“It’s Christmastime!” If you’re like my wife, you’ve been waiting all year to be able to say these words. I get excited about it too, but on a more socially acceptable level (I love you, Arla!). I’ll admit: We may have jumped the gun a little by buying a tree and putting up decorations before Thanksgiving, but that’s because we truly cherish this season of the year (and because I know what to do to make my wife happy).
Whether you get a little carried away like us or not, Christmastime is a time to celebrate. It’s a time that should be marked by anticipation and excitement because during it we celebrate the coming of Christ (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20). This is what we mean when we speak of “Advent.” It’s a Latin word that means “coming” and has been used by Christians for centuries to refer to the time when Jesus came to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).
Starting on the fourth Sunday leading up to Christmas each year, God’s people have paused to reflect on the promised coming of a Savior. Then, after weeks of anticipation, God’s people celebrate the fulfillment of that very promise in the person and work of Jesus.
Despite knowing full well that Christmas is about celebrating the coming of Christ, it’s embarrassingly easy for me to get distracted with all the things that “need to get done.” I forget that the only thing that actually “needed to get done” was accomplished by Christ when he came to save me from my sin.
I would venture to guess that I’m not alone in this tendency to get distracted. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself in rather large company. I get far too easily sidetracked by secondary things like holiday preparations and end up forgetting the primary thing: Christ came into the world to save sinners like me (Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 1:15).
The story of Christmas is the story of the Christ who came to save us. As we go about our holiday preparations, make sure you keep your focus (and your family’s focus) on the real reason for the season. Don’t get distracted by secondary things, but be careful to keep Christ at the center.
One practical way of doing this is by celebrating the season of Advent as a family through the use of resources that are centered on Christ. One of these resources is free and available online through LifeWay. Simply click the link below, fill in your contact info, download the file, and then walk through the advent guide together as a family. By doing so, you’ll find yourself (and your family) a little less distracted on what doesn’t matter and a lot more focused on what does.
Family Advent Guide by LifeWay Kids: Click Here