Time to Refocus
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (KJV)
Christmas was a big holiday when I was growing up, but there is one tradition in particular that stands out to me. Every year before our Christmas dinner, my father read the story of Jesus’ birth. Often times there would be guests in our home, but the tradition stood no matter who was with us or what the schedule of the day was. My father has continued this tradition to this day.
My dad wanted to point our attention to what the Christmas holiday was really about. In all of the craziness of our celebration, and with so many distractions at hand, we always had this reminder of the first Christmas in Bethlehem.
Now that I have a family of my own, I have taken a lesson from my father and look for ways to get my own kids to refocus their thoughts during Christmas. I want them to avoid getting caught up in the materialism and confusion of their culture.
There are many ways to retrain our thinking about this important holiday. Maybe your family could serve at a local soup kitchen or volunteer to ring the bells outside of a store for the Salvation Army. There are also numerous Christmas giving opportunities such as Angel Tree, where you give gifts to children whose parents are incarcerated, or Project Christmas Child, an organization that sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to less fortunate children around the world. And yes, you can even start your own Christmas tradition of reading the story of Jesus’ birth found in Luke Chapter 2.
What will you do this Christmas to focus on Christ?