I remember lots of things my parents did at Christmas. I remember them helping me write letters to Santa, our meals together, and conversations.
I remember some of the presents my parents bought me at Christmas, but when I actually put what I remember in perspective to many years of presents, I remember very few of the presents my parents bought me for Christmas.
The moments we share with our kids during important seasons (and Christmas is important for a kid) leave a lasting legacy.
I’m afraid that if we choose to anchor our legacy in the gifts we give our kids, we’re providing a rather inadequate anchor. It doesn’t matter how extravagant your gifts are, they will eventually break, be lost, or be outgrown. They’re not going to last.
But this Christmas we can do something that will last.
As Christmas Eve came to a close and we prepared for bed, each year my parents each read us a story before bedtime. It was the same story every year. My dad read the classic, “The Night Before Christmas”, and my mother shared to us about the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.
If you make this Christmas all about gifts, you’ll miss the chance to capture these moments and leave a significant legacy to your kids.
There are a lot of other things we make Christmas about. Most of these things are all good things: our family, community, our kids, and traditions. The problem with them is they are bad foundations.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told a story about foundations (Matthew 7:24-27). If we build our lives upon anything other than Jesus, no matter how good it is, that foundation can be destroyed. Our families, our traditions, and our gifts make bad foundations, but Jesus makes a great one!
At Christmas you can give your kids something that can’t be taken away from them, something that won’t break, something they won’t outgrow: Jesus.
This Christmas find a practical way to make Jesus the center of your holiday routine. Your kids won’t learn it from what you say; they’ll catch it from what you do together!
Here’s a few practical suggestions to make Jesus the center of your family’s
Find a few children’s books to read with your kids that tell the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Kids love being read to, and it’s very healthy for them. So why not harness that and use it to share Jesus with them?
Never underestimate the power of conversations. At least once a week during this Christmas season have a conversation before bed about the meaning of Christmas. Give your kids a chance to ask you questions!
Share the Bible with them. The birth of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are powerful ways to share to real meaning of Christmas with our kids.
Create traditions that have nothing to do with gifts and everything to do with Jesus. Family prayer time, communion, and church events can be powerful ways to capitalize on legacy building during this season.
Whatever you do… Don’t let Christmas be simply about presents. I love presents, but they aren’t as wonderful as Jesus.
Jesus is what Christmas is all about, so let’s make it that way!
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How are you practically making Jesus your central experience this Christmas?