Christmas time is fast approaching. There are only forty-two (42) days left until Christmas day. 2020 has been a challenging year, and our minds are probably not ready to plan for the upcoming holiday. I am here to remind and encourage you to make it the best Christmas celebration yet! You and your family deserve it. JESUS deserves it. Christmas is an opportunity to get together and affirm the family bond.
I would like to start with this scripture passage that has brought consolation to my heart these days.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people”.Luke 2:10
God cares for us. His birth’s sole purpose was to fulfill the promise that He will save us and redeem us from the chains and curse of sin. Because of Him, we have a chance at eternal life in the promised land… Heaven!
Below, are some ideas to make this Christmas Family Dinner a happy one!
Tip #1 Guests: The List
It is essential to have a headcount of the family members you would like to invite to your Christmas dinner. Have a separate list for kids and one for adults. Making a list seems obvious, but it comes in handy to avoid hurting someone’s feelings if they do not get invited on time, if at all. It may be hard to believe… but it happens.
The list also helps you keep track of the Christmas gifts you would like to buy and RSVPs.
This may not apply to you if you live under the same roof.
Tip #2 Food: allergies and kids treats
Family traditions are very important for the Christmas feast; going back to your grandma’s recipe book and bringing back traditions is critical for a successful family dinner. You can keep your traditional dishes, but I encourage you to be open to those who have changed their diet.
It is a trend now for younger generations to be more health-conscious. Making sure they are included would touch their hearts. Asking your guests to disclose if they have a special diet can help them fully participate in the dinner.
As for children, you can ask your guests to bake cookies and make it into a decorating contest. This allows families to come together and bond with the little ones.
Tip # 3 The Elderly: their traditions and wisdom
If your elderly parents and relatives are invited to your Christmas dinner, make sure you allot time during the dinner for them to share some wisdom or a funny story on how they celebrated Christmas when they were younger. To take it a step further, you can ask guests to bring a specific question for them to answer. Questions should be light and fun.
Tip# 4 Prayer: Meal blessing and The Story of the Birth of Jesus
Prayer is the most important. Ask God to guide you as you plan this family dinner, to reveal how He would like to be celebrated and trust the Holy Spirit in the process. As much as this dinner is for our families to come together, the honored guest is JESUS.
To bless the meal, the head of the house can lead in prayer, or you can ask someone that feels comfortable doing so. If you want to be inclusive, guests can also participate in the prayer and give Jesus thanks.
After dinner, it would be ideal if you can gather all around the Nativity Scene and read the story of the birth of Jesus to wrap up the night. This is a reminder of where our joy comes from and why we celebrate.
Tip #5 Music: Christmas Caroling
This is just a friendly reminder that Jesus is our HOPE and JOY! After sharing the story of Jesus’ birth, end the evening with Christmas Carols. You can print out lyrics or share them via mobile phones for everyone to sing along.
Christmas is more than the gifts and the decorations. These are just a few of my suggestions to have a Happy and blessed Christmas Dinner. Let the joy of the Lord enter your hearts and your homes.
Jesus is the reason for the season! Merry Christmas!