In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to Family Traditions

The Jingle Bell Juggle:Protecting the Sacredness of Christmas in Your Home

My Friend Debbie_Jingle Bells

      Stop a moment. Think about your warmest Christmas memory. Just close your eyes and smell it. What makes this memory so wonderful? Or, if you don't have a pleasant memory of the holidays, what would your ideal Christmas look like?

     Every year, I promise myself that I will protect and revere the silent night of Christmas, but I usually give way to the mad rush of last minute shopping and late night kitchen grumbling as I solemnly undertake what does not come naturally - bake. I suppose the motivation behind this annual ritual is my desire to look good in front of my relatives, or to portray my domestic competence among the neighbors. But once the sugary flour cloud has settled, I still feel a vague emptiness, like I'm missing something really important about Christmas. It's supposed to be an opportunity for adoration, not a list of obligations. How can I adore more?

My Friend Debbie_Jingle Bell Jungle     If the sacredness of your Christmas has gotten wedged somewhere between the tree lights and the ceramic nativity scene, you can find practical ways to revive its splendor. But it will require intentionality and determination, advance planning and agreement among family members. Start talking with those you love about how to make the holidays more spiritually meaningful. Identify and discuss the traditions that are favorites in your family, and resolve to honor them.

     Read one of the following three Christmas accounts - Matthew 1:18-2:12; Luke 1:26-56; or Luke 2:1-20. Identify something new you learn by reading this familiar story. Is there some aspect of the story that you could turn into a new family tradition? We all know one classic example from the Book of Matthew. Wise men gave gifts to Jesus, and that's why we in turn practice gift giving at this season. Brainstorm a tradition that you can initiate or a favorite one that you can revive in your family that will nurture the sacredness of Christmas.

     Be a memory-maker rather than a jingle bell juggler. Here are some starter ideas:

  1. Read the Christmas story aloud by the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
  2. Go caroling with bells to a person who needs cheer. Battery operated candles are also a nice addition. (Note: Real candles can be dangerous, but Wal-Mart and other stores usually carry battery-operated candles during the Christmas season).
  3. Play Santa by dropping off an anonymous gift at a neighbor's door.
  4. Let your children have their own Christmas tree that they decorate with homemade ornaments and school projects.
  5. Sew material or paint wooden blocks to create durable nativity scenes that children and grandchildren can enjoy. Kids love to act out the Christmas story!
  6. Build a gingerbread house with graham crackers and candies. (Note: You can buy inexpensive kits for these at any Wal-Mart or K-Mart, They really work and actually taste pretty good. )
  7. Host a "White Elephant Party and Gift Exchange," (This is where everyone brings a $5 gift, or other designated amount, and each guest draws a number. The first person picks a gift and opens it. The second person can take that gift or select an unopened present. The subsequent guests can select from any open present-that hasn't been taken more than three times already- or a wrapped one. The first guest ends the round with having his/her pick of any gift that he/she wants to 'take' from someone else.) This can be great fun for neighbors, church friends, co-workers and extended family.
  8. My Friend Debbie_Jingle Bell Jungle
  9. Light an advent wreath at the dinner table or enjoy an advent calendar all month.
  10. Start a Christmas Memories album, adding a page every year with a picture of your family or other special milestone reminders.
  11. Bake and decorate a "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake, topped with symbols of Christ's characteristics such as evergreen for everlasting love, a star for the Bethlehem star, an angel to tell the good news, a candle representing Jesus as the light of the world. Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!

     Have a great Christmas, enjoy sharing God's love with those around you and remember to keep it sacred to avoid the jingle bell juggle!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Julie Strohkorb

Reader Comments...
2009-01-25 18:44:29
"Wonderful ideas!!!!"
        - Aleta

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to Family Traditions

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Corolla, NC with GirlfriendsTravel

Corolla, NC with Girlfriends