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Making the most of Christmas

There’s lots of stuff to get ready for Christmas isn’t there? Cards, presents, decorations, food, travel plans. Have you started? Are you panicking?

Christmas has become a big thing in this country. Everyone goes through the motions of preparing all of these things. But what are people celebrating? As Christians we’re fortunate enough to know what we’re celebrating – that God was loving enough to send his son Jesus to become like us, so that he could die for us.

Since we know why Christmas really is good news, and why it’s worth celebrating, we have a real opportunity. It’s a good opportunity because we’re doing the same thing as everyone else, and it’s a good opportunity because we can do things differently to everyone else.

Most people send Christmas Cards, but the majority have cuddly penguins or trees or santa or robins on them. Why not give a gentle reminder that Christmas is about Jesus with the cards that you send? You might like to look here

People like to give each other presents. Increasingly, people seem to want to buy more and more presents. Presents aren’t bad, they are one way of showing people you love them. But they’re certainly not the only way. Don’t go over the top, don’t feel you need to compete and buy people bigger and better presents. You might also want to take the opportunity to be direct to family members and say “there are more important things than presents. Please don’t buy lots of expensive things for us, or for our kids” That’s not to say that we can’t spend any money at Christmas – there’s lots to be enjoyed, just think carefully about it.

Christmas is really exciting for children. There’s a lot of hype, and at school they start doing Christmassy things weeks if not months before! Get them excited about the real meaning of Christmas. Think about looking at the Christmas story together through December. Chat about what’s most important about Christmas, because it’s easy to be dazzled by the celebration, and forget what you’re celebrating.

Spend good time with family over Christmas. Extended family can be really easy to spend time with, but some of the hardest people to talk about the gospel with. Invite them to come to church with you on Christmas day, whether you’re here, or staying away – they might just say yes because of festive spirit! And if you’re looking at the Bible story with your kids, invite them to listen in on that too.

Christmas is a great time to show real hospitality. If you can’t have people round at Christmas, when can you? Invite your neighbours round for Mulled Wine and Mince pies – be generous, and get to know them better. Or if big gatherings aren’t your thing, why not have some close friends round for a practice Christmas dinner?

Whatever you choose to do to make the most of Christmas opportunities, make sure you’re prepared. In 2 Timothy 4 v 2, Paul says “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season” and in 1 Peter 3 v 15 Peter says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” If we want to make the most of Christmas, we’d better be prepared to tell people why we think it’s worth celebrating.

(By Helen)