Honoring Christ at Christmas
by Ginny McCabe
In our daily routines, we have countless ways to share Christ—in our homes, on the job, at church, in school and within the community. At Christmastime, we have even more opportunities to celebrate our faith and share that joy with those around us. Here are a few practical ways we can honor Christ at Christmas and make a difference in the lives of others.
Reflect on Christ by Reading the Word
When we read and reflect on Scripture, it allows us to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. One example of a Bible passage that shares the Christmas story can be found in Luke 2:8-20. As a portion of the Scripture relates, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:8-14, NIV). A few minutes devoted to reading will not only leave us refreshed but remind us of the significance of Christ’s birth. In addition to our own reflection, we can also share the Christmas story with family and friends by leading a devotional, or hosting a home Bible study or a prayer group.
Caroling in the Neighborhood and Community
Another way to share the hope and joy of the season is by singing or caroling in your neighborhood or community. It’s easy to select a few of your favorite hymns and traditional Christmas carols. Then, gather several family members and friends, pick a date, and hit the streets. You can also incorporate caroling into a Christmas party or holiday-related gathering. Places like nursing homes, hospitals, or retirement communities are good places to start. Your neighbors will always enjoy a bit of holiday cheer, too. Another tip that will get everyone in the spirit is festive attire—from holiday sweaters and accessories to colorful hats and scarves. Sing an encore of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and the group is sure to make everyone’s day. Other favorites include “Joy to the World,” “Away in a Manger,” “Jingle Bells,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Silent Night.” One idea that could enhance the whole experience would be to hand out candy canes to those who pass by, or share a few small gifts with listeners. Another twist on this popular tradition: carolers can deliver toys or food baskets to those in the area who are less fortunate.
Attend a Christmas Program or Service
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, most churches and congregations host a number of holiday programs—from plays and holiday-themed concerts to live nativities and candlelight church services. Pick one or two of your favorite things to do, carve out time on the calendar, and invite family and friends to go with you. Many of these events not only share the Christmas story but also serve as a community outreach opportunity. If you’re organizing an event at your own church, other suggestions could include offering free childcare for parents and caregivers, free gift-wrapping, or hosting a reception after an event with cookies and other tasty goodies. Churches and other faith-based organizations can also engage with the community by hosting a holiday market, a coat drive, or partner with local schools.
As a well-respected and experienced author and journalist, Ginny McCabe has authored five books. Her bestselling and award-winning title with Dr. Jill Hubbard, Secrets Young Women Keep, is available from Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins.