The Christmas season is upon us (and has been since Target and Walmart began setting up displays in October) and we know most of our family traditions…setting up a tree the day after Thanksgiving, marking our calendar for the local community parade, attending Aunt Margaret’s Christmas “dinner”–and for my family, visiting the Zoo Lights in Saint Louis. But, this year, why not add a new tradition to your family’s calendar–Worship!
There are many (more than I can write about), simple ways that you can do this and most of them are great traditions that kids of every age will want to pass on to their kids. I am going to give you four ideas and pray that they will ignite a spark to use Christmas for more than family gatherings, gift exchanges, and wonderful meals.
1. The Advent Wreath
A simple and timeless reminder for each week of December and it all culminates on Christmas Day. There are many ideas in the life of a Christian in how you can implement this theme. And best of all, if your schedule is super busy–you just introduce the “big idea” once a week and then reflect through conversations, self-meditations, and visually with the same idea each week. Check out this great article CIRCLE OF LIGHT to find plenty of ways that you can use this as a time of worship this year–and for many years to come!
2. The Christian Advent Calendar
This is as simple of a concept as the Advent wreath, but it instills a daily routine instead of a weekly routine, so it does take a little more time. You can purchase one or you can make your own each year. The concept is that each day you take time to reflect on the truest meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. A simple homemade one could be focused on prayer, and you could have an envelope that you open each day–inside the envelope: a name of a loved one or neighbor that needs this Great News at Christmas! If you are not crafty–like my family–you can find a book or calendar for purchase and find one that suits your tastes and desires. My family recently purchased The Wonder Of The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp after my wife saw her in person here in Saint Louis–it is going to be a great one for our children and I personally can’t wait to read the love letter each day.
3. Calendar Events-
It seems like every community group, church, and professional ensemble plans performances and special events. Seek out opportunities to attend these events and mark it on your families calendar. Even with professional and community groups, I am always surprised each year as to how many Christian Christmas songs they sing and play–use these as times to worship this Christmas.
4. Pray Over Christmas Cards-
This is one from my family and we do it year after year, and we have grown to love it. Many of you know that receiving cards and letters in the mail each Christmas is something that is unavoidable (even the letter from Uncle Mark where he tells all of his ailments and surgeries for the past year). So what we do as a family is take every card and every letter that we receive and we pray for each of these people and each of their families by name–if we know they don’t know Jesus as Savior, we pray for His truth to be revealed to them. If we know they are believers, we pray that God will be worshipped through their lives this Christmas and all of next year. And yes, we pray for Uncle Mark and all of his ailments too. It is simple, it is family time spent together, and these cards become more of a blessing to us than any of the senders would ever imagine.
How will you worship this Christmas?