Hacking Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2019

This season, I decided to hack Christmas. To hack is to use your expertise or skill to overcome a problem. My problem is, there is no time to do anything worth doing. This is the busiest season of the year. There is no way around it. What to do?

The way I overcame this lack of time problem was to think about which activities are meaningful to our family. Among these activities, which ones will make the biggest impact in our lives? Once we identified them, we organized our days around them.

These activities and readings are not done robotically. We purposely enjoy them. We think about the meaning of the season and we savor each moment, the best we can.

The Holy Bible - because we all need to be reminded of what the Bible actually says.
The Way to the Manger - we are in our second year of reading this wonderful book. The kids love it and we all are building amazing memories around this devotional time together.
When Christmas came to Bethlehem - I realize this one is way above their heads. Lots of difficult words BUT they listen attentively and each year, we marvel at the message of the Messiah.

Christmas lights - we usually wear pajamas and we swing by Starbucks and grab hot cocoa on the way.
Church - we appreciate all the ministry our children receive during this season. We are also loving the current sermon series in our church called Shadows of Christmas.
Caroling - we went twice. It was so much fun! My favorite part was the see the smiles and sometimes tears on the faces of the families opening their doors. Music is such a wonderful gift.
Baking - The kids and I baked quite a bit. We still have gingerbread cookies we need to bake. The kids really love baking (and eating).
Cards - We bought our Christmas card and mailed it to friends. We delivered quite a few to local friends. I printed individual photos and mailed them with some of the cards. Next year, I'm including our photos in the card. The kids were a big help with all the cards we mailed out. I love that I have three extra pairs of hands willing to write Christmas cards!
Gingerbread House - we started decorating a gingerbread house a few years ago. I buy the already assembled type. The kids really love this activity.
Singing - I want my children to know as many Christmas hymns as possible. I have a Youtube playlist with songs I want them to learn. We also listen to Christmas music before school and when they come home. We sometimes sit around and sing different hymns so they kids can become familiar with the lyrics. Before we moved, we took the kids to the traditional service at church. Our goal was to expose them to as many hymns as possible. Hymns are filled with timeless Scriptural truth. Many have been translated to multiple languages. Christmas hymns are special. I believe they need to be part of my children's upbringing.
Remembering - most of the season, we remind ourselves that Jesus is the reason for the season. We say out loud: we are Christians and we are celebrating the gift of God to the world through Jesus.

I haven't mentioned the Christmas festivals we sometimes attend. There are multiple Christmas parties and countless activities. The important thing is to know what matters to your family. Ask yourself, in light of eternity, what will matter most?

Go after the God priorities. Enjoy the family God gave you. Forget about creating the perfect "moment" and remember to savor the now.