As Christmas is just around the corner, are you already double checking your list? Are you already planning for your Christmas celebrations with family and friends? What do your Christmas celebrations look like? We do a lot of things just because that is the way things have always been done. Someone, somewhere started a Christmas tradition and we keep doing it that way year after year. When I think of some of my family’s traditions, I remember certain foods we ate every Christmas Eve at my Grandma’s house. There was never a question about what we would eat that night…it was always the same menu. What are some of your family traditions? Would you say that your traditions are focused on Jesus?
This year, why not start a new tradition in your home? Why not seek out a way to make this Christmas more Christ-centered ? I want to share with you a new tradition we started in our family several years ago when our kids were little. As a Mom who was striving to keep Christ in the center of our Christmas celebrations, I realized there was very little we were doing as a family that intentionally focused on Him. Of course our family being together was a blessing. We had lots of love in our home, but I was concerned that we were not being intentional enough about making Christ the center of our Christmas. So—I had an idea! A simple, but fun idea to help keep our focus on Him! It is called the CHRISTmas Scavenger Hunt! On Christmas Eve, we celebrate with Bryan’s family, which includes my niece and nephew. Including my two kids, we have four kids itching for fun on Christmas Eve. We started this tradition when the kids were little…ages 3-6, but you can implement it at almost any age. This will take a little time and preparation, so begin the day before getting your things together. Here’s how it works: We have the Little People Christmas Nativity Set, like the one below:
Of course any nativity set will do, but I wanted something plastic so baby Jesus would not end up in 1000 pieces. I sit out the Little People Nativity Set, with baby Jesus missing. I have hidden him somewhere in the house or outside. I begin with a simple letter explaining how Jesus was missing from the manger scene and that He was the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. I usually include scripture from Luke and the oldest child reads the letter out loud to the family.
Attached to the letter is Clue #1. The kids read Clue #1 which leads them to Clue #2 and so one. They end up going all over the house and backyard finding each clue which eventually leads them to baby Jesus. The kids take turns reading the clues and a couple of adults accompany the kids along their adventure. The first year, we only had 5 or 6 clues and they were written with simple sentences so the oldest kids could easily read them. I typically use 3 x 5 notecards inside an envelope for each clue. I try to make each clue rhyme and add some humor to the clues. Here is an example of a clue:
- Clue #1: As you search for baby Jesus, what fun it is going to be! To find Clue #2, go search beneath the Christmas tree
- Clue #2: Ok, that one was super easy but the next one will be hard. You must grab your coats and gloves and go out into the yard. Somewhere near the house, clue #3 is hid. You may want to begin searching in the pretty flower bed.
As the kids have gotten older, we have made the hunt much more difficult by adding more clues and giving them headlamps to light their way for some outside adventure.
Once baby Jesus has been found, the kids come back inside, place baby Jesus in the stable, and their Grandpa reads the Christmas story.
This year, think of ways you can creatively keep Christ in the center of your Christmas celebrations. Of course the presents are fun and the food is yummy, but without Jesus, we would have no reason to celebrate. He is our reason!
Why not start a new tradition in your home that your family will continue for years to come!
I wish you a beautiful and CHRIST-centered Christmas!