If you want to make your Christmas more important, you’ll just need to be benevolent. Christmas is a special holiday and lots of families await it. Occasionally, we are thinking about in what other way we can celebrate this holiday more differently or meaningfully. I want to share with you a few ideas which can be helpful to you in planning your Christmas this year.
1. Place a different type of manger for the Baby Jesus in your house
It’s not necessary to fill the manger with dry grass or hay this year, you can put some colored paper or strips instead. Each time someone from the family does a good thing to anybody, they can write on the piece of paper what exactly they have done and place it in the manger. Remember, the quantity of colored strips will depend on how many good things all family members have done during the Advent Season. After that, let the Baby Jesus lie down on the manager on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. In such way, you’ll help everyone from the family get their hearts ready to obtain the Christ Child.
2. Throw a book party
It’s a good idea to think about something special you can present to each member of the family instead of ordinary gifts. One of the options is Christmas books. It will also be very cozy when all the family gets together during the Christmas celebration for reading these books or retelling stories from them.
You can do even a better thing: just be active and take part by volunteering to offer wine, host, candles, a basket with fruit or grocery or even money. When someone from the family is talented in music, they can also sing in the choir. Or when they are nice readers, they can volunteer to be commentators or lectors.
4. DIY your presents
This year you can ask all members of your family to present or exchange gifts with another family which they made with their own hands, plus you won’t have to buy presents in shops. Usually it’s something they created, made themselves or something they baked. This can be anything you wish for anyone from the family. The meaning is giving a bit of yourself with the gift; additionally, it makes it super special since everyone spent their precious time preparing it.
5. Express your love using the five love languages
According to the Kris Kringle we present gifts, but try to give your love each day or week during five days (weeks) before Christmas instead. The idea is giving the present by saying important words or expressing your feelings during day 1 (week 1) of your Kris Kringle. You can either send a text message to your beloved one’s mobile phone or to their e-mail, or simply write everything you feel in a letter or on a card. On day 2 (week 2) your present can be the act of service. You can serve them by cooking food, helping them in a chore, project or any activity. This can be anything you know your loved one will value. On the 3rd day (week 3) your present is a quality time. Arrange the time together and meet for lunch, dinner or snack. On the 4th day (week 4) give the present of physical touch. Give your beloved ones lots of kisses and hugs that day and if it is your partner, think about a romantic night. Finally, on the 5th day (week 5) present a tangible gift. This is a marvelous variation according to Kris Kringle, since you become more creative in showing your love with the help of the various love languages. Also you can find out what everyone’s basic love language is.
6. Christmas Day Outreach
You can take all the members of your family to the charitable foundation such as He Cares Foundation or Grace to be Born (an organization for homeless kids) or CRIBS (a home for unwanted children) and give presents to the babies, children and mothers there. It’s up to you what exactly do you want to present: old toys and clothing or brand new things. In such way, you will be like the wise men who gave presents to the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
7. Track all the good deeds with stars on your Christmas tree
Each star decoration you put on the tree denotes a good thing done to anybody during the Advent Season. The number of the star decorations will depend upon all the good actions you have done to your family members and close people. Truly, it is like giving the Light of Christ to other people with the help of your good deeds, which you do during the whole Christmas Season or the Advent Season.
8. Invite a poor family
You can invite a poor family that you know for Christmas dinner. Try to be generous and please the kids with Christmas presents. When you can afford, you can also present some gifts to the adults – and it will seem like welcoming the Holy Family in your house.
9. Give your prized possessions to people you love
One more idea to present gifts in a different way is to exchange or give presents that are meaningful to you to someone from your family. It does not remind the White Elephant where you get rid of the items you do not want anymore or presents of no use. It shows to all of your family members that they are more valued to you than all your prized possessions and you desire to share it with them as a sign of your affection and love.
10. Distribute food on the streets
One day before Christmas you can think about putting Noche Buena things or food into plastic bags and tie them up with beautiful strips. Then go to a poor neighborhood or places where you normally see people living on the streets and present one bag to every family. By doing this, you let them make a little celebration of Christmas with their dear ones.
You decide what you like from this list, but I believe that your whole family will be blessed and you will also be a blessing to other people. Allow Jesus to settle down in your heart! And I wish you to have a merry and unforgettable Christmas!