Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is There A Difference In The Way You Celebrate Christmas?

     Since I was a new Christian, I have been challenged with one question. "Am I different than a non-Christian?" That question as been presented many different ways, according to my age and life situation. "Could someone at school tell I am a Christian, or do I act the same as those that do not know Jesus?" "If someone came into my home would they know it was a home of Christians?' "Could someone look at the books on my shelf and know that I am a follower of Jesus?" "Do people I work with know that I a Christian?" "Can my children's teachers and coaches tell that their parents are Christians?" "What if someone's only picture of Jesus was me?"
     Dwayne and I set a goal early in our marriage to strive to represent Jesus in all areas of our life. We have not always succeeded but it is what we strive to do. Many Christmas's ago, we realized that our home's Christmas decorations were not much different than those who do not know personally the One we celebrate Christmas for. Now don't get me wrong, I love lights, trees, ornaments, snowmen, snowflakes, Santas, greenery and bows. The problem was not what I had but what I didn't have. To me, it is like having a sweet sixteen birthday party for a young lady and decorating for a 6 year old boy with Spiderman. You could tell it was a party, and even a birthday party but it really wouldn't represent the person who was having the birthday. We asked our self the same question we had always be challenged by, "If someone walked into our home during the Christmas season could they tell that we were Christians?" We wanted the answer to this question to be 'YES'! We began to make some changes.
  • We put a nativity scene in every room we decorated.
  • We hung stockings with our names on them and we added a stocking with Jesus' name on it. Then each of us would write on a piece of paper the gift we were giving Jesus for His birthday and the next year we would read them.
  • We had a family Bible on the coffee table and opened it to the Christmas story . Before we opened our gifts on Christmas morning we would then read that amazing story.
  • We would prepare a birthday cake for Jesus. (I was sure his favorite cake was the same as mine, so that is what I would make!) We would then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
  • We would read the Christmas story bfoe we open presents.
  • We would pray after we opened our presents and thank the Lord for all He gives us.
  • Some years I wrote on the gift tags. 'this gift is being given in honor of Jesus and the gift of eternal life that He gives us'.
     We still look for new ways to keep Jesus in a place of honor at His birthday celebration. We do not want Him to disappear in the background. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!
Let me ask you the same question we asked ourselves, "If someone walked into your home during the Christmas season could they tell it was the home of followers of Jesus Christ? Or does it look the same as those that do not follow Jesus Christ?" To go one step further, "If someone showed up at your house on Christmas day, would they see the guest of honor? What can you add to your birthday party to bring more focus to the One you are celebrating?

Live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ.
Philippians 1:27


Steph said...

There are a few things that would lead people to believe we are a Christian household. We have a nativity set up, we have a childrens book about Jesus's birth displayed and I have a tree topper that is a star that is displayed with greenery to represent the star of Christmas! I do love the stocking with Jesus's name on it and putting what gift you are giving him and reading them the next year. I think I am going to get a stocking and do that!!! When we have kids I will bake a cake and we will sing Happy Birthday Jesus!! You have some really good ideas... Thank You! I think I will looking into getting more nativities too!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Those are some really great ideas! I am always looking for more ways to show that He is the reason for the season!

Steph said...

This year I added Nativities to our bathrooms! I see it everytime I am in there and reminded of why we celebrate!