Tuesday, November 06, 2012

preparing for a Christ-centered Christmas

Jesus' birthday is in 48 days! you know what that means? time to start planning! time to consider our traditions and be sure of why we celebrate. let's be intentional about honoring Christ and not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season!

here are 5 things we do to prepare for a Christ-centered Christmas:

1. pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. we got our official OCC shoeboxes at Mardel, but any shoebox-sized box will do. fill the boxes and find a drop-off location. collection week is 11/12-19.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

2. shop the best gift catalog. hint: it's not FAO Schwartz or Toys R Us or Ikea or Neiman Marcus. it's Compassion's Christmas Gift Catalog, the catalog that saves lives. give a child the gift of protection from malaria for $18, or give food and water to a family in need for $25. we have also shopped the World Vision and Gospel for Asia catalogs. pray about it.

300 x 250 truth in the tinsel banner

3. plan for advent. we are intentional about putting Jesus at the center of Christmas. a few of our favorite advents and activities for the season are Truth in the Tinsel, the Jesse Tree Journey, and Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

4. clean out the coat closet. give last season's and outgrown winter coats to someone in need by donating them to local shelters. shelters are also thankful for blankets, clothing, toys, and nonperishable food items.

5. put The Sparkle Box on your mantel. The Sparkle Box is a sweet storybook that tells the true meaning of Christmas through a new tradition. the book encourages families to celebrate Jesus by giving to others, and to keep track of that giving by writing down gifts and putting them inside a little sparkly box that is included with the book. on Christmas morning, open the box and be blessed by the blessings. The Sparkle Box is available at bookstores, and maybe at the library (and make your own box.)

remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'
Acts 20:35

photo credit: hello-julie via photopin cc