Ways to Keep CHRIST in Christmas

The holidays are upon us and today we are sharing… 

 Ways to Have a CHRIST-Centered Christmas

Because HE is the reason for the season and His presence is more important than the presents.

Raising kids in this commercialized world is tough. In our family we’ve made an effort to really focus on the things that matter most, especially at Christmastime. But sometimes with all the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to keep the focus on the birth of the Savior and the blessings that Christ brings to our lives. In an effort to keep Christ in Christmas, we’ve rounded up hundreds of ideas for you and your family to enjoy this Christmas.

Ideas for having a Christ-Centered Christmas #keepchristinchristmas #christmastraditions

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 It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas. There are presents to buy and wrap, Christmas cards to make and send, lights to hang, and goodies to make. It’s just easy to forget the real reason for the season. This time of year I try to remember our first Christmas together after we got married. It was my first Christmas away from home, and we were far away teaching English in China. I was pregnant and miserably sick. There was no snow or lights or carols. No stockings, gingerbread houses, or Christmas cards. After all, it wasn’t a holiday in China. We tried to get into the Christmas spirit by cutting out paper snowflakes and downloading Christmas songs from iTunes. We even found a tiny 6-inch Christmas tree in the city. But for some reason, I still wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit.  

 On Christmas Eve I started thinking about everything our families would be doing back home and on Christmas morning we had to go teach our classes. There were no presents under our little tree. Money was tight and we decided we’d exchange letters instead of gifts. But as I sat down to read my husband’s letter, my entire mood shifted. He talked about how grateful he was for our marriage and how excited he was to become a dad in the new year. As I continued reading, I started thinking of the first Christmas family and that little baby in the manger. I thought of my own new family and our little baby that was growing inside of me. And suddenly I was overwhelmed with love—Christ’s love for me. That’s the Christmas spirit! We didn’t have any presents to unwrap, but we had all of the greatest gifts already. Away on the other side of the world, away from the materialism and commercialism of Christmas, I found and felt the real reason for the season. And every year as things get crazy and chaotic, I try to remember our first Christmas and what’s really important – my family and my God. 

So this year, we decided to round-up all the resources that you’ll need to keep CHRIST in Christmas!

Including CHRIST-Centered Christmas . . .

Now obviously you can’t do them all! But hopefully as you browse through them you’ll find the perfect traditions and activities to help bring your family closer together and closer to Christ. Because THA,T is what it’s all about.  

 Fill your home with Christ-Centered Christmas Music

The Ultimate Christ-Centered Christmas Playlist! Over 50 songs and 3 hours of beautiful music.

It’s amazing to me how quickly music can change the mood in our home. So I decided to put together…  

The ULTIMATE Christ-Centered Christmas Playlist!

Over 50 songs & more than 3 hours of beautiful music!

Click above to listen to the whole playlist OR listen to the individual songs below…

1.  The Perfect GiftBy JJ Heller

2.  The Heart of ChristmasBy Matthew West

3.  It’s ChristmasBy Mandisa

4.  ChristmastimeBy Hilary Weeks

5.  Maybe This ChristmasBy Leigh Nash

6.  RealBy Nichole Nordeman

7.  Christmastime By Michael W. Smith

8.  When Love Was Born By Mark Schultz

9.  Joseph’s Lullaby By Mercy Me

10.  Mary’s Lullaby The Brilliance

11.  Child of LoveSara Groves

12.  Adore Him By Kari Jobe

13.  Do You Have RoomBy Shawna Edwards

14.  The Earth Stood Still By Future of Forestry

15.  What a Glorious Night By Sidewalk Prophets

16.  Asleep in the Hay By Jonny Diaz

17.  You’re HereBy Francesca Battistelli

18.  In the Bleak MidwinterBy Brandon Heath

19.  Better DaysBy Matt Brouwer

20.  Christmas Angels By Michael W. Smith

21.  Christmas Offering Casting Crowns

22.  Born Is the King (It’s Christmas)Craig & Dean Phillips

23.  Precious PromiseBy Steven Curtis Chapman

24.  A Baby Changes EverythingBy Faith Hill

25.  A Baby Will ComeBy Emilee Cook and Bill Wolf

26.  A Strange Way to Save the WorldBy 4 Him

27.  The Night Before ChristmasBy Brandon Heath

28.  One ChildBy Natalie Grant

29.  Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)By Chris Tomlin

30.  This Baby By Steven Curtis Chapman

31.  Christmas Is All in the Heart By Steven Curtis Chapman

32.  Sweet Little Jesus Boy By Casting Crowns

33.  Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) By Amy Grant

34.  Christ is Born By The Carpenters

35.  Mary, Did You Know? By Pentatonix

36.  One King By Point of Grace

37.  The Way in a MangerBy Paul Brandt

38.  He Made A Way in a Manger By David Klinkenburg

39.  Hallelujah (Light Has Come) By BarlowGirl

40.  Gabriel’s Message Jars of Clay

41.  Go, Tell It On The Mountain By David Crowder Band

42.  God Rest Ye Merry GentlemenBy Pentatonix

43.  The First Noel By David Archuleta

44.  Silent Night By Josh Groan

45.  Ave Maria By Michael Buble

46.  What Child is This By Mercy Me

47.  Away in a Manger By Celtic Woman

48.  Joy to the World – By Bing Crosby

49.  O Holy Night By Perry Como

50.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear By Kutless

51.  O Come, All Ye Faithful By Britt Nicole

52.  Angels We Have Heard on High David Archuleta

53.  The First Noel – By Carrie Underwood

54.  We Three Kings By Tenth Avenue North & Britt Nicole

55.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel By Enya

Decorate your home with Christ-Centered Christmas Decor

I love decorating our home for holidays, but I often find it difficult to find Christ-centered decorations. Don’t get me wrong, I love Santa and Frosty and Rudolph as much as the next guy, but I try to make sure to include the Savior as much as possible. And these gorgeous Christmas printables are a great way to do it – all you have to do is print and hang! 
Christ-Centered Christmas Printables - An easy way to add some meaningful Christmas decor to your home

Christmas Wall Art

1.  A Savior is Born {Simple Everyday Mom}

2. Wise Men Still Seek Him {The Educated Owl}

3.  Oh Come Let Us Adore Him {Glory Designs}

4.  Jesus is the Reason for the Season {Your Little Poster}

5.  Oh Holy Night {Printable Wisdom}

6.  Joy to the World {AKA Design}

7.  Peace on Earth {The Print Annex}

8.  Names of Christ {Nest of Posies}

9.  For Unto Us a Child is Born {The Smudge Factory}

10.  Silent Night {Made With Some Heart}

Christmas Printables

11.  Glory to the Newborn King {LilyPad Printables}

12.  Joy to the World {JGC Calligraphy}

13.  Glory to God {Shorts and Lemons}

14.  Joy {GracieLou Printables}

15.  Remember Christ Was Born {Think Lovely Shop}

16. Good Tidings {Prints by Jettyhome}

17. Noel {The Ivy Letter Shop}

18.  Peace, Love & Joy {Mini Moi Prints}

19. Star of Wonder {Rosa Lilla Prints}

20. Keep Christ in Christmas {The Smudge Factory}

Read Christ-Centered Christmas Books

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is reading a different Christmas story together before bed. We especially love to read by the lights of the Christmas tree. Each year I try to find a new story to add to our collection, and I’m always searching for Christ-centered books. That’s why I rounded up… Christ-Centered Christmas Storybooks all about our Savior’s birth. These stories are told from all different perspectives, some are silly and fun, which make them easily relatable Christmas stories for kids. Others are more serious and will allow for more thought-provoking discussions as children will feel the Spirit of Christmas as you read Christmas books together as a family.

Christmas Books for Kids - Cuddle up under the Christmas tree with a good book that teaches about Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas.

Christ-Centered Christmas Books for Kids

1.  God Gave Us Christmas – When a little cub asks his mama who invented Christmas, he finds out the real reason for the season. 

2.  Baby Blessings Christmas A fun board book for babies that tells the story of Christmas in rhyme.

3.  One Shining Star: A Christmas Counting Book – A nativity counting book for kids.

4.  Humphrey’s First Christmas – We’ve all heard the story of the wise men, but what about the camels who carried them?

5.  The Legend of the Candy Cane – Find out how a simple candy cane symbolizes the real reason for the Christmas season. 

6.  The Legend of the Christmas Tree – On a visit to the Christmas tree lot, a family learns the meaningful origin behind the tradition of searching for a Christmas tree.  

7.  Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree – Learn the symbolism of the Christmas tree, from the lights and ornaments to the star on top and the presents underneath.

8.  The Small One – A young boy from Nazareth sells his beloved donkey, Small One, to a man who needs one to carry his wife, Mary, to Bethlehem. 

9.  Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable on a cold winter night. 

10.  A Donkey’s Little Tale A beautiful re-telling of the Christmas story, told through the eyes of the little donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem. 

Storybooks to help keep CHRIST in Christmas. Read one every day counting down to Christmas.

11.  Twas the Night Before Jesus – The familiar rhyme is brought to life with the beautiful Christmas story.

12.  J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told – A sweet story to remind little ones that the candy cane represents Jesus’ birth and His gospel message too.

13.  Happy Birthday Jesus – A family decorates in honor of Jesus’ birthday, sings Him “Happy Birthday”, and even makes a birthday cake.  

14.  Jesus and the Very Best Birthday – A fun story to introduce the birthday aspect of Christmas to children.

15.  The Christmas Story – This classic Little Golden Book retells the Christmas story with poetic text. 

16.  Christmas in the Manger A retelling of the Christmas story with simple, rhythmic text and large pictures – perfect for the youngest members of the family.  

17.  Mortimer’s Christmas Manger – Mortimer the mouse finds the perfect new home – the stable in a family’s nativity scene. 

18.  Little Porcupine’s Christmas A young porcupine is heartbroken when he doesn’t get a part in the “Baby in the Manger” play.  The surprise ending is beautiful.

19.  Come and See: A Christmas Story Readers follow the shepherds, townsfolk, and animals as they make their way to the manger to see the newborn baby Jesus.

20.  The Manger Where Jesus Lay – Written in the pattern of “The House that Jack Built”, this predictable book allows young children to join in when they recognize a symbol.  

A whole collection of picture books to help keep Christ the center of Christmas. Read one book every night until Christmas!

21.  Stable Where Jesus Was Born – This sweet story uses repeating rhyme to portray the excitement of those who witnessed Christ’s birth- from Mary and Joseph to the barn cats and mice.

22.  There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve – On a cold winter night, two children and an adult walk outside and reflect on the contrast between the snowy scene before them and that desert night in Jerusalem when Jesus was born.

23.  The Candle in the Window – There is an old legend that the Christ Child walks around on Christmas Eve seeking to enter the hearts of men.  It’s a candle in the window that invites Him in. 

24.  The Perfect Christmas Gift – Fans of the Gigi books will love this Gigi Christmas story. On Christmas Eve, Gigi’s dad reads to her about the birth of Jesus.  

25.  The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale A treasured folktale tells the Christmas and Easter story in a unique point of view- three trees that grow up to be Jesus’ manger, boat, and cross. 

26.  Alabaster’s Song: Christmas through the Eyes of an Angel – A beautiful, sweet story about a little boy whose Christmas tree angel, Alabaster, comes to life. 

27.  What Is Christmas? – This cute book lists all of the fun things that Christmas might be about and finally concludes that it is truly about celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

28.  The Littlest Angel the Original Christmas Classic A heartwarming story of a small angel trying desperately to fit into heaven, and the timeless lesson he learns from the birth of Christ.

29.  An Angel Came to Nazareth This beautifully illustrated book has a unique spin on the retelling of the Christmas story. In ancient Nazareth an angel has a riddle for the barn animals.  

30.  Who is Coming to Our House? – A sweet story about how all of the animals in the stable prepare to welcome baby Jesus to their home.  

Christmas Books about Jesus

31.  How Many Miles To Bethlehem? – In this presentation of the Christmas story, each character steps up one after another to introduce themselves and tell their part.  

32.  Listen to the Silent Night – Was it really a silent night when baby Jesus was born?  From the baa baa of the sheep to the moo moo of the cow, the sounds of that miraculous night bring the Christmas story to life.

33.  The Nativity – The beautiful ancient language of the Bible is paired with modern illustrations- adding an element of realism to the treasured Christmas story.

34.  The Birth of Jesus A simple re-telling of the Christmas story with easy language for young children to understand.

35.  Story of Baby Jesus – A fun “Alice in Bibleland” story.  As Alice is reading her Bible she enters the Christmas scene she has been reading about.

36.  A Christmas Goodnight  – A beautiful going to bed Christmas Eve book for Christians. 

37.  The Crippled Lamb – A touching story of the birth of Christ as seen through the eyes of Joshua, a lamb who has been crippled since birth.

38.  Little Star – All the stars in heaven are competing to see who can shine the brightest for the king who will be born.  This twist on the classic Christmas story connects the star on top of the tree with the true meaning of Christmas.

39.  One Starry Night – Two separate narratives tell the story of the night Christ as born and parental love.

40.  Fear Not, Joseph! – The Christmas story told from Joseph’s point of view.  

Christmas Books

41.  Mary’s First Christmas – Mary tells her son Jesus about the night he was born.  

42.  The Shepherd’s Christmas Story – This story teaches children that the newborn Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God.

43.  The Fourth King: The Story of the Other Wise Man – We all know the story of the three wise men, but this is a story about another king who set out on the long and difficult journey.  

44.  The Wonder of Christmas  By posing open-ended questions, the author draws young readers into the events of the night Jesus was born.

45.  The Animals’ Christmas Eve A sweet rhyming story where the animals recount the story of Christ’s birth.  

46.  The Christmas Baby – A sweet rhyming story where the animals recount the story of Christ’s birth.

Watch Christ-Centered Christmas Movies 

I love cuddling up together as a family with some cocoa for a Christmas movie night.  The Grinch and Elf are favorites around here, but I’m always on the hunt for movies that incorporate the real reason behind it all.  So here are… 20 Christ-Centered Christmas Movies!

Christ-Centered Christmas Movies- to help the kids remember what Christmas is really about!

 

Christ-Centered Christmas Movies

1.  A Charlie Brown Christmas – When Charlie Brown is assigned to direct the school Christmas pageant, everything seems to go wrong.  Until Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas to the beloved Peanuts gang.  

2.  Veggie Tales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection – The entire VeggieTales gang put on a Christmas movie marathon that also teaches Christian values.  The collection includes:  It’s a Meaningful Life, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, The Little Drummer Boy, The Toy that Saved Christmas, and The Star of Christmas.

3.  What’s In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks…Why Do We Call it Christmas? – Join Buck Denver and his friends for a fun and unusual Christmas party.   Everyone loves Christmas, but have you ever wondered why we celebrate the birth of Jesus by putting trees in our houses? Or hanging stockings by the fire?  And how did Santa Clause become a big part of Jesus’ birthday party anyway?  

4.  Joy To The World – This movie is filled with wonderful scenes of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, and ministry, and accompanied by beautiful music performed by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

5.  Mr. Krueger’s Christmas  Mr.Kruger is a lonely widower, played by Jimmy Stewart, who finds comfort through a group of carolers singing outside his window.  His interaction with them places him in a fantasy where he imagines himself in the stable on the very first Christmas.

6.  The Nativity Story The story of Christ’s birth is turned into a full-length film in “The Nativity Story.”  The movie can really help bring the beloved story to light for older children, but I recommend pre-screening it before showing it to younger children.  

7.  Silent Night – A touching re-telling of the true story behind one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time.  Set in 1818 in a small Austrian town near Slazburg, it tells the story of Joseph Mohr, the new assistant priest who organizes a church choir- including outcasts from the local tavern. 

8.  The Perfect Gift – Max is a young girl who just happens to have her birthday on Christmas- and she does not like it.  She also does not like her school assignment to write about Christmas.  But Jes helps Max to see how important God’s perfect gift to us was.  

9.  Christmas with a Capital C – The mayor and citizens of Trapper Falls, a small Alaskan town, are in a legal battle to keep the spirit and traditions of Christmas alive.  The movie explores the culture wars between secularism and Christianity and is a reminder of the real spirit of Christmas–peace on earth and good will to all.  Even to this whose hearts seemed closed to Him. 

10.  The Fourth Wise Man  Based on the classic book, “The Other Wise Man,” this fictional story is set in Biblical times.  It tells of a Magi named Artaban who sees the sign in the heavens and starts his journey to find the Messiah.  With three precious gifts in hand he seeks Jesus–only to keep missing him.  After 33 years he finally finds him, on Easter Sunday.    

Christmas Movies

11.  Jacob’s Gift – Eager to participate in the construction of a new synagogue, a young boy works diligently to create a manger to convince his rabbi he is qualified for the job.  But when a needy couple takes refuge in the stable behind his family’s inn, Jacob offers them a precious gift instead. 

12.  Star in the Night – An old 1945 short drama about a motel owner who has lost faith in humanity.  The motel guests are only concerned for themselves- until a poor man and his pregnant wife drive up unable to go any further. Out of rooms, they prepare a place for them in a shed.  This modern-day nativity story reminds everyone of another family seeking shelter almost two thousand years earlier. 

13. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey – A story of love, redemption and above all, hope. All about a boy, his mother, and a woodcarver. This movie is an adaptation of one of America’s most loved and award-winning children’s books a must-see family movie experience.

14. The Christmas Candle – This is a timeless holiday film for the entire family. According to legend, every twenty-five years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights the Christmas Candle will receive a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end. When the Christmas Candle goes missing the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.

15. Christmas for a Dollar – Inspired by a true story, Christmas for a Dollar is a holiday classic about a family that finds out what truly brings joy and love at Christmas. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Kamp family has struggled since Mrs. Kamp’s untimely death. The older children do their best to take care of the family, but the younger children, including Hopalong Cassidy fan Norman and straight-talking little Ruthie, struggle the most with a bleak-looking future. With mounting debt from Norman’s battle with polio, the siblings fully expect a Christmas without presents.

16. Christmas Oranges – When tragedy strikes and Rose loses the only home she has ever known, she is shipped to Irongates a place that seems as cold and cruel as her previous home was kind. The strict headmaster, Mr. Crampton, immediately seems to dislike Rose and makes sure all children are punished for any infraction of his rules. The only thing she has to look forward to is an orange on Christmas morning. Share a slice of Christmas sweetened with friendship in this Christmas story based on a classic holiday tale.

17. The Heart of Christmas – This story is a real tear-jerker that reminds us what is truly important at Christmas time. This movie is based on a true story of hope and compassion when a community rallies together to give a young boy his last Christmas in October.

18. The Star of Bethlehem – An amazing documentary on the Star of Bethlehem. This presentation has rapidly grown in popularity around the world by thousands who have seen this dramatic revelation as it explores the exciting truth of scripture and reveals the evidence for God s existence as seen in the stars above.

19. The Ultimate Gift – When Jason’s wealthy grandfather passes, he thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise – what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Based on the best-selling book “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: “What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?”

20. Saving Christmas – In this movie, Kirk explains to his brother that Christ is still in the Christmas holiday. This movie shares many of our traditions that were originally created with Christ in mind and helps the characters realize the meaning of Christmas.

Oh, and if that’s not enough- you can watch 9 other Christ-Centered Christmas movies here!  You might also want to check out “A Week of Short Holiday Movies.”

Countdown to Christmas with a Christ-Centered Christmas Advent

One of the best ways to enjoy Christmas is with an advent! We love finding new countdowns to work through each year with different activities. But we always love to incorporate our favorite activities, too. Here are 25 Christ-Centered Christmas Advents to help you get into the Christmas Spirit each day!

Keep Christ in Christmas with a Christ-Centered Advent Calendar - love these!

Christmas Advent Calendars to help keep CHRIST in Christmas!

1. Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown {The Dating Divas} – This gorgeous countdown is full of 24 beautiful Christmas symbols and relates them back to Christ. Each symbol has a scripture and activity to accompany it.

2. Christ the Savior is Born Advent {Sunlit Pages} Each day reveals a picture portraying part of the Christmas story or Christ’s life. There’s also a correlating scripture and an activity for each picture.

3. Red Christmas Countdown {Tidbits} – Create a simple and gorgeous countdown that pairs with a booklet that has scriptures, pictures and discussion questions all focused on Christ.

4. Craft Advent for Children {Housewife Eclectic} Do a little craft each day that relates back to the story of Christ’s birth.

5. Felt Nativity Advent {Cutesy Crafts} Each day, the children can pull a piece of the nativity out of the pocket to create the manger scene. {Template included!}

6. Christmas Refrigerator Advent {Choose to Thrive} Here’s another great version of the Nazareth to Bethlehem advent, but this one uses vinyl and magnets – perfect for the refrigerator.

7. Framed Christmas Countdown {The Dating Divas} – This Christmas countdown allows you to pull off an act of service or activity card each day as you reveal a picture of the Nativity story.

8. Nativity Ornaments {Kiki & Company} – Use these ornaments to tell the story of Christ’s birth as you countdown to Christmas.

Help the kids remember the reason for the season with a Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown

9.  This is the Christ Advent {New Tradition Crafts} – 12 gorgeous names of Christ ornaments with different titles for Jesus Christ and a scripture reference. Decorate as you countdown to Christmas.

10. Come Unto Christ Advent Calendar {Time for All Things} – Here’s another fun version using velcro- each day reveals a different picture of Christ and a scripture that goes with it.

11. Advent Chain {Spell Out Loud}Each link on the paper chain contains a name of Christ and a Bible reference! {Free download!} 

12. 25 Days of Christ {New Tradition Crafts}This inexpensive download includes 24 days of scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points, and extension activities. 

13. Truth in the Tinsel – This inexpensive download includes 24 days of scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points, and extension activities.

14. Christmas Service Advent Calendar {Events to Celebrate}I love how simple this idea is- just cut your favorite nativity picture into 24 equal squares. Then add an act of service onto the back of each one. Each day you’ll complete an act of service as a family and turn it over to reveal the picture. {Free download!}

15. Nazareth to Bethlehem Advent {The Craft Patch}Each day Mary and Joseph will get farther from their home in Nazareth and closer to Bethlehem, just in time for Christ’s birth on Christmas. {Free pattern included!}

16. Names of Christ Advent {FHE Lessons} This advent has 24 little gifts – each correlating with a name of the Savior.

Christmas Countdowns to focus on Christ

17. Christmas Storybook Countdown {Simple As That} – Wrap a Christ-centered storybook for each day as you countdown to Christmas you’ll get to enjoy reading together as a family.

18.  30 Day Christmas Bible Study {Christ Centered Holidays} – Easily put together a fun Christ-centered Christmas with these fun lessons telling about the Savior’s life.

19. Matchbox Nativity Scene Advent Calendar {Digit Prop} – This fun calendar consists of 24 match boxes, each covered with a cut-out nativity figure.  {Free download!}

20. Nativity Story Advent {RedBirdBlue} Countdown 12 days of Christmas learning about each part of the Nativity.

21. Candle Scripture Advent Calendar {Creations by Kara} –  Just take a thin candle and put 24 marks down the side.  Then every night, light the candle and let it burn down to the next mark.  As it burns, read the scriptures.  {Daily scripture schedule included!}  *This would also make a great family gift.

22. Light the World Countdown {The Redheaded Hostess} – 25 days of service and learning about the characteristics of Christ that we want to emulate.

23. Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar – This unique countdown includes 24 magnetic figures that help tell the story of Christmas.

24. Making Christmas Count {LDS Living} –  This advent includes 24 cards- each with a topic about Christ, a scripture, a suggested activity, and an illustrated symbol to display.  {Free download!}

25. “Tell me the Stories of Jesus” Scripture Advent {All Things Simple} –  No complicated crafting involved- just follow the scripture schedule and read together every night!

 Start a Christ-Centered Alternative to “The Elf on the Shelf”

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Elf on the Shelf. I think it’s a fun way to add some magic to the holiday season for kids. But if you’re looking for ways to add more meaning to the holidays, here are a few Christ-Centered Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf to inspire a little fun each day focused on the story of Christ’s birth and developing Christ-like characteristics.

Christ-Centered Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf- to help them focus on the real reason for the season

Christ-Centered Elf on the Shelf Alternatives

1. Shepherd on the Search – This fun alternative includes a book that tells the Christmas story from the shepherd’s point of view.

2. Kindness Elves {The Imagination Tree} – Create a new tradition that encourages Christ-like behavior. Enjoy doing service with the kindness elves.

3. Wandering Wisemen {Catholic Inspired} – Accompany the wandering wisemen on their search to find baby Jesus.

4. Heart of Christmas {Premeditated Leftovers} – Each day search for Jesus – the Heart of Christmas. Once Jesus is found, he has some instructions that the family will follow! Cute idea!

5. The Kindness Elf {The Idea Room} – This is a different twist on the kindness elf that inspires each member of the family to take turns doing a kindness for another family member. I love this idea because it gives everyone the responsibility (instead of just the parents).

6. Christmas Service Star {Let’s Get Together} – Another DIY way to pass along service each day of December!

7. Christmas Angel – Each day the Christmas angel leaves a message for your children to act on. Their blog even has a printable calendar full of message ideas.

8. Christmas Star from Afar – Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as you search for the star. This pack is adorable and includes a full nativity.

 Plan Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts & Activities

I’m always looking for fun holiday crafts to do with the kids during Christmas break and these fit the bill perfectly.  Here are… 25 Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts & Activities.

Fun Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids

Nativity Crafts for Kids

1. Nativity Stones {Rainy Day Mum} – Have your kids put together these simple Nativity story stones for a fun activity and then they can retell the story or use these for fun writing prompts.

2. Felt Nativity Puppets {Little Bit Funky} – Everyone loves puppets! Use the template to create your own (sew or no-sew option)!

3. Stained-Glass Nativity Scene {Daydreaming & Decor} – This is such a fun and simple craft that kids of all ages can do, plus it doubles as adorable decor.

4. Nativity Felt Board {The Macs} – This felt board is SO precious. I can imagine the kids would come back and play with this throughout the holiday season!

5. Paper Nativity {My Little House} – This free printable paper craft would be a fun family project- construct your own 3D nativity.

6. Wooden Peg Doll {Laura Radniecki} – These wooden peg dolls are so fun! Grab a bunch of extra scraps and let the kids decorate their own set.

7. Egg Carton Craft {Michelle Made Me} – Use a section of a styrofoam egg carton to craft a baby Jesus.

8. Watercolor Nativity {Katherine Maries} – Help the kids watercolor the different characters in the nativity scene, then mount on pieces of cardboard and attach to clothes pins.

9. Magnetic Nativity Set {Pretty Providence} – Print your favorite nativity onto magnetic sheets and let the kids play with it on the refrigerator.

10. Lego Nativity {Frugal Fun 4 Boys} – I love this fun, crafty idea for boys and girls!!

Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids

11. City of Bethlehem {My Little House} – If you’re up for a challenge, try making the whole town of Bethlehem.

12. Recycled Nativity {Katherine Maries} – Let the kids recycle small items around the house like empty spice bottles and spools to make their own nativity set.

13. Clay Nativity {Then She Made} – Put your sculpting skills to the test and make a unique nativity scene.

14. Toilet Paper Roll Nativity {Somewhat Simple} – Simple, fun and darling craft using toilet paper rolls. Free printable download!

15. Nativity Pop-Up Card {Bible Story Printables} – This free printable pop-up nativity card is a fun and easy Christmas card to make together.

16. Popsicle Stick Nativity {Design Dazzle} – An adorable nativity made with popsicle sticks.

17. Christmas Finger Puppets {The Crafty Classroom} – Get creative and play with these fun paper finger puppets.

18. Footprint Christmas Art {Munchkin Time} – This is a fun art project that will double as cute decor for a bedroom!

19. Shadow Puppets {Adventure in a Box} – What a fun and unique idea for retelling the Christmas story! These shadow puppets would be so fun for kids!

20. Christmas Nativity Sticker Blocks {Doodle Craft Blog} – Use stickers to decorate some Christmas blocks to create your own nativity set.

Nativity Crafts

21. Cookie Jar Craft {The Lettered Cottage} – This is a gorgeous craft that everyone can help with and then can be displayed.

22. Wooden Blocks {Caravan Shoppe} – These wooden blocks are such a fun craft idea that doubles as fun decoration.

23. Nativity Snow Globe {Create Craft Love} – These adorable ornaments are an easy DIY project and a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

24. 3D Paper Nativity Project {Ashbee Design} – Challenge yourself and create this gorgeous 3D cutout!

25. Nativity Scene Lantern {JM Rush Designs} – Get crafty and use these templates to make a DIY lantern to decorate your house.

Color Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages

Looking for some easy holiday fun? Why not color together and teach the Christmas story at the same time? Here are some Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages.

Free Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages for the Kids

Free Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages

1. Christmas Coloring Booklet {My Little House}

2. “I Love Baby Jesus” Nativity Coloring Pages {Creative Kidstuff}

3. Nativity Coloring Pages {Xmas Coloring Pages}

4. Wisemen Coloring Page {Free N Fun Christmas}

5. Color, Cut, & Paste Nativity {Bible Story Printables}

6. Stable Story Strips & Fold-Up Manger {Creative Kidstuff}

7. Happy Birthday Jesus {Free N Fun Christmas}

8. Nativity Printable Activity Pack for PreK-K {Meet Penny}

9. Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages {Happy Clean Living}

10. Animals in the Nativity {1+1+1=1}

Christmas Coloring Pages

11. Baby Jesus Coloring Page {Melonheadz}

12. M is for the Manger {Best Coloring Pages for Kids}

13. Wisemen Coloring Page {A Girl and a Gluegun}  

14. Little Drummer Boy Coloring Page {Coloring Book 4 Kids}

15. Shepherd Coloring Page {Coloring Page}

16. Oh Come Let Us Adore Him {Best Coloring Pages for Kids}

17. Manger Scene Coloring Page {Coloring Me}

18. For Unto Us a Child Is Born {Melonheadz}

19. Nativity Coloring Page {Color Luna}

20. Shepherd’s Visiting Baby Jesus {Coloring}

Make Christ-Centered Christmas Treats & Snacks

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a few delicious snacks and treats. Try some food art for snacks or a beautifully decorated dessert focused on the nativity. 

Christ-Centered Christmas Treats and Snacks to make with the kids

Christ-Centered Christmas Treats and Snacks for Kids

1. Gingerbread Nativity {Katherine Marie} – Instead of the usual gingerbread house, try making a gingerbread nativity scene together

2. Nativity Cupcakes {The Cupcake Gallary} – These baby Jesus in the manger cupcakes are the perfect treat as well as the perfect reminder of what Christmas is all about.

3. Nativity Cookies {Lila Loa} – Every loves making Christmas cookies, why not use cookie cutters to make nativity cookies?

4. Candy Scriptures {The Mama’s Girls} – Just glue the printable scripture onto two Hershey nuggets to make miniature candy scriptures

5. Angels Rejoice Cupcake {The Cupcake Gallary} – Spread the good word that Jesus is born with these beautiful angel rejoice cupcakes.

6. Nativity Molasses Cookies {Tase of Home} – Gingerbread cookies are always fun, but these nativity cookies are a great way to keep Christ in Christmas

7. A Birthday Cake for Jesus {We Craft Daily} – Help the children understand the real reason for the season by making a birthday cake for Jesus together. {This Manger and Star of Bethlehem Cake Topper Set would be PERFECT!}

8. Baby Jesus Manger Treats {Mother’s Niche} – Use Rice Krispy treats to make cute baby Jesus mangers.

9. Gingerbread Nativity with Candy Cane Manger {Ashley Bee} – Here’s another fun gingerbread nativity- I love the candy cane manger

10. 3 Kings Snack {Creative Kid Snacks} – How creative is this 3 kings snack? I love their animal cracker camels

11. Jesus in the Manger Lunch {Creative Kid Snacks} – That carrot and cheese baby Jesus just might be the sweetest Christmas lunch ever

12. Salad Manger {The Art of Nutrition} – Make eating salad fun this Christmas by turning it into a nativty!

13. Navity food art snack {Cute Chi Chai} – This nativity is just as yummy and healthy as it is cute!

14. Baby Jesus Bread {Prunille Fait Son Show} – Jesus is the bread of life so why not make a load of bread in his image!

 Give Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

If you’re still on the hunt for Christmas gifts with meaning, you might want to check these ideas out for Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts. Find the perfect way to share the Christmas message.

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

1. Christ-Centered Decor {Christ-Centered Holidays} – Give the gift of decor! I love the idea of giving family and friends something that can be a constant reminder of the true reason for the season.

2. DIY Nativity Stocking Holders {U-Create Crafts} – Wouldn’t these nativity stocking holders make the perfect family gift?  You can buy the vinyl set on her site too.

3. 30 Names of Christ Printable Ornaments {Today’s Fabulous Finds} – Just print this gorgeous names of Christ printable and attach to paint sticks to make simple but meaningful ornaments for family and friends.

4. Christmas Nativity Jar {Lil Blue Boo} – Fill up a mason jar with these nativity peg dolls for a kid-friendly neighbor gift.

5. Wooden Nativity Ornaments {Tidbits} – The beautiful wood ornaments are perfect for mass producing for neighbor and friend gifts.

6. 12 Days of Christmas {Over the Big Moon} – Instead of giving candy and gifts for the 12 days of Christmas, find a 12-piece nativity set and give a different piece each night.

7. Spirit of Christmas Painting – Greg Olsen’s “The Spirit of Christmas” is one of my very favorite paintings. It would make a beautiful gift, especially paired with the matching poem.

8. Willow Tree Nativity – A nativity is the perfect Christmas gift!

9. 12 Days of Christ Gifts {So Festive} – Simple, fun and practical gifts that go with the different names of Christ. These gift tags make the gifts more meaningful.

10. Christ-Centered Christmas Gift – Discover the meaning behind the 7 gifts of Christmas, each gift is based on a figure in a Nativity set, and the traditions can easily be combined with things you already do.

Meaningful Christmas Gift Ideas

11. Gifts of Christmas {Idea Room} – Give some gold, frankincense, and myrrh- just like the Wisemen gave the Christ child.

12. Nativity Puzzle – One of our Christmas traditions is to complete a puzzle, here’s a Christ-centered puzzle that would be a fun challenge.

13. Angels of Christmas Painting – I just had to include another of Greg Olsen’s beautiful paintings. It’s a gift that is sure to be treasured as it is pulled out each Christmas.

14. Away in a Manger Shadowbox {Something Wilde} – Some straw, vinyl, and a shadow box are you all need for this beautiful Christ-centered gift.

15. Nativity Ornament {World Market} – This ornament is beautiful and the perfect gift!

16. Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown {The Dating Divas} – Our Christ-centered Christmas Countdown is a wonderful gift to help families focus more on Christ during the season.

17. Nativity Costumes  – Many families act out the nativity scene on Christmas Eve, so why not gift a whole nativity dress-up set? It’s a gift that is sure to be treasured year after year.

18. Nativity Script {LDS Living} – Along with the nativity dress-up set, you could also include this printable nativity script and song set!

19. Names of Christ Ornament {This Ones Mine Design} – This piece of decor is the perfect gift to share as a reminder of our Savior’s birth.

20. Seeking Christmas {Deseret Book} – Help someone else find the true meaning of Christmas with this book full of inspirational messages and activities.

You might also be interested in reading “The 5 Gifts of Meaning.”  It’s a great reminder this holiday season.

Start Your Own Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

Traditions are what make a holiday special. These are the special things that we all look forward to and enjoy doing as a family! Here are some wonderful Christmas traditions focused on Christ to help your family remember the reason for the season.

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions for Families

Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

1. Visit a Live Nativity Scene – There’s something about seeing real people, instead of statues and figurines that make the story come alive to children.

2. Act Out the Nativity {The Dating Divas} – This is one of our very favorite Christmas Eve traditions. You can purchase costumes online or just make your own from thrift store finds or items around the house.

3. Have a Birthday Party for Jesus {Faith Gateway} – Help your children remember the real reason behind it all by throwing your own family birthday party for Jesus. You can make a cake, sing “Happy Birthday”, and even put up some birthday decorations.

4. Send a letter FROM Santa about the Real Reason for the Season {Miles Kimball} – If you want to incorporate the fun of Santa but still keep the focus on Jesus, here’s a fun letter you can send your children.

5. Write a Christmas letter to the Savior {The Dating Divas} – Get together as a family to write letters to the Savior, letting him know what your birthday gift to Him will be this year.

6. Make “Gift to Christ” Ornaments {I am Momma Hear me Roar} – Or instead of writing a letter, you can make these darling “Gift to Christ” ornaments. Just write your gift to Christ on the chalkboard side before hanging them on the tree as a reminder.

7. Put up a “Jesus Stocking” {Women Living Well} – I love the idea of having a “Jesus Stocking.” There are so many different options. You can put your letters to the Savior inside, fill it with acts of service, or fill it with spare change and money throughout the season to gift to another family on Christmas day.

8. Go on a Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt {Joy in the Home} – While going out to look at Christmas lights, print out this family nativity scavenger hunt and see how many you can find.

Christmas Traditions to Keep Christ in Christmas

9. Have a Bethlehem dinner {The Dating Divas} – Transport your family to Bethlehem and eat a dinner that Mary and Joseph might have eaten on that first Christmas Eve. You can even turn off the lights and enjoy your meal by candlelight.

10. Memorize the Christmas Story in the Bible, Luke 2:1-21 {Christianity Cove} – Here’s a fun Christmas games to help the kids memorize the Christmas story. All you need are index cards, markers, and a copy of the Christmas story as told in Luke.

11. Put Thank You Notes in the Mailboxes of Homes Who Display a Nativity {Women Living Well} – Here’s another fun idea while you’re out looking at the Christmas lights- put a thank note in the mailboxes of all the homes that display a nativity in their yard.

12. Stargazing Date {The Dating Divas} – Head outside for a little stargazing, use these conversation starters to talk about the real meaning of Christmas.

13. Symbols of Christmas {Messes to Memories} – This cute game is a great way to discuss the symbols of Christmas.

14. Jesus Christmas Tree {I Should Be Mopping the Floor} – Make meaningful scripture ornaments together as a family to decorate your own Jesus tree. You can create a variety of ornaments to tell the Christmas story.

15. Make Shepherds Pouches {James and Julie Paquette} – I love this sweet service-minded idea. Instead of stockings, hang shepherds pouches. Whenever someone is “caught” serving, money is placed inside. On Christmas Eve all the money is counted and together you buy something for someone in need.

16. Dinner Place Setting for Jesus – Set a place as the guest of honor at your Christmas dinner table as a reminder of His presence. 

You might also be interested in this printable with 25 Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions!

 Christmas Service Ideas

It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of the presents they’ll receive on Christmas morning. But Christmas is also a wonderful time to teach about the importance of service and giving. Here are a few ideas for Christ-Centered Christmas service.

Ways to Help Your Kids Focus on GIVING Instead of GETTING

Fun Ideas for Acts of Christmas Kindness

1. You’ve Been Jingled {The Dating Divas} – Drop a little treat off to your neighbors with this special poem that reminds of the true meaning of Christmas.

2. The Giving Manger  – A new Christmas tradition that will help families focus on giving and the true meaning of Christmas.

3. Christmas Jars {Prepared Not Scared} – Read the book “Christmas Jars” as a family. Then fill your own Christmas jar with change throughout the season to give to a family in need.

4. Let Him In {Little LDS Ideas} – Light the world with this fun service activity – 4 scripture tags with different gifts of service to deliver to different families!

5. Angels RAOK {The Dating Divas} – Get out there and be an angel to someone else today. This list includes some quick and easy ideas for service that kids can do too. Plus, some adorable RAOK cards to leave when the service is done.

6. Service Project Ideas {Queen of Free} – 15 unique and special service ideas that the whole family can help with.

7. 12 Days of Christmas Service {The Dating Divas} – Get in the holiday spirit with our 12 days of Christmas service to give to another family or your spouse.

8. Family Service Jar {Design Dazzle} – Fill a jar with bells as you complete acts of service. I love this idea inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life.

9. Christmas Bucket List {The Dating Divas} – Make it easy to perform service for others this Christmas with a service bucket list!

10. Thank You Cards {Simple As That Blog} – A great way to get in the Christmas spirit is to remember to be grateful for all you’ve been given. Take the time to write a few thank you notes!

BONUS!  You can download “The Little Book of Christmas Spirit: Small and Simple Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Christmas” by John Hilton III for FREE here!  It’s definitely worth the read.  

And there you have it – 12 ways to help keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations! Do you have your own ideas and traditions that you do to focus on the real reason for the season? We’d love to hear them in the comments!!

For more Christmas ideas – make sure to check out our…

 101 Creative Christmas Cards AND our 101 Quick and Easy Neighbor Gift Ideas!

Merry CHRISTmas!

About the Author: Becca

Besides my hilariously witty husband, I love a good book, sappy songs, old black-and-white movies, cute crafts, and all things chocolate. I have four (seriously adorable) little kiddos at home and they definitely keep life at home FUN!

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45 Responses to Ways to Keep CHRIST in Christmas

  1. This is the most amazing collection of faith based Christmas ideas I have ever seen. I haven’t tried downloading anything yet, but I am so amazed by the collection and anxious to get busy prepping for Christmas! Thank you! Wish I could buy the play list as a CD!!

  2. Becca I LOVED your little story about your time in China! Such a great start to your family’s holiday traditions. And I am totally making those cute felt hand puppets with my kiddos!! Thanks for all the awesome ideas, girly!!

  3. What an amazing collection! Thank you for all of the hard work that you put into this post. I will be referring to it many times this year and in the years to come as I work to keep the focus of Christmas on Christ with my two little girls.

  4. I LOVE THIS SITE. i JUST FOUND IT AND WILL EXPLORE. i LOVE THE PLAYLIST AND NOT BEING A COMPUTER GEEK, i DON’T KNOW HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE PLAYLIST TO MY COMPUTER OR IS THERE A CD i CAN PURCHASE?

    1. Karen, so glad that you found us! If you click on the pink text where it says, “The ULTIMATE Christ-Centered Christmas Playlist!” then you can listen to the whole playlist through YouTube. Unfortunately we don’t have a CD you can purchase since we don’t own the individual songs. If you wanted to create your own CD, you’d need to purchase each song. Hope that helps!

  5. This so awesome!! THANK YOU for compiling all those great ideas for our fam! One other advent idea is Unwrapping The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. It’s totally awesome! A story to read each night of advent with your family along with a discussion question and crafts that all tie together. So perfect for focusing us and keeping it Jesus centered.

    Just remembered she also just posted a Christian rewrite of The Night Before Christmas… Adorable!

  6. You’ve done an amazing job, Becca! This must’ve been a ton of work, but it is an extremely comprehensive list and incredible useful to browse and refer to over and over. Thank you!

  7. Obviously, this took a lot of time to put together. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work! This is truly what Christmas IS all about! So love it 🙂

  8. Thank you for compiling such a comprehensive list. Amazing!! The only addition I would liked to suggest, is for you to add “Christmas is fir Jesus,” by the Pawnshop Kings to your playlist. You will not be disappointed! Blessings to you, in twenty.fifteen!

  9. Amazing!!! Thank you for taking the time to bless us all, with this over-the-top, super comprehensive list!! But if I may make one suggestion, please add The Pawnshop Kings’ “Christmas is for Jesus,” to your playlist. You will not be disappointed … I think you’ll really enjoy it!!

  10. I was just working on a pinterest page that would focus on Jesus instead of all the other stuff that we get bombarded with when, “lo and behold”, I found your suggestions! thank you for taking the time to put up some really great ideas for everyone in the family to focus on and enjoy. I appreciate all of you! Have the merriest of Christmases and “see you up yonder!”

  11. I love this page! Great ideas all in one place! I am going to use some of your ideas for my Wednesday night Kids services. Then direct the families to your site for more ideas. Thank you so much for your great work!