Christmas Gift of 5 RECAP + ideas to invite Jesus into your holiday plans

We had a wonderful Saturday morning at Gift of 5's last week complete with a delicious breakfast buffet, good conversation, a thoughtful devotional, and a fun gift exchange! 

Charlotte challenged us to not miss Jesus this Christmas and to invite him in. She pointed us to the innkeeper. A character created by story and tradition, but never actually mentioned in the Bible. We all just assume there was an innkeeper. And though the innkeeper made room for Jesus in the stable, Charlotte wondered if years later when he learned that Jesus was the Son of God, if he didn't regret the opportunity to provide Mary and Joseph the best room in the inn. 

We are fortunate to know that Jesus came to die for our sins. That God sent His only Son to redeem a broken world, and every year at Christmas we are reminded to make room in our homes and lives for Jesus. Charlotte encouraged us to not get lost this Christmas in the stories and traditions, the shopping and lights, the cookies and to-do lists -- and miss the chance to celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

She shared with us a list of very practical ways to intentionally make more room for Jesus in your Christmas traditions, and we wanted to pass them along to all of you:

  • Keep the Christmas cards that you receive in a basket on the dinner table and each night before dinner pray for someone who sent you a card.
  • Put a birthday candle in your Christmas morning breakfast and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! You don't have to have kids in the house to celebrate Jesus' birth!
  • Consider a birthday present for Jesus under the tree - what might Jesus enjoy receiving from you this Christmas? Charlotte gave the example of printing off scripture that she memorized during the year and then unwrapping it and reciting the verses with her daughters.
  • Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before opening presents.
  • Look up the story of the Candy Cane and share it with your family.
  • If you have small children or grandchildren at home, have them act out the Christmas story.
  • Light an advent candle the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
  • Bring kids along to shop for Samaritan Purse shoeboxes.
  • Keep a nativity set in your home and add straw to the manager when kids are obedient or kind.
  • Hide baby Jesus from the nativity set around the house for kids to find (similar to "elf on the shelf").
  • At the beginning of the month, wrap and open a Christmas book to read in December (perhaps the first Sunday of advent!). If you have kids that could be a children's book about the birth of Jesus (or perhaps a book each week), but for adults - an advent devotional or even a Christian fiction novel.
  • Pray before you go Christmas shopping! Ask for guidance for where to go, what to buy, that you would see the process and people you meet with his heart. 
  • Pray over the presents as you wrap them and for the people in your life you are gifting them to. 
  • Make a Christmas playlist with songs that are worship-filled to listen to while baking, driving, or decorating. 
When you are intentional about inviting God along, the chances to make room for Him are endless!

Thank you to all the ladies who attended and generously brought gifts, to Liz Keefer for organizing the food, to Charlotte Hartman for sharing our devotional, and to the team of men that assisted in serving breakfast, arranging gifts, and of course - Al Hartman, who kept us all on our toes! 

Merry Christmas!

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