This Action Point is where you, as parents, can start to define what Christmas is truly about through the traditions we establish and the way we express the Christmas story—in our homes, in our schools, in our churches, in our neighborhoods and to the world at large. This is not just an exercise for the Christmas season, but rather a great time to start refocusing our family’s attention on putting Christ back into His rightful place. So, this Christmas as you and your family settle into the usual gate of the holiday season, take a moment to pray, reflect and search your heart for how you want to represent the Christmas story to your family. And then, do something together as a family that will allow those values to be expressed in a way that will forever shape the way they “do” Christmas.
Here are some ideas for ways you and your family can connect to and define the Christmas story together:
- Adopt a family for Christmas through the Salvation Army: Salvationarmyusa.org.
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter to serve a meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
- Give one less gift this year to each family member and instead buy gifts for children whose parents are in prison through Angel Tree: Angeltree.org/angeltreehome.
- If you have a musical family, visit a convalescent home or local children’s hospital and sing some of those Christmas favorites.
- Help the local hospice or meals-on-wheels organization distribute Christmas dinners. You can help prepare the actual meals or donate your time and car to transport the meals to the elderly or sick.
- Look through Martha Stewart and other crafty magazines or old craft books for Christmas-inspired crafts and buy enough supplies to have a hospital ward of children or a retirement home ward make crafts or ornaments with you and your family.
- Ask your church if there is a family that attends that could use some extra help this holiday season. Invite them over for Christmas dinner or offer to buy and decorate a Christmas tree for them.
This Christmas, as you celebrate the gift of Jesus and the story of God’s redemption in all of our lives, take the time to put that message into motion. Christmas is not just about giving things away so that we get that warm fuzzy feeling, or because we want to “share the wealth.” It’s about expressing God’s heart for justice, love and reconciliation.
As well, here is an encouraging blog post entitled “10 Reasons to Escape Excessive Consumerism” by Joshua Becker. Check it out at: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/2011/08/03/escaping-excessive-consumerism/
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.