The Christmas season is here and in full swing! What I love most about this time of year is continuing traditions with friends and family. I know we all have crammed holiday schedules but let me encourage you to make extra time to decorate the gingerbread house, have a few friends over, disrupt the bedtime routine, or whatever will bring a little extra joy to you and your family.
The holidays are the perfect time to sow traditions and memories into the fabric of our lives. To create space for the little things that bring smiles to our faces and rejuvenate our souls. To create the community we crave by investing in the relationships surrounding us daily. So, get out your calendars, gather your people, and plan to enjoy this time and celebrate the ones you love!
If you need a little help getting started, check out the ideas below. These have been a part of my Christmas season for years. And the best part, they are really simple!
- Cookie Swap
Gather your friends and bake Christmas cookies together. Afterward, everyone has freshly baked cookies to take home to enjoy.
- Decorate Gingerbread Houses
Make it a competition! Set out the houses and all the decorations. Put on some festive music and decorate to your heart’s content. When you’re finished, everyone votes for their favorite in these three categories: Most Uniquely Decorated, Most Festive, Ugliest House on the Block.
- Throw a My-Favorite-Things Party
Everyone has a few favorite items they like to give when exchanging gifts. Gather your friends together, set a dollar amount, and ask everyone to bring their favorite thing to give (bring one for each person in attendance). As you exchange, explain why this gift is your favorite.
- Secret Santa
Choose one of your friends or neighbors and leave a simple, inexpensive gift at their door. Something the entire family can enjoy together…the supplies for a specific craft, a board game, or a holiday treat.Or, if you want to keep it within your home, pick a family member and leave them a simple note or small gift somewhere around the house. You can leave little things each day leading up to Christmas and then reveal yourself on Christmas Day.You could also do this with your mentoring group! Find a family in your community who could use a little extra cheer this holiday season. Have each mentee bring a gift to your next meeting and package them all together. Go as a group to drop off your gifts at their doorstep without letting the family know you were there.
- Christmas Lights in PJs with Hot Chocolate
Plan to kidnap a friend or two one evening. Go get some hot chocolate and then take in some Christmas light displays around your community.Or do it with your kids. Go through your usual bedtime routine, but then before they fall asleep, surprise hot chocolate or a special treat, get them out of bed, and hop in the car together. Make sure to pack plenty of blankets for a cozy ride through your community.
- Cookie Swap
Here’s to a joyful, rejuvenating, tradition-filled Christmas season!
Has Christmas become a routine you go through each December? If so, you’re not alone, and this podcast episode may be just what you need. In 25 minutes, Bob Goff talks through some easy and practical steps to help us intentionally prepare our hearts for the Christmas season and avoid the routine feeling Christmas can sometimes bring.
If you’re looking for a Christmas reading plan, our friends at North Point Community Church created a 12-day plan journeying through the original Christmas story. Starting December 14th, the devotions will arrive by text message and hopefully guide you to experience this Christmas in a new and perhaps unexpected way.
HANDWRITTEN HOLIDAY NOTE
Everyone has a desire to be known, heard, and feel that they matter. Take some time this month to send a handwritten note to your mentees, letting them know how much they matter to you and your group. In a world where email and instant messaging often take precedence, a handwritten note lets your mentees know you intentionally made time to write and send a note just to them.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
What a great reminder this time of year! Download these John 3:16 phone wallpapers to help you stay focused on the love that God sent us at Christmas time wherever you go! Or, if you prefer to have a reminder stuck on your fridge or bathroom mirror, there’s also a printable 3×5 card version.
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