7 Ways That We Remember Christmas Isn’t Just About The Presents

I can tell from my neighbor’s musical lawn ornaments that Christmas is upon us. Every year on December 1st, our neighbor Bob puts out his giant inflatable caroling snowmen and ornamental reindeer made out of sticks. It’s a weird and wonderfully merry sight that my kids have come to know and love.

Bob’s festive lawn paired with the piles of toy catalogs that my children have painstakingly researched in the hopes of their wish list materializing under the tree has become the stuff our holidays are made of.

But when Boy Wonder told me, “Mom, did you know the word ‘Christ’ is in Christmas?” last Sunday after church, I realized we had a situation.

Hey, I’m down with celebrating jolly old Saint Nick and the presents he brings my kids in spite of their questionable behavior, but it seemed as though our family somehow lost sight of the real reason for the season.

Whether your family is religious or not, we can all take this holiday season to reflect, give thanks, and remember the importance of family.

Take a look at 7 ways my family is choosing to remember that Christmas isn’t just about the presents:

  • Create a garland of gratitude 1 of 7
    Remember as a child cutting out strips of red and green construction paper to make a paper chain counting down the 25 days until Christmas? Why not create a garland of gratitude instead? Grab the scissors and construction paper and cut those strips of paper like old times, only this time get the family involved and write blessings on each strip of paper. When we take the time to count our blessings and reflect upon the goodness of the previous year, we experience true joy.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Holiday cards 2 of 7
    Many of us send and receive Christmas cards out of habit more than anything else. This year, I plan to proudly display the Christmas cards we receive and when the season is over, I'm going to keep the cards in a basket by our dinner table. With each meal we'll pull one holiday card sent from a deal friend or family member and include them in our mealtime prayer. If you're not a family that prays together, simply pull a card and discuss the wonderful ways the card sender has touched your life. In just a few minutes, you've shown gratitude toward those who matter in your life.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Go homemade 3 of 7
    Before all the madness of Christmas morning, exchange handmade gifts with your immediate family on Christmas Eve. Draw names so each person can focus their energies on creating that one special gift from the heart. In doing so, we remind ourselves that the gifts from the heart are far more precious than any gift we can buy.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Revisit Christmases past 4 of 7
    Warm up the hot cocoa, snuggle by the fire and break out the photo albums and home movies it's time to revisit Christmases past! Take a special moment to remember those family members who are no longer with you in a positive and celebratory light.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Tradition! 5 of 7
    Participate in your family's long-standing traditions or establish new ones. Whatever you choose, do it together!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Adopt a family in need 6 of 7
    There are so many families in desperate need this time of year. Discuss ways your family can get involved in your community to make a real difference to a family in need. Giving is the true reason for the season!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • All I want for Christmas is you 7 of 7
    Have each family member share the personal reasons each person in the room is important in their lives. We get so busy (particularly this time of year) that we forget to stop and appreciate each other. The words feel good to say and great to hear.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

How do you make Christmas about more than presents?

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