's birth and have the kids open The Best Gift Of All - Christ born into the world!!   We always have a procession singing one of our favorite Christmas songs as we as we walk about the house and stop at the nativities to place Baby Jesus into His crib.  We actually have multiple nativities/cribs set up in our house, so this takes a bit of time.  But it's so special because multiple kids each get a chance to open the Baby Jesus gift and carry Him to His crib.  Such a special way to begin our Christmas morning and help us remember why we even celebrate Christmas.

#5 - If you haven't sent out Christmas cards, DO!!!   It's still Christmas until Jan 5th, and if you want you can even give yourself to Feb 2 (Candlemas) to get them out.    Everyone loves to get mail and what a beautiful statement you'll be making to others by continuing on the celebration of Christmas.

#6 - Focus on the people you love, not the present.  One of the best gifts you can give another is the "gift of time".  So if you are needing to take part in gift-giving/exchanges, consider giving the "gift of time" - either from the time/love/hard work put into a homemade gift (here's our favorite homemade gift to give) -OR- give a homemade "gift certificate" for a gift of taking a loved one out to dinner/movie or a concert/movie or adoration/coffee date or a daily Mass/breakfast date.   The ideas are endless!!   And just think of the love of Christ in you that you'll be sharing and then the opportunity you'll get to spend time with your family/friend to find Christ in them when you actually spend that special time with them.

#7 - Celebrate with a cake and a song.  Everyone knows that you can't celebrate a birthday without a birthday cake and singing "happy birthday".  Same with Christmas Day!   Bake (or buy) a cake, write "Happy birthday, Jesus" and sing "Happy birthday" to him.  Easy peasy and another reminder why we celebrate Christmas.  We celebrate Him!   The birth of the Newborn King!   Happy birthday, Jesus!    (Our Pookey's birthday is 4 days before Christmas, so we always write his name on the cake too.  He LOVES being birthday month buddies with Jesus!)

May the blessing of the Newborn Christ 
live in and shine so beautifully 
through you this Christmas season!!    


This is the second month of a new blog hop, 
Siena Sisters Blog Hop!  
Click on the image below to see what other Catholic Women are 
sharing on this month's theme {{Putting Christ In Christmas}}....

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