As Catholics, it’s very easy for us to understand what the Christmas season is all about. But it is also so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of it all. From shopping, and decorating, to cleaning and preparing for guests, we can forget that this special season of Advent is celebrating the birth of Christ. Or maybe you don’t let the over commercialization of the season over shadow the true meaning, and in that case I am so happy. We try so hard to keep it all about Him, but it’s hard when the neighbours turned their lights on last week, and the stores brought all the Christmas stuff out before Halloween was ever over!
Here is how my family keeps Christ in Christmas:
Advent Wreath – We have a very simple Advent wreath that we keep on the kitchen table. We light the candles and say the prayers as the weeks pass, and the kids just love it.
Celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas – We have taught our kids about St. Nicholas, and how he relates to the modern day Santa Claus. And because of this, we celebrate the feast day of St. Nicholas (on Dec 6th) and we give each child a small religious gift, usually a new prayer card and a book or small toy.
No early Decorations or Music – We hold off on decorating the house, and turning on the outdoor lights until right before Christmas. We even waited until Christmas Eve to put our tree up one year. The day has changed each year, usually do to what day of the week Christmas falls on, but we usually deck the halls the weekend closest to Christmas Day.
Nativity Displays – We have two. And are thinking about buying a large wooden one for our front lawn. My mom bought me one the other year, that is ceramic and I display on top on my china cabinet in the kitchen. The other is a Fischer Price Little People Nativity toy we keep on the floor so this kids can play with it. We keep baby Jesus out of both sets, and when the kids come down on Christmas morning, they love go and finally see him sleeping there. This year, hopefully, I will add a third one to our collection…if I ever finish sewing it. Oh, and I have a snow globe with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus.
Bible Stories – We read Bible stories each night before bed to the kids (we love these ones by Arch Books). And during Advent, we read the Advent ones to them.
Catholic Gifts – We love to give each other gifts that are Catholic (like books about Catholicism or by Catholic authors and prayer cards) or specific to Christmas, like new children’s bible stories and toy sets, or nativity ornaments and sets.
We also attend Mass (but that should be a given) and of course the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. In the future, once our kids are a little older and will understand a little better, we’ll do charity work and volunteer with them. And I would also love to have a Jesse Tree too, if I ever get that felt Nativity finished that is.
I would love to hear about your family, and your traditions surrounding Christmas, and how you keep Christ in Christmas, and please let me know if there is something I am missing out on!
For a post on how to have a Frugal Christmas, check out my post on my blog Not A Coupon Queen.