Friday, December 5, 2014

A Christ-Centered Christmas

For the last couple of years I have been getting increasingly bothered by the materialism of my kids around Christmas and the months leading up to it. Although we all enjoy the tradition of gift-giving, I felt the kids were too focused on the gift RECEIVING and missing the biggest point of the holiday - Christ.

About 6 weeks ago I ran across an advertisement for a "25 Days of Christ" kit that came with ornaments and a book. I thought it would be JUST the thing we needed to shift our focus for Christmas, and so I purchased one. As an added bonus, it was created by members of my church, so the book includes meaningful quotes from different church leaders, as well as a daily scripture reading and ornament. For many of the days it also suggests a short Bible video to watch that can be found online at this website. The best part about this tradition we have begun is that it talks about so much more than the birth of Christ. It talks about his life, miracles, death, and resurrection. As we all know, there would be no Christmas without Easter.

In case you want to adapt this to your family, I've included an overview of what we are doing. If you are interested in seeing what all the ornaments look like, or are purchasing this kit for your family next year, you can visit the website here. The set I ordered had the unfinished ornaments and I painted and put them together myself. (It's twice the fun!)

25 Days of Christ

Day 1: Birth of Christ
Ornament: Star
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
Video: Mary & Joseph Travel to Bethlehem

Day 2: Announcement to the Shepherds
Ornament: Shepherd
Scripture: Luke 2:8-18
Video: Shepherds Learn of the Birth of Christ

Day 3: The Three Wise Men
Ornament: Wise Men
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Video: The Wise Men Seek Jesus / Wise Men Still Seek Him

Day 4: Boy Jesus in the Temple
Ornament: Bible
Scripture: Luke 2:40-52
Video: Young Jesus Teaches in the Temple

Day 5: Baptism of Jesus Christ
Ornament: Dove
Scripture: Luke 2:8-18
Video: Shepherds Learn of the Birth of Christ

Day 6: Fishers of Men
Ornament: Fish
Scripture: Luke 5:1-11, Luke 6:12-16
Video: Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men / The Calling of the Original Twelve Apostles

Day 7: Sermon on the Mount
Ornament: Candle
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-16
Video: Sermon on the Mount / The Beatittudes

Day 8: Stilling the Storm
Ornament: Boat
Scripture: Matthew 8:23-27

Day 9: Feeds the 5,000
Ornament: Basket with bread & fish
Scripture: Matthew 14:14-21

Day 10: Walking on Water
Ornament: Feet
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-23

Day 11:Parable of the Good Samaritan
Ornament: Bandaged Man
Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
Video: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Day 12: The 10 Lepers
Ornament: Number 10
Scripture: Luke 17:11-19

Day 13: Parable of the Lost Sheep
Ornament: Sheep
Scripture: Luke 15:3-10
Video: Jesus Declares the Parable of the Lost Sheep / The Good Shepherd / Other Sheep I Have

Day 14: Take Up Thy Bed
Ornament: Man in Stretcher
Scripture: Mark 2:1-12
Video: Jesus Forgives Sins and Heals a Man

Day 15: Woman at the Well
Ornament: Water pail
Scripture: John 4:5-30
Video: Jesus Teaches a Samaritan Woman

Day 16: The Widow's Mite
Ornament: Coin Bag
Scripture: Mark 12:41-44
Video: Jesus Teaches about the Widow's Mite

Day 17: Mary & Martha
Ornament: Rolling Pin
Scripture: Luke 10:38-42
Video: Moments that Matter Most

Day 18:Triumphal Entry & Cleansing the Temple
Ornament: Donkey
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-13
Video: The Lord's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem / Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Day 19: The Last Supper
Ornament: Bowl & Pitcher
Scripture: Luke 22:14-20, John 13:4-15
Video: The Last Supper

Day 20: Gethsemane
Ornament: Present
Scripture: Matthew 26:36-45
Video: The Savior Suffers in Gethsemane / None Were With Him

Day 21: Betrayal & Denial
Ornament: Rooster
Scripture: Matthew 26:47-75
Video: Jesus is Tried by Caiaphas / Peter Denies Knowing Him

Day 22: Crucifixion & Burial
Ornament: Cross
Scripture: Luke 23:33-46, 50-56
Video: Jesus is Scourged and Crucified / Jesus is Laid in a Tomb

Day 23:Resurrection
Ornament: Hand with nail print
Scripture: John 20:1-20
Video: Jesus is Resurrected / His Sacred Name: An Easter Declaration

Day 24: Road to Emmaus
Ornament: Heart
Scripture: Luke 24:13-32
Video: Christ Appears on the Road to Emmaus

Day 25: Ascension into Heaven
Ornament: Cloud
Scripture: Acts 1:9-11
Video: For God So Loved the World

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