A Different Kind of Christmas List

As Christmas approaches, I find myself filled with excitement as I think about ideas regarding how to make the season magical for my children. What presents should I buy? How should I decorate the house? What traditions do I want to start for my children? I find myself quickly slipping into the more worldly aspects of Christmas instead of focusing on the real reason for the season. Thoughts of gifts, lights, and decorations fill my mind when thoughts of Jesus should be taking their place. So, I decided to write a different kind of Christmas list for myself this year. One that will help my focus remain on Jesus, God’s perfect Son, who came to this earth to bring hope for us. I hope this list helps me and possibly you too as we wade through Christmas this year.   

My Focus Will Stay on Jesus

A daily focus on Jesus can be implemented in many different ways. It could start by waking up and letting my thoughts begin with Christ in prayer. It could merge into breaking out in song as I cook breakfast. As the Psalmist wrote:

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”

Psalm 105:2

I could throw in a few dance moves just for good measure to help get the kids excited as well. I’m a pretty lousy dancer, so I will not reveal my crazy dance moves if company happens to stop by. I can try to steal some time to read my Bible to learn more about Jesus, my Friend and Savior. This is a loose script for the day because the day doesn’t always go how I plan. But, I have to plan to be intentional, or else I may sway back toward the direction that the world beckons me. Also, I don’t want to leave out pausing and asking God the Father to help me focus on Him. I need His help to accomplish any of this!

My Heart Will Have Peace

My heart desires peace, and that peace only comes when first I’ve believed in Jesus for the gift that He offers, everlasting life, and secondly when I’m following Christ (being His disciple). Paul reminds of this truth in Romans:

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:5-6

My Eyes Will Be On His Kingdom 

When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, He included “Your kingdom come. Your will be done” in Matthew 6:10. So, I know that this kingdom focus needs to be an everyday thing. Instead of getting caught up in myself and my world, I need to be thinking about Jesus’ coming kingdom and how my thoughts and actions can align with that today.

My Children Will Know Jesus 

I want to be teaching my children the reason for Christmas this season. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 speaks of this:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

How do I go about doing this? Instead of asking my kids over and over about what they want for Christmas and building up anticipation about toys they would receive, I should be teaching them about the everlasting hope and joy we have in Jesus and how that looks. I talk with them about Jesus as we eat breakfast and throughout the day as we spend time together.

My Joy Will Be In Him

I wish to enjoy Jesus and learn about His attributes so that I can celebrate His birth. This can be so much fun. One idea is to read a verse each day that describes an attribute of Jesus to my children. Another idea is to complete a creative project together like baking a cake for Jesus, praying and thanking Him as we mix the ingredients. Then, we can add candles and sing Him Happy Birthday. Jesus wants us to enjoy spending time with Him. Sometimes this is just a shift in thinking. I can go through the motions of the day focusing on Him and celebrating Him instead of focusing on myself.

These are just a few ideas that I jotted down to help me keep my focus in the right place this Christmas. Click below to download a different kind of Christmas Wish List. I’m sure there are many more wonderful ideas to add to it. I’d love to hear them! 
What do you do to keep your focus on Christ? What would you add to this Christmas list?

Now What?

9 comments on “A Different Kind of Christmas List”

  1. Thanks, friend for challenging me to think differently about Christmas this year. I can't wait to see what it looks like at Casa Patrick!

  2. Love the idea! I'm an RN and homeschooling SAHM of 5 boys, 7yrs and under. We accepted a fun little challenge: to memorize Luke 2:8-14....the verses Linus recites when Charlie Brown asks what the true meaning of Christmas is! This is one of the things on our Different Christmas List this year! 😊 Another thing that's always on our list of traditions is to watch the Little House on the Prairie Christmas Special...the one where they all make/buy each other special things, and baby Carrie's present to Jesus ties it all together. It's about an hour long and we have it on an old VHS. It makes me cry, every single time!!

    There's also a really good 20 min show we watched fir the first time this year, called "The Shepherd" produced by The Chosen (it's on YouTube). Very moving portrayal of Jesus' birth from the shepherds perspective.

    1. Katie, It sounds like we have a lot in common except you've got me outnumbered by 2 boys! I bet you all have an action packed home! You're ideas are fantastic! I love that you all are memorizing the verses in Luke as a family. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'm definitely going to be looking into The little House on the Prairie Christmas special.

  3. Beautifully written, Margaret. These are things that I need to keep in mind as well. Thank you for sharing. I love you and I’m so thankful for you.

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