So many people I talk to say they are yearning for more meaning and purpose in their holiday seasons. As soon as they start hearing “Happy Holidays,” they stress. For most Christians, the highlight of this season is Christmas. However, most people relegate it to just one day when, in fact, it is an entire season in itself.
If you’re wondering how you and your family might incorporate more purposeful intention during your holidays this year, you’ve come to the right place. Sometimes, it’s not enough to say things like, “Remember the reason for the season” or “Don’t get too commercial with it.” It’s helpful to have a road map of ideas, especially if you’re like me, which is not very creative-minded. When someone provides practical ways that I can implement an idea, I go all in.
Here are the practical ideas I’m providing for you
As I’m sure many who share my faith background are, I am eagerly awaiting December 1, 2019, which is the First Sunday of Advent. Even if you don’t typically celebrate Advent, however, the ideas included in the following list may help you bring more intention and purposeful activities to your happy holidays:
- Each evening, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, light a candle and gather your family around. Read a passage from the Gospel of Luke, pray together, ponder the words you hear and share some quiet time.
- Every January 1st, my family begins to fill a silver box we keep in a cabinet all year long. On New Year’s Eve, we open the box and read each strip of paper, filled with all the special events, thoughts and shared memories we have experienced as a family that year.
- When the clock strikes midnight after celebrating all evening on New Year’s Eve , my family heads outside with the traditional pots and pans clatter, and my hubby fires a few rounds off to ring in the New Year. The next thing we do is toast each other with some sparkling juice, then pray the Lord’s Prayer as a family, so we start the new year out in faith.
- Another intentional way to celebrate happy holidays is to leave the manger in your Nativity scene empty until Christmas morning. Encourage your loved ones to spend time near the empty manger, waiting for the Savior, eagerly anticipating His arrival.
- Each week, choose a movie to watch as a family that brings heartfelt meaning to your happy holidays. A few good ones are: Seasons of the Heart, The Nativity Story, and The Christmas Blessing.
If your happy holidays are usually a blur because you’re too busy and rushed to remember much of anything, slow down. Think of the family in Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Make a craft with your loved ones or enjoy a board game night. Pray for each family who sends you a Christmas card. Light your tree at night and sit by it in silence.
Happy holidays are happiest when there’s simplicity
I believe that, the closer we can be to stillness and simplicity, the easier it becomes to feel God’s presence. Festive, joyful, “happy holidays” fun is a wonderful blessing. If you’re yearning for something more, something deeper and intentional, try some of the ideas mentioned earlier.
Share some of your own ideas with us, as well! Just leave a comment with suggestions for ways we can be more intentional this holiday season!