We (The Brewster family) went to the Christmas Common Tree Barn* last Saturday. Yes, that’s right, a mere 46 days before the big day. I realise this is cutting it a bit fine… but October was busy… and well, you know how it is.
Christmas, like the Coca Cola train, ploughs full steam ahead taking no prisoners and usually leaves us frantically trying to keep up. So here’s an early opportunity to think now: How can I get ready for Christmas, as a Christian?
A few thoughts from me and Peter on how to do that personally and as a family.
Keep the focus on Jesus personally
When our Joanna turned two we ran a birthday party for her at church. Lots of friends came along. Unfortunately, Joanna had a D&V bug, so got quarantined from her own birthday. In our culture that is sadly often the case with Jesus at Christmas (except without the bug..). Even as believers it’s easy to get so absorbed in the gifts, the meal, the organization, that Jesus ends up (metaphorically) sitting on a chair in the corner whilst the celebrations focus elsewhere.
So, as one concrete way to guard against that, why not commit to 10 minutes a day reading some Advent Bible Readings this December? Here are a few that will be available to buy from church over the next few weeks:
For adults: Repeat the Sounding Joy £5
Just a few pages each day. If you’re married, why not read it with your other half?
For younger families (4-7ish): The Littlest Watchman £3
This is an advent calendar and little book helping us get excited for Jesus’ coming.
For slightly older families (7+): A Jesus Christmas £3.50
A chance to see together how Jesus is the rescuer we need.
You may even find you enjoy reading the Bible together as a family so much it becomes a regular part of family life- it’s a great thing to build into your routines.
Here are also some great blogs and articles to help parents keep Jesus at the centre of Christmas celebrations:
Share the Good News of Jesus with others
Christmas is a great opportunity to invite non-church friends along to church! Our Christmas services are all detailed on the website (link). We share our Christmas programme with Holy Trinity mornings. The two services that Trinity at Four are taking responsibility for (and Sam is speaking at) are:
The All-Age Christingle on Sunday 15th December, 4pm
The Candlelit Carol Service on Sunday 22nd December, 5pm
Why not think of a few friends and start praying now for opportunities to personally invite them along? We all know how crazy it gets without a bit of advanced planning…
We also really appreciate your help with distributing our Christmas invitation around the parish. There are just over 3000 houses to deliver to! That works out at about 75 per family if we all get involved…
So… are you getting ready, not just for the madness of Christmas, but for the very purpose of Christmas itself: Jesus? Keeping the focus on Him personally, and taking the opportunity to share Him with others.
*There are other local Christmas outlets…