The Joy of Christmas
There are those who love Christmas, and those that well, just don’t. I am unashamedly a lover of Christmas. I love everything about it! I love setting our tree up in November (yes, November!). I love Christmas carols. I love Christmas baking. I love the twinkling lights. I love the extended time with family. I love watching people unwrap gifts that have been thoughtfully purchased. But most importantly I love gathering with Church and family over December and pausing to be thankful for the Jesus.
As much as I love ALL of those things, the truth is, Christmas can also be overhyped at times. We’ve all felt the pressure and stress to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, buy the ‘perfect’ gifts, and the expectation to be 100% happy, 100% of the time, and we can often forget what Christmas is really about. This time of year is the perfect time to bring it back to what truly matters. Christmas gifts come and go,but memories created with family + friends will last a lifetime.
So how do we create those lasting memories! I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the gifts I was given by my parents as a 10 year old, but I do remember the quirky traditions we had, the time with family and baking with my Mum… and now we get to do that with our children.
These are a few of my favourite ways we celebrate Christmas and create memories with our kids:
Setting the Christmas tree up
Setting up the tree and decorating is one of my favourite things to do leading into the Christmas season. We make this a big deal in our family! There’s nothing like dusting off the tree box and unpacking decorations, putting some carols on (think Pentatonix, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey) and enjoying getting creative. Mums, the tree doesn’t need to be perfect, let the kids go wild… or if that’s not your thing - get them a mini tree for their bedrooms ;)
Pay it forward
Look for a way to bless someone this Christmas season… something extra, above what you would normally do. Maybe bake your neighbours some treats + invite them to a Christmas service. Have someone over for a meal, volunteer to serve in a soup kitchen, invite someone to your place for Christmas who may not have any family. We can all do something to be kind! This is a great way you can teach your kids generosity in the season!
Christmas morning Bible reading
This is a little tradition my parents started with us children, and we’ve carried on with your own kids. Before we were allowed to open presents on Christmas Day, my Dad would read the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth. We would always complain, but truth be told this was one of the powerful things they have passed on to us. Before the ripping open wrapping paper and gifts, bring it back to Jesus. He was, after all, the greatest gift given.
Christmas movie night
Set your lounge room up, bring out the mattress into the lounge, pick out a great Christmas flick, grab some snacks and soak it up. Elf, the Santa Clause, Home Alone, Polar express, Jingle all the way, Miracle on 34th street are a few of our favourites!
Christmas light tour
Each year we pile into the car, turn on the carols, turn the aircon up (hello Queensland) and grab an ice cream (makes no sense, I know) and drive around to a few of the beautiful light displays in the suburbs (most cities and Botanical gardens also usually have beautiful light displays)!
Get your bake on
Why not host a festive bake-off style day with your friends or kids? Even if you’re not the best of bakers, you’ll have lots of fun! Pop on some festive music, and create great memories whilst creating some tasty Christmas treats (like fudge, shortbread and cookies!) Don’t just keep those yummy baked goods for yourself - give them to family, friends, work colleagues or neighbours!
Focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t let all the tinsel distract from the true wonder of Christmas. Above all the festivities, Christmas parties, gifts to buy… remember to take time to pause, reflect and be grateful. When we ponder the powerful message that God has loved us so much that he would actually send his son to earth, for us, well that brings it all into perspective.
Merry Christmas friends, may you truly experience the wonder of Christmas this year. x
About the Author
Miram (affectionately known as Miss Christmas) is one of our incredible staff members at iSEE CHURCH. Miriam along side her husband Scott are pioneering our Pine Rivers location in 2021. She is a plant lover, "hugger" and mother of twins.