Korrie Johnson is a homeschooling mom of three with a love for Jesus and a passion for good books, thus she began a book review site, Good Book Mom in 2019. The goal of Good Book Mom is to help parents find books both they and their children will love, filtering everything through a Christian worldview. When I first discovered her on Instagram, I knew we were kindred spirits with hearts for good children’s literature and Jesus. I wanted to share her work with my readers as a small Christmas gift from me to you. It’s a joy to welcome Korrie to Let Every Heart today!
Christmastime. There are so many things I want to do with my children during this season. Some people, who have it far more together than I, are even so organized they make a list or calendar of all their Christmas activities. While this in and of itself isn’t bad, sometimes all the traditions and events can get focused on “the season” instead of The Reason. So how do we enjoy these things while keeping our eyes and hearts pointed to Jesus? Here are the three practical ways our family tries to do just that.
Three Practical Ways to Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas
Although things look a bit different for Christmas 2020, I hope in some way you are able to worship with your church family, whether in person or online, but the worship I am referring to specifically here is with your family. I’m not suggesting you have to hold your own worship service at home- although that would be awesome!- but how can you worship at home with your family? There are many ways to worship, in fact almost any activity can be worship if it’s done with the right heart attitude, but my favorite way of worshiping is in song.
Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to raise our voices as a family together in worship. There are countless fun secular Christmas songs that I love, but we can be intentional about teaching our children the Christmas songs and carols that speak truth about who Jesus is and why he came. There is also some serious theology in many of the older carols: “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail, th’incarnate Deity: Pleased, as man, with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!”
Just singing one carol and discussing the meaning of the text would surely make some of these familiar tunes even more meaningful. If you aren’t a musical family, try to not stress about sounding beautiful and simply have a family sing-a-long using the internet as your orchestra.
It may not come as a surprise since I have a website called “Good Book Mom,” but I absolutely love Christmas books. There are so many wonderful titles to read during the season and you could fill up an entire month with non-stop reading of Christmas books, but this is another area where I take special care to focus on Jesus.
Every time you pick up a Christmas book, you are telling your child, this is a special part of Christmas- so special they wrote a book about it. I want to take those opportunities with my kids to reinforce that the real reason we celebrate Christmas is Christ. I recently heard, “Jesus isn’t part of the Christmas story, Christmas is part of the Jesus story,” and this is a message I want my child to understand.
If you are wanting more Christ-centered Christmas books in your home but need a little inspiration, I have just such a list on my website, which you can find here.
3. Observing Advent
This may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a formal ordeal. This is the first year we have had an Advent wreath in our home and it has been so wonderful in building anticipation of Jesus’ arrival. We use an Advent devotional to help us with the process and there are hundreds to choose from to help your family make time for Jesus each day.
You do not need to buy a devotional though, you can simply light your Advent candle, read some scripture, pray together and that is enough! It doesn’t have to be complicated. What is important is taking the time to reorient your family’s heart to Jesus during a season that says other things are more important. We believe things like, “It’s not really Christmas if we don’t do this, bake that, watch this, eat that.”
While none of these things are bad in themselves, if they are pulling our hearts away from Jesus they are not adding to the season, they are replacing the reason for the season. Can gingerbread houses be made while glorifying God? YES! It’s not so much about the activity, but about where our hearts are in that activity.
So take time to make Christmas about Christ and find joy not just in the blessings of the season, but in the blessing of what Christ has done for us. The amazing truth is that the God of the universe left His glory to become a baby with incredibly humble beginnings. Let’s not forget who that baby grew up to become: our Savior, the only way to eternal life. That certainly deserves a celebration! Merry Christmas!
Guest Post by Korrie Johnson
Korrie Johnson is a homeschooling mom of three who has a love for Jesus and a passion for good books, so she started Good Book Mom in 2019. The goal of Good Book Mom is to help parents find books both they and their children will love, filtering everything through a Christian worldview. Her website is GoodBookMom.com. You can also find her on Instagram @goodbookmom and Facebook @Good Book Mom.