Ideas by Annette P. Bowen, from the Article, Avoiding a Very Harried Christmas, from the December 1990 Ensign:
Ideas for simplifying your Christmas Season
- Start early—getting the shopping done by Thanksgiving is worth more than all the pennies saved
- Simplify your plans—eliminate any unnecessary things from your December calendar
- Let the music ring—it really is okay to like Christmas music. Get a Spotify or Pandora account
- Slow down!
- Spend time loving your own family
From Ensign November 1995 Random Sampler:
Service Oriented Ideas
- Go caroling. If getting your family around is too much, do some digital caroling
- Invite a lonely person to join you for Christmas dinner and other celebrations
- Secretly deliver treats or gifts to someone in your neighborhood. Do a spiritually centered 12 Days of Christmas
- Volunteer at a local charitable organization.
- Visit a nursing home or other care facility.
Family Oriented Ideas
- Let paper chains, straws in the manger, or other ornaments represent the good deeds of family members.
- Exchange some gifts of service rather than store-bought presents exclusively.
- For family home evening, have each family member tell a favorite Christmas story from the scriptures, Church magazines, or other sources.
- Listen to Christmas carols together as you bake, clean, and prepare for the holidays.
- Display a picture of Christ or a nativity scene in a prominent place in the home.
- Read as a family the biblical accounts of Christ’s birth as well as the account in the Book of Mormon (see Hel. 14, Hel. 16; 3 Ne. 1).
- Act out the story of Christ’s birth.
- Discuss the spiritual meanings of Christmas symbols.
- Spend time naming and giving thanks for gifts from Heavenly Father.
- Have a tree of life Christmas tree
- Draw or paint your own nativity as a family
- Read some of the less traditional accounts of Christ’s birth: In addition to Luke 2 and Matt 2, read 1 Nephi 12, Helaman 13, and 3 Nephi 1. Or go to the Topical Guide, look up Jesus Christ, Birth of, and read the verses listed
- Have a devotional where each family member shares what they are going to give Heavenly Father for Christmas
- Have a family (maybe even extended family) testimony meeting. Share or write them down.
- Talk about the Savior’s second coming
WARNING: DON’T try to do all of these ideas. Just pick one or a few. The idea is not to make the season busier, but more meaningful and Christ-centered.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at chashathaway.com. Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!
Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.