Keep Christ in Christmas: read Him, look for Him, pray to Him, visit him, share Him, give for Him; live for Him

small Keep Christ in Christmas

This post is part of the Keep Christ in Christmas Blog Link-Up

hosted by the Catholic Bloggers Network!

Be sure to visit as many links as possible, listed at the bottom of this post.

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We have all heard the Nativity story, seen reenactments of Jesus’ Birth in school plays, Church pageants and even on the big screen. Santa Claus is pretty prevalent too, and we’re looking for ways to overpower the looming inflatable Santa Claus and Frosty that have adorned the house next door since mid-November.

 Read

Read Him

For the first time EVER, our family has embraced the Jesse Tree! Each of the 28 ornaments graciously given to us by Jesse Tree Treasures has a symbol representing scripture and there is a scriptural reference conveniently associated with each ornament. The majority of the references come from the Old Testament, showing the timeline of events leading to Jesus’ Arrival.

Look

Look for Him

Join the 3 Kings in their search for Baby Jesus! This is a fun little activity, but helps build the anticipation for Jesus’ Birth, keeping Jesus in sight, as the reason for the season…in the face of the inflatable Santas and rolling wish lists.

We would like to do this as well! We see it as the Elf on the Shelf activity converted to Catholic! I’m hoping to use our Felt Friends tutorial to make the 3 Kings. Although Velcro could work, I plan to use magnets in the hands and the feet to help the poseable figures re-enact their adventures. I’m learning about the strength of magnets through material…and I think the earth magnets from Lee Valley Tools…may be needed to get the job done. Watch for a 3 Kings Felt Friends Tutorial coming soon!

Pray_thru_Advent

Pray to Him

There are always extra reflections and prayers available for the Season of Advent…in the Church bulletin, seasonal reflection books, online blogs…and craft kits! We took the opportunity to provide a FREE ADVENT ADDENDUM  to our popular All Season Prayer Bank. The Prayer Bank already has 74 different prayer cards plus templates to add your custom prayers, but we added a week’s worth of Advent prayers, O Antiphons and snippets from the Magnificat to pray each day of the week throughout Advent in anticipation of Jesus’ Birth.

The ADVENT ADDENDUM is FREE for subscribers and likers of Equipping Catholic Families…just visit the link and use the special discount code after you hit ADD to CART.

Visit

Visit Him

Most parishes offer extra opportunities for Mass or adoration…where we can encounter the living Jesus in our very own hearts, at Church.

Share

Share Him

Let your love for Him shine through…whether it’s through family traditions at home…the Advent Wreath, the Advent Calendar, special prayers after Mealtime, candles in the windows, a star at the top of your tree…or how you approach Christmas.

Be blessed

Be blessed by Him

We combined our Family Blessing Box with the Advent Wreath a couple years ago for a neat centerpiece on our table and a program to foster gratefulness and good deeds in secret.

Wait

Our Advent Calendar helps us count down the days until the Birth of Jesus!

The Jesse Tree images help to focus our journey, along with the Nativity pieces, Scripture scrolls or Jesse Tree ornaments tucked inside the little cupboard doors.

Give

We are co-hosting an awesome initiative where your kids can donate a scan of their favorite artwork  to elicit donations for hungry kids in Honduras in the Cross Catholic Outreach Art Show.

Live

Our Advent and Lent Quest released last year offers 3 paper chain templates filled with family prayer challenges, Catechism and Saint facts to help us LIVE our Faith and walk in His Light.

What is YOUR favorite Advent tradition?

tell us about it in the comments!

Visit these participating blogs for awesome posts about Keeping Christ in Christmas!

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool  Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25
Fifth of Five     Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam     The Light of Hope
Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition
Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home:  Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All       Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
 
Canadian Catholic Mom         Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling   Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 
Adoro Ergo Sum:  How We Keep Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos        Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith          Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home         Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9    Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child
 
Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts            10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
A Catholic Life Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent
Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins
Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas
Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas
Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 
Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom   Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager
Tercets:           Keeping Christ in Christmas: Join Church Ministries
Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season
Homeschooling With Joy        Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss     Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller      Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea     Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique’s Desk       Keeping Christ in Christmas
Our ABC Life: An Advent Update
Journey Living: Anno Domini
The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources
Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts
Blessings in Brelinskyville: Advent Traditions Old and New
Ave Momma: Advent: New Year’s Resolutions: http://avemomma.blogspot.ca/2013/12/advent-new-years-resolutions.html
 

Comments

  1. Wow! Your Keeping Christ in Christmas blog post is amazing. I pinned several ideas already and my mind is spinning thinking of ways to incorporate some new ideas into my kindergarten classroom.

    Peace,

    Charlotte

  2. Great Post Monica.
    Blessings!
    em

  3. Loved this post – thanks – have linked on my blog.

  4. Love this wrap up! We are doing our first Jesse Tree this year (hmm…getting a tree might help!!), preparing for our Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at church and trying to realize what needs to stay and what goes for this month that should be of reflection

  5. Great ideas. I especially like taking advantage of the opportunities Advent presents us with to Adore the Lord. God bless.

  6. I love your Wise Men!!! Did you make them?
    Thank you for the Keep Christ in Christmas Link-Up…

  7. Thank you for a great post, Monica! We don’t do a Jesse Tree but something similar. We have what we call a Waiting Tree. Our permanent Advent Calendar has tiny books instead of chocolate pieces. Each one holds a part of the story bringing us up to the Nativity. As we read each numbered book, we hang it on a small tree (the Waiting Tree). The kids take turns being able to find the book for each day or hanging it on the branches. We do this in addition to an Advent Wreath. Happy Advent to you and yours!

  8. Monica,

    I love your “handprint” Jesse tree! So creative!

  9. Do you happen to have a link for the knitted Three Wise Men/Three Kings?? Love this post and can’t wait to try some of these great ideas.

  10. I like your Hand print Jesse tree! Maybe my boys and I can adapt this in the future. Your post also reminded me to bring my eldest son more with me this Advent when I go to the Blessed Sacrament chapel for adoration. Thanks!

  11. Monica,

    So many great ideas! I like the headings ‘look for Him’, ‘share Him’ etc

    Our favourite Advent traditions? I love gathering at the end of the day, lighting the Advent candle, singing O Come O Come Emmanuel and then eating our meal. Afterwards my husband reads from the Bible and we add the day’s ornament to the Jesse tree. It’s a very special time where we chat and share and pray.

    God bless!

  12. I love all the ideas and links! I’ll have to stop back again this week and check them out. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Our family has done a Jesse Tree for years now, I am sure that your family will be blessed by doing it. We love it.

    Blessings,
    Trish

  13. Wow! I love all the ideas! We just started reading “Three Wise Women”. This is our first Christmas focusing on Christ. There is a lot different this year for all of us than any year before. Because my kids are older, we are focusing on learning and sharing more together.

    God bless, my friend!

  14. I didn’t even know what a Jesse tree was until I was teaching in the Catholic schools. It’s really a nice tradition that doesn’t get utilized much.

  15. Wonderful ideas! Making the Wise Men a Catholic Elf of the Shelf would be so much fun!
    At our house, if it is too late in the evening for our full blown Scripture readings around our Advent candles, we must sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel in a dark room with our candles lit. Not very original, but it is a very powerful reminder of Jesus being our light in a dark world that needs Him!

    Blessings to you and your family!
    Heidi

  16. Such excellent ideas – thank you! Putting them on the calendar for each of the next 5 years ;0) Happy Advent!

  17. I just love how you formatted this post, and so many wonderful ideas! That Advent and Lent Quest sounds wonderful, so fun for the kids!

  18. your creativity sings with joy

  19. I love the Jesse Tree and finding the 3 Wise Men ideas. This is the first year I have found myself wanting to establish traditions – since our oldest is 3.5 . I will definitely incorporate so ideas from your post next year!

  20. I like the use of handprints for the Jesse tree! Great way to get even the littlest members of the family involved. I also really like the paper chain templates.

  21. What a wonderful wrap up!

    One of our favorite traditions is reading page after page of beautiful picture books. It slows us down, centers us on being together, cuddled, talking about the season, virtues, Christ, love… Plus, it provides much inspiration for other activities! This year, we plan to use many of the same ideas that we used last year, which are shared at http://traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-literature-rich-advent-alphabet-of.html

  22. Monica, your bullet points make it so easy to remember: read, share, visit. And thank you thank you thank you for all the work that you do for this link up. It is always fun and I can see this frenzy growing larger and larger every year.

  23. I had never heard of the “three kings searching for baby Jesus” idea until this year, but I love it! I’m not sure I’m crafty enough to make my own set, but I like your idea of adding magnets 🙂

  24. I’ve never come across the tradition of the wiremen being moved around the house before and I’ve read several posts on it thanks to the link up. This is something I’ll be starting this weekend (when I get The Darling Husband tog et ours out of the loft). I’m going to photograph and post on Facebook.
    You’re so right about visiting Him. I’m planning a trip with The Little One this Friday.

  25. Love your bright and effective presentation of ways to celebrate. My favorites are Give for Him and Live in His Light. This carry over into our post-Christmas life as ways we can evangelize by our way of life. Thanks for the blog bonanza, I’m really enjoying it.

  26. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. Indeed there are so many ways to teach our kids to keep Christ in Christmas – and it can be fun, creative and meaningful as well. Wishing you a blessed Christmas! God bless!

  27. Monica, I LOVE all of these ideas. We got our Jesse Tree ornaments for this year at the same place! I love them!!! I love the wisemen idea. We’ve never done the whole “elf” thing, but I think the wisemen thing we could absolutley embrace. How cute!

    I’m going to be spending some time going through all of your links as I am always looking for new ways to celebrate the Advent season! 🙂

  28. Hi Monica!

    As always you share a wonderful wealth of ideas and resources! I love how you organized your post with the subtitles! I really want to put the beautiful Jesse Tree ornaments on my wish list since we are using paper ornaments my children colored for several years now. Thank you for all your work with the Advent link up and your continued work to spread our Catholic faith to families everywhere! Hoping you have a blessed Advent!

  29. My pastor had a great idea to counter inflatable Frosties: Inflatable John the Baptists!

    He was saying in his homily today that St. John and Mary are the examples the Church gives us of the best way to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. My wife commented to me later that you could put a motion sensor so that when people walk by, John can call out “you brood of vipers!”

  30. Hi Monica, your post is filled with wonderfully inspiring activities to prepare for the coming of Jesus. You’ve done a wonderful job sharing your faith with your children and the rest of us. Thank you for organizing this link up again this year. Each year, I encounter new Catholic bloggers and am inspired. What a gift you are to me and the rest of us. God bless you and your family.

  31. Thanks for sharing and for linking at Family Fun Friday!
    Monica
    http://www.happyandblessedhome.com/category/family-fun

  32. My children are dreaming of mountains of presents and I don’t know a mother who isn’t stressed out of her mind right now. In this pre-Christmas whirlwind, we are tempted to forget the meaning of Advent as a time of patient waiting and reflection. More shockingly, we might miss out on the true joy of Christmas!
    Let’s keep Christ in Christmas and spread the “good news.” Here’s a link you might enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMiOrieIFg8

  33. Great ideas! My family celebrates Advent with a Jesse Tree and handmade felt ornaments. I made them. And, continue to make them for other families to enjoy this special tradition. Please visit my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkScissorsDesign

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