Five Ways to Keep Christmas Holy
Tithing and charity work make this list.
Each holiday season, Christians routinely complain that Christmas has become too commercialized. The focus of the holiday isn’t on Jesus Christ’s birth but on giving and receiving gifts. The good news is that if you want to keep Christ the focus of Christmas, there are a number of ways to do so—from supporting the less fortunate to attending a worship service.
Go to Church: What better way to keep Christmas holy than by going to church to worship Jesus. According to Beliefnet.com: “Few things have an impact on Christmas morning like attending a church service the night before. It will get you in the right frame of mind, and also can grab the attention of children from the promise of presents.” Christmas Eve isn’t the only time to attend a holiday church service. Many churches hold late night services on New Year’s Eve so Christians can ring in the New Year in a spiritual frame of mind.
Consider a Christmas Tithe: Fortunately, it’s possible to remain Christ-centered while shopping for gifts. To do so, Jim Wallis of the Christian organization Sojourners recommends participating in a Christmas tithe during the holidays. “Let’s all decide this Christmas to tithe a percentage of all that we give in Christmas presents directly to the poor; who were given the greatest gift at the first Christmas with a child born in a stable who promised to bring them ‘good news,” Wallis says.
Do Charity Work: Christians not only have the option of giving money to the poor during the holidays, they can also perform charity work at local service organizations. During the holiday season, there’s no shortage of opportunities to collect food for the poor, serve at soup kitchens or volunteer at homeless shelters. After all, it is believed that Christ repeatedly spoke of the importance of helping poor people, widows, orphans and other vulnerable people.
Meditate and Pray: The holiday season is a notoriously busy time for Americans, but take a moment—in the shower, on the commute to work, before bed—to reflect on your life and connect with God. Give thanks for your blessings, ask for forgiveness or simply enjoy quiet time with God.
Educate Yourself: Millions of Americans celebrate Christmas without cracking open a Bible or fully understanding the significance of Christ’s birth. Visit a website such as Biblegateway.com and look up verses about Jesus’ entry into the world. Get some historical perspective on the events you’ve read about by watching programs about Christ and his birth. ABC News recently aired a special about the origins of the three major world religions called “Back to the Beginning.” Part II airs on Dec. 28.
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