Best time of year wouldn’t you agree? We all have magical memories surrounding the holidays, but despite this supposedly joyous season, I’m pretty sure most of us experience some negative emotions as well. Could be a bad memory, worry over money, stress about the millions of things we feel we need to do, anxiety around family parties (perhaps there is some family drama), feelings of homesickness, depression, or loneliness.
I would love to help you let go of some of the stress and negative emotions that come with the “most wonderful time of the year”. My hope is that this blog post series will serve as a great resource for you to first get your thoughts in order, and second, make this year memorable and Christ-centered for you and your family. This week I’ll be sharing our December challenge and next week I’m going to get into some thought work and teach you some things that have really helped me soooo much when it comes to anxiety and those unpleasant feelings.
I’ve planned out the whole month of December for my family. It’s full of Christ-centered lessons and activities adapted from the book, Christmas Without Santa Creating a Christ-Centered Christmas. Print off this daily task list and cut it into strips so that you can customize your month to best fit your family schedule. Then just pick up an advent calendar on Amazon or maybe you already have one. If not then the other option is to slip the tasks into numbered envelopes. Below I will explain each activity in more detail as well as provide a small list of items you might need.
Last month we did the Wannabe Fearless challenge and this month I’m calling it the Wannabe Christ-Centered challenge. Just like all the monthly “wannabe” challenges, I would love to create a community around this and have you post each day on social media, a picture of what you’re doing together as a family. Use the hashtag #WannabeChristCentered and tag me too. I’d love to see all your fun and creative ways of doing this challenge. Be sure to join the Wannabe Balanced community on Facebook (it’s free) and get to know other women who are participating in these monthly challenges.
Items You Will Need:
- The book Christmas Without Santa Creating a Christ-Centered Christmas (You don’t need the book in order to do these activities, but if you want more ideas and details then having the book would be ideal. I’ve included the page numbers below for easy reference).
- Advent Calendar
- Mini Lighted Christmas Tree for Jesus
- Colored Clay
Check out the YouTube video HERE.
- Christmas Commitment: Write out a family commitment detailing ways you can maintain a peaceful home where everyone is being helpful, and kind to one another. (pg. 60)
- Watch YouTube Videos about Christmas. Here’s a Playlist of all my favorites.
- Gift for Jesus: Wrap up an empty box and cut a slit in the top. Throughout this month encourage everyone to do random acts of kindness for each other as a gift for Jesus. Write it down on a small piece of paper and slip it into the box. (pg. 44)
- Fun Family Outing: For example, go ice skating, visit Santa at the mall, skiing, sledding, go see Christmas Lights or Christmas in Color if you’re in Utah (for 15% off use coupon code: BALANCEDINCOLOR).
- Christmas Tree for Jesus: Get a small christmas tree designated for Jesus (pg. 50). Have the kids make symbolized ornaments using colored clay. Share the scripture story that coinsides with each ornament. Halo: Angel visits Mary (Luke 1:26-38) Baby: Mary visits Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45).
- Invite a neighbor or friend over for dinner.
- Mistletoe Fun: Hang a mistletoe in a doorway of your home. Each time someone passes under the mistletoe they must say “I love you” to someone in the house. (pg. 134)
- Write a Thank You letter to Jesus.
- Jesus Tree: Make more ornaments out of clay for the Jesus tree (pg. 50). Coin: The census (Luke 2:1-5). Manger: The birth of Jesus (Luke 2:6-7).
- Family Christmas Gifts: Help each child decide on a gift for their siblings and for dad. I like to take my kids to Savers or the thrift store to pick out something for each of their siblings using their own money. Or I encourage them to make something thoughtful.
- Make a Wish List : Not just a list of things you want from Santa, but a list of your biggest dreams and wishes for your life. Then you can talk about ways to make those dreams come true. (pg. 63)
- Christmas Treasure Hunt: Hide a gift like Christmas jammies, or a new Christmas book or movie. Or you can even hide a note saying what fun outing you are about to go do with the kids like, breakfast with Santa, train ride, sleigh ride, ect. Then stick clues all over the house, one leading to the other until the find the “treasure”. (pg. 156)
- Make Gingerbread or houses. Watch our YouTube video sharing 3 fun ways to use the new PEEPS marshmallows.
- Jesus Tree: Make more ornaments out of clay for the Jesus tree (pg. 50). Sheep: Angels appear to Shepherds (Luke 2:8-15). Star: Magi follow the Star (Matt. 2:1-10).
- Write a list of all the things you DO have.
- Birthday Party for Jesus: Have a party with balloons, streamers and a birthday cake for Jesus. (pg. 47)
- Family Talent Show: This is the chance for everyone to show of the gifts and talents God has given us. It could be something as simple as doing a cart wheel, playing a song on the piano, or singing a song.
- Hot Cocoa and Christmas Movie Night
- Read Nativity Story
- Christmas Cards: Have the kids write out their own Christmas cards for friends, cousins, neighbors, and grandparents.
- Jesus Tree: Make more ornaments out of clay for the Jesus tree (pg. 50). Gifts: Magi give gifts to Jesus (Matt. 2:11)
- Read Christmas books
- Make Christmas Cookies
- Open the gift for Jesus and read all the notes inside.
- Merry Christmas!!!!!!