Family at Christmas
Of course, not everyone lives near family, and not everyone has the kind of family memories that make this an attractive option. And sometimes a recent loss makes such a celebration too painful to even consider, at least this year. I know. I have walked that road, several times.
But most of us still enjoy the idea and the nostalgia of family togetherness over the holidays, and I certainly want my children to have positive childhood Christmas memories to look back on. Here are some ways we weave the fulfillment aspect of Christmas into our family activities. What can you add to this list?
We find a way to serve together, expressing God's love to others. Sometimes that has been ringing a Salvation Army bell. Sometimes it has been putting together an Operation Christmas Child shoe box. Sometimes it has been baking cookies to give to friends.
We try to hold expectations loosely. I love my family dearly, both immediate and extended. But I don't know of any family gathering that has ended up looking like a Norman Rockwell painting or a Hallmark movie. And that's okay. We all have thorns and prickles. It doesn't have to stop us from loving on them and vice versa, but it is easier when I don't start out with an expectation that will never be filled.
We seek out the family of believers. Family is more than just the ties of blood. It is also the network of those who place their faith in Jesus, and who approach Christmas as an act of worship, not just a cultural phenomenon. We seek out those with whom we share that bond and spend them with them during the holidays, worshiping and serving Him together.
Time with family during the Christmas season can be beautiful. How else can you infuse it with the depth of fulfillment?
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