The True Meaning of Christmas
I love Christmas – the decorations, the gift giving, the baking. Each year, though, as I see the stores putting out their Christmas wares earlier and earlier, I can’t help but feel a little pang that the true meaning of Christmas is lost.
My family and I do our best to focus our time and energy on remembering what Christmas is all about, and each year, I try to come up with some new ideas to add in to our old favorites.
Here are some ways you and your family can remember the real meaning of Christmas this year.
With my big family, I intimately know the joy of watching a child open a present on Christmas morning, and the thought that there are kids who may not have that opportunity is heartbreaking. Make someone’s Christmas morning by taking the kids to Walmart or Target and picking out some toys to donate. Drop them off together at one of the collection sites (search for your local one here).
Go caroling at a senior center.
Most everyone loves Christmas music, and there’s nothing quite like watching residents of a skilled nursing facility light up (and join in!) as you sing some of their favorite carols and Christmas hymns. Ask folks from your church, moms’ group, or work to join you – the more the merrier!
Pay it forward.
Whether it’s paying for coffee for the person behind you or telling the person you give your cart to at Aldi to keep their quarter, random acts of kindness are a great way to spread Christmas cheer. Create a friendly competition with your kids to see how many you each can do in a week.
Help an elderly neighbor decorate.
Offer your help or even just companionship to an elderly neighbor while decorating. Bring Christmas music and hot chocolate or coffee and spend time visiting together. Ask about your neighbor’s favorite Christmas memories. Your soul will be fed as much as theirs!
Host a baking party.
Invite a few of each of your kids’ friends and their moms or dads to join in a baking party. Ask everyone to bring a couple of their favorite recipes along with ingredients (you can supply the staples like butter, eggs, flour, and sugar if you want) and make a yummy mess! I have tons of fun baking ideas with our 25 days of Christmas cookie exchange ideas.
Make gifts. Sit down with your kids and figure out what they’d like to make for family members and friends.
Clay ornaments or Applesauce Ornaments are a fun and simple activity for younger kids, while custom-made painted wood signs (Walmart sells blank wooden signs) and jewelry are more involved for older kids who like to be creative. Handmade gifts are very meaningful, and you and your kids get to have quality time together while making them.
Write holiday cards to military members.
While we are able to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, many military members don’t have that opportunity. Start a drive at church, work, or your children’s school to write holiday cards through the American Red Cross’s Holidays for Heroes program (or one of the other similar programs that exist).
With a little bit of effort, you and your family can reconnect and serve others all season long.
And if that’s not a great way to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, I don’t know what is!