Every year, Christmas seems to become more secular and commercial, rather than focusing on the birth of Christ. As Christians, this is one of the most important holidays of the year, and we should be striving to ensure that the birth of Jesus is at the centre of our Christmas. There are a number of things we can do to ensure we’re celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, they’re very simple and easy and will help you to feel closer to God at this important time of year.
The following 6 tips will provide ways of honouring the birth of Jesus in surprisingly simple and effective ways.
Have your family observe Advent
Throughout December, Advent offers a time for reflection and preparation for Christmas. Follow Bible readings throughout Advent with your family and take the time as a family and as individuals to pause and reflect on yourself and your connection to God.
Go to Church
Whether you’re a regular church-goer or you hardly ever attend, Christmas is the perfect time to go out and spend your time at Church. Your vicar, priest, minister or pastor will most likely be giving sermons and readings that will help you to reconnect with your faith on a deeper level, as well as helping you to contemplate the true message and meaning of Christmas.
Regularly read the Bible
Whilst we all assume that we know the Nativity in depth, it’s hugely important to read the different versions in Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke (2:1-20) to help us truly understand the message in the Bible about Christmas. You will enjoy an even deeper understanding by reading the surrounding Bible passages for a contextualised grounding of the Nativity, including Luke (1:56).
What to do about gifts
With Christmas becoming increasingly secularised, you may be feeling unfulfilled and looking for a more meaningful way to celebrate your Christmas. Despite this, the tradition of gift-giving can be deeply profound way to remember that God gave us the gift of His son, Jesus Christ.
One way your gift-giving can make more of a difference is to implement a three-gift rule in your family. The money you would otherwise spend on gifts can then be used to buy gifts for less fortunate people or go to your church’s charity.
If you decide to focus on charity this Christmas, you can still give to your friends or family by giving them a phone call, sending a handwritten letter, or arranging to spend time together.
Visit the sick and elderly
Christmas is a time to focus on family, but there are many elderly and lonely people who won’t be as fortunate over Christmas. This is the ideal time to invite an elderly neighbour or relative who would otherwise spend Christmas on their own, to join you and enjoy themselves.
If you can’t have them round to stay over Christmas (maybe they live too far away), schedule in a time to call them on Christmas Day and send them a care package, it will warm their hearts.
Commit to daily prayer throughout Advent and across Christmas
One of the most effective ways to deepen your connection to God is through daily prayer. Praying in the run up to Christmas throughout Advent will give you time for reflection and to share your burdens with God. As well as praying on your own, you may want to pray as a family or with a group of friends, praying for each other and sharing an important part of your faith.
Here at ITS Travel, we help Christians feel closer to God through organising pilgrimages for groups and individuals to Israel and throughout the world, even over Christmas. To find out more about planning a Christmas pilgrimage, call us on 0161 839 1111 or get in touch online today.