Christmas time is always the most family driven season of the year. Christmas movies, commercials and society over all still proclaim the importance of family at this time of year, but it is also the busiest time of year for many. Shopping, end of the year business boom, chores, baking, holiday parties and events—all of these can rob family time. It is important in our busy society to maintain the spirit of joy, family, generosity and thanksgiving. The celebration of Christ’s birth should be a time of reconciliation; individuals constantly become wrapped up in their own agenda, but Christmas is a time to foster community and warmth within your family. Here are some practical tips:
1. Find a local event to go to and start making memories. There are plenty free to cheap options out there that are hosted by communities, churches or parks. Don’t stay cooped up from the cold. Bundle up. It will be fun!
2. Love is in the air. Don’t forget to schedule a date night during December. Call the sitter. Your romance could use a refresher during the busy times.
3. Some families do advent calendars, others countdowns. Building up the anticipation to Christmas Day together is a fun way to recognize that all of this is for Jesus’ birthday.
4. Give back. Some of the happiest families are the families that participate in ministry together. Join a food drive; buy toys for needing kids; deliver cookies to your non-Christian neighbors. While keeping the focus on others, you will also be feeding your need for family time.
5. Gingerbread houses, decorating Christmas cookies, making ornaments, and watching Christmas movies do not need to be kid only affairs. Parents sit down with your kids and join the fun. Your kids may not express their appreciation, but when they are older they will be glad you did.
6. Planning a holiday party? Consider allowing kids to come! There are so many parties at this time of year that are adults only, which separates families and causes many parents not to make it. On a similar note, if there are adults only holiday parties, make the most of the moment. Dress up like a date and grab a hot chocolate just the two of you afterward.
7. Christmas music, even the secular, is wholesome. Join in jovial family song. Create silly dances. Maybe go caroling. Keep it festive and fun!
8. Most importantly, if you see a family member (probably Mom) bogged down with chores, cooking or decorating, be considerate and offer help. The best way to foster family unity is by tackling projects together and supporting one another when one is overwhelmed.