Christmas Ideas

Ideas for Christmas

Bible Reading Options

  1. Starting on December 1, read through the Gospel of Luke, one chapter a day. There are 24 chapters so you will finish on Christmas Eve.
  2. If you only have one or two opportunities- Read Luke 1:26-38 on Christmas Eve and Luke 2:1-14 on Christmas morning.
  3. Bring family and friends to the Mambrino Baptist Church candlelight service on December 22 at 6 pm. Selections from the Old and New Testaments are read with hymns and carols telling the story of redemption. You can then use the readings to follow up and talk with others about the gospel.

Traditions

  1. Jesse Tree ornaments, Advent guide, and Advent candles
  2. Buy your child an ornament that represents an accomplishment or trip for that year. Eventually, you will have a record book of your child’s life to be celebrated and remembered each year at Christmas.
  3. Find a family book that will become your family’s Christmas tradition. Having a grandfather or grandmother read the story can be a good way to get the generations together in one room.
    1. Woyciechowski, Susan. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is a fictional story about a widower whose heart is softened as he carves a nativity scene.
  4. Saint Nicolaus Day- tell the story on December 6 and have the children put out a sock before bed. Put money in the sock overnight (some people add chocolate coins) and then decide as a family who to help with the money. Give the gift anonymously.
  5. Get your family and friends together and go caroling to neighbors. Especially be on the look out for elderly neighbors and use caroling as a way to get to know your neighbors and then follow up with an invite to a meal and gospel conversation at your home.

Resources

  • Piper, Noel. Treasuring God in Our Traditions
    • Best overall book helping us think through traditions from daily routines to birthday and Christmas to Easter.
  • For Adults
    • Ask, Christopher. Repeat the Sounding Joy: A Daily Advent Devotional on Luke 1-2
      • Daily advent devotional working through all of Luke chapters 1 and 2. Well suited for an adult. Suggested verse of a song and prayer with room to journal.
    • Collins, Ace. Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
      • An interesting read for the person interested in history and songs (both Christmas hymns and popular Christmas songs).
    • Ferguson, Sinclair B. Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for Advent
      • Solid devotional for an individual with reflection and prayer. A family used to longer daily readings could use this in family worship.
    • Gant, Andrew. The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of the Surprising Stories Behind Your Favorite Holiday Songs
      • Another interesting read for the history and music lover with some detail about music theory.
    • Keller, Timothy. Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ
      • Apologetic of Christmas explaining why Christmas matters. Classic Keller form in which he engages culture with the truth. For the seeker or reader in your family.
    • Lambert, Dean Meador. The Advent Jesse Tree
      • Meador does a good job making connections to Christ. This Advent Jesse Tree includes child and adult readings for each day as well as suggested hymns, scripture readings, and prayers. Ornaments available through http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com
    • Piper, John. The Dawning of Indistructible Joy
      • Shorter daily Advent readings well suited for the coffee table or for the person who likes to sit in the living room at night by Christmas tree light
    • Tripp, Paul David. Come Let Us Adore Him
      • Longer daily readings best suited for the individual
  • For Families with Older Grade School Children
    • Light in the Darkness
      • The full text of Luke 1-2 as a graphic novel
    • Ciuciu, Asheritah. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional
      • Written for use with Advent candles (4 readings to start each week of Advent) then daily readings. Discussion questions, suggested activities, prayers, and additional readings provided.
    • Guthrie, Nancy. Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
      • Daily family devotion with discussion questions, suggested prayers, and a place to journal. Could be used with an Advent candle but was written as a stand alone devotion.
    • Ytreeide, Arnold. Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent
      • A long Advent candle chapter book that starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Minimum of 15 minutes a day to read each chapter. Parents will want to read ahead to screen content for younger children.
  • For Families with Grade School Children
    • Lambert, Dean Meador. The Advent Jesse Tree
      • Meador does a good job making connections to Christ. This Advent Jesse Tree includes child and adult readings for each day as well as suggested hymns, scripture readings, and prayers. Ornaments available through halfahundredacrewood.com
    • Pawlak, Katie. God with Us: A Family Advent Celebration
      • Will need some theological clarification. One of the best set of ornaments with color copies provided in the book and felt or wooden ornaments available online. Few Christ-connections in the first half. Lambert’s advent guide is stronger but Pawlak’s ornaments are more attractive.
    • Reaoch, Barbara. A Jesus Christmas: Explore God’s Amazing Plan for Christmas
      • Great for Advent candles or stand alone family devotion. Daily readings, discussion questions, prayer, and room for doodling or journaling.
  • For Toddlers
    • James, Scott. The Littlest Watchman
      • Three resources available here. The Family Devotions and Advent Calendar would be a good start to the Advent tradition. Readings and talks are short. The calendar is made to be opened and small cards punched out to hang on an advent tree or banner. The book The Littlest Watchman is a fictional story that could be used to start advent each year.
    • Mitchell, Alison. The Christmas Promise
      • Simple board book with advent stickers sold separately. A good introduction to the tradition of Advent
    • Thornborough, Tim. A Very Noisy Christmas
      • Simple Christmas story for children ages 5 and below.

For those who sew

  • James, Darcy. Let’s Make a Jesse Tree!
    • Guide for making felt ornaments or pieces for a quilt. Devotions are meager and seashell is used for baptism.

You can skip these resources

  • McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Jesse Tree
  • Marcellino, Kathryn. Jesse Tree Ornaments: Advent Coloring Activities and Craft Projects
    • Roman Catholic
  • Voskamp, Ann. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas
    • Beautifully done but the devotions are strange (Noah’s flood was God’s tears, human hearts are leaning away from God, and confuses covenant with Abraham). Weak on Christ-connections.

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