Monday, December 2, 2013

10 Christ Centered Christmas Traditions


First of all, I can't figure out who painted that painting but it is beautiful and I want it! So if anyone knows, please tell me!

Second, Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! I love all of the festivities and the spirit of giving that takes place. I love giving (and let's be honest, getting) presents, but I also really love that Christmas is a time to remember Christ. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a wonderful Mom who not only spoiled us on Christmas, but made sure we had plenty of opportunities to reflect on the wondrous birth of the Christ Child during the Christmas Season. Christ is the true meaning of Christmas, and I know that when He is the center of your celebrations Christmas is much more meaningful, joyful, and miraculous. That is why I wanted to share some of my favorite Christ-centered traditions.

1. Fill the Manger: 


Once a week throughout the month of December, have your family members draw names. Make sure everyone keeps their name a secret. Set out a miniature manger somewhere in your house with a bag of straw next to it. Throughout the week, every time you do an act of service for the name you drew you get to put a piece of straw in the manger. Your goal as a family is to have the manger nice and full for Baby Jesus when he arrives on Christmas morning. (I loved doing this as a little girl!!!)

2. Reenact the Nativity: 



Every Christmas Eve my Dad reads Luke Ch. 2 while us "kids" (we're now ages 19-26 and I make us still do it) reenact the nativity. (This year I will hopefully have my baby boy by then so he can be baby Jesus!!)

3. Countdown to Mary and Joseph Reaching Bethlehem: 



Put a twist on the classic "count down to Christmas" by having it count down to Mary and Joseph reaching Bethlehem. My Mom has one similar to this one that allows you to move Mary and Joseph closer each day.

4. Scriptures by Candlelight: 



To make reading our Scriptures in December extra special, my Mom would have us read by candlelight.

5. Your "Gift" to Baby Jesus: 



Before we'd go to bed on Christmas eve my Mom would have us write on a piece of paper our "gift" to baby Jesus, meaning a habit we'd like to give up, something we'd like to do better at, a spiritual goal we'd like to have, or something along those lines. Then she'd keep it in a little stocking, and the next Christmas you'd get to read what your gift was last year to see if you actually did it.

6. Three Gifts Representing Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh: 



This I heard from one of my friends in High School. Under the tree they each get three gifts that somehow represent Frankincense, gold, and myrrh to remind them of the gifts given to Christ.

7. Visit Temple Square: 



If you live in Utah or nearby, Temple Square is a wonderful place to visit during the Christmas Season. They decorate the trees with lights and fill the area with nativity scenes from all over the world.

8. Christmas Book: 



At the start of December my Mom usually gives us a new Christmas book that somehow has something to do with Christ. She then keeps them in a basket on the mantle with the books from previous years so that we can read them throughout the month.

9. The Story of the Candy Cane: 



A candy cane can be a really inexpensive way to remind people of Christ at Christmas time. This is a link to the story and a printable poem.

10. Nativity Gingerbread Houses: 



Instead of doing a classic gingerbread house, give it a little more meaning by creating a nativity scene!

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this - I'm definitely doing #5 but there are several here that have caught my interest and will look into doing! Merry Christmas!

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  2. Love this! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. You're welcome!! I'm glad you like them!

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  4. That painting is called "Every Knee Shall Bow" and was painted by Gaye Frances Willard. I love that painting, as well!

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  5. http://www.portraitartistnc.com/GWsanta.html

    Thats where you can purchase the painting. Hopefully I typed it in right. It wouldnt let me submit on my phone!

    I'm in love with it and it is now on my christmas decor wish list :-)

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  6. Every year at 3 in the afternoon on Christmas Day we have a birthday party for Jesus. We have helium filled balloons that we put a scripture or some other saying about Jesus and send them to heaven. We also have cake afterward.

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  7. Loved this article! We always did the re-enactment of the nativity and the story of the candy cane. We also do the gift to Baby Jesus, but we have a stocking hanging for him instead. Every year we write down things that we would do as a gift for Jesus, like setting a goal for scripture reading or to attend the temple as often as we can. Then the next year, we read them and see if we kept those promises. We also read The Forgotten Carols and listen to the soundtrack along with reading the book. That one's my favorite!

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  8. This was such a beautiful way to inspire the true meaning of Christmas.

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  9. One thing our family does is our nightly scripture for the Jessie tree. However, we do it with an Advent wreath. Each night we light the candles in our Advent wreath, read a section of scripture, read a devotion about it and then someone gets to eat the candy from our Advent calendar. I loved all of the ideas you have in this article. If we keep sharing what each of us do, it might just help to keep Christ in CHRISTmas.

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  10. great ideas!

    ps....it's myrrh, not muir....

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    1. Oh dear... You just can't trust spell check can you! ;) Thanks!!

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  11. Thanks for sharing this and linking to our Legend of the Candy Cane Printable! Love your site :)

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  12. Amber, I love your posts....but I had to comment on this one because I found it through pinterest....that a friend of mine (that I'm sure you couldn't actually know) pretty cool! Can't wait to meet your little guy, and even me, I can't wait to watch you chasing him while the twins are nice calm angels ;) (like that will EVER happen)

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    1. Haha well judging by how much he moves around now he's definitely going to be a busy body!! You'll just have to show me the ropes! I can't imagine having two! You're superwoman!

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  13. Where can I get the countdown to Mary and Joseph reaching Bethlehem? I tried the site but it wasn't letting me do anything with it. Maybe because it was from 2009. Any ideas?

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  14. Do you know where I can get the countdown to Mary and Joseph reaching Bethlehem? I tried the site, but it wouldn't let me do anything with it. maybe because it was from 2009. Any ideas? Thanks!

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    1. That's a bummer! I've been looking around and all I can find are some similar ones on etsy and amazon but they're not quite the same. Just search for nativity advent calendars and you will see a ton of options. I think my Mom made hers herself so perhaps I will have to do a tutorial!!

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  15. a friend of mine was telling me about her preacher had talked about the story of the Christmas tree and how it was telling about Christ does anybody know where to find it? I just thought I would ask since the story of the candy cane was on this site! thanks for putting all these together tho :)

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    1. I don't but if you find it let us know!!

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  16. my little girl can ask S
    anta for three gifts one for fun one educational and one practical so she gets three gifts just like Jesus

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  17. Love this girls! I just featured it on All Things Thrifty! xoxo, Merry Christmas!

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  18. It is fun to learn traditions to honor the season, Christ Birthday!
    This Christmas Eve at 4:00pm the church was filled with families, one of my favorite traditions which I feel slightly spoiled ot share. Our family Grammie, Poppie, my Brothers and Sister all our spouses along with our children file into church to celebrate Our Saviour. The children prepare a Christmas Pageant as the gospel is read they are our live Nativity. This year my Niece stood proudly in the center of church, to Proclaim Christ was born, as our Parish Priest read the words, she raised her arms, dressed in her white robe and Garland Angel Halo, I thought to myself how brave to be ten and stand in a church full of people. We shared the celebration with our family the best gift ever.

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    1. That is a beautiful family tradition! Thank you for sharing!

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  19. Nice post,, i'm very enjoyed to visit this site :D

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  20. I started a new tradition when I had children. We bake cupcakes together on December 24th in the afternoon. When we get home from our drive to look at Christmas lights we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus , and then we open a gift that will help others in need. World Vision is an organization that we have used in the past. The catalog will often match your gift making your money go further. It has been a fun way to teach my children about Jesus and the importance of giving.

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