10 Real Ways to Celebrate Christmas

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When Christmas comes along with its glittering lights, tasty treats, and beautifully wrapped gifts, it’s easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. And here’s a tip: it really isn’t about any of those things. It is about celebrating Jesus Christ and the gifts he has bestowed on us in the form of our family, friends, and faith. And while the festivities of commercial Christmas can be fun, it’s important that we don’t forget what this special day is all about.

Family by Laurie Redstone (Flickr)

1.  Take time to reflect

When you wake up on Christmas morning, spend some time with your family, chatting about the meaning of Christmas. Ask your kids to think of a few things that they have been grateful for in the past year and spend some quiet time reflecting on all of the blessings in your life.

2.  Pray or go to Church

There are plenty of services available on Christmas Day, from the morning through to the evening, but you don’t have to attend a Church service to invite God into your day. Whatever you do, ensure that you don’t forget the real meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Dinner by jaybergesen (Flickr)

3.  Spend time with family and friends

Christmas is a time for family, so ensure you spend the day with people who mean the most to you, and really take the time to appreciate them. If you know of someone who is going through a difficult time or is alone, invite them to enjoy the festivities with your family. No one should be alone on Christmas.

4. Bake or create

Bake some Christmas goodies to enjoy with your family, be it Christmas-shaped chocolate moulds, cookies, or bottles of eggnog. Baking is also a cost effective way to give others your time and effort, rather than money.

Giving by zoetnet (Flickr)

5.  The gift of giving

The gift of giving is far greater than the joy of receiving. There are so many ways to give, whether it’s donating to a charity, cooking a little extra food to provide someone with a Christmas meal, or giving a gift to someone that otherwise wouldn’t have had it. When I was little, my grandmother used to sew Barbie clothes to give to underprivileged children, and it’s a trait I have always admired. Consider preparing food trays for the poor and needy, visiting the elderly, or dropping in to see the sick in hospital – after all, your time is one of the most valuable things you can give.

6.  Keep the love going

We often take what we have for granted and it’s easy to forget just how fortunate we really are. So this Christmas, for every gift you receive, give away something you no longer use to those in need.

Crackers by Lauren Morling

7.  Create your own crackers

Spend some time with the family creating your own Christmas crackers – the benefit is that you get to pick the gifts you put inside! No more fake nails and plastic sharpeners! Check out our tutorial.

8.  Christmas carols

Every Christmas without fail we bring out our favourite, if overplayed, Boney M and Kenny G Christmas carols. It creates the feeling of Christmas and if you listen to the words, you’re constantly reminded about what the day is really about. The daring can gather their family together to enjoy singing Christmas carols together or strolling through the neighbourhood bringing some Christmas cheer to others.

Christmas Traditions by dfb_photos (Flickr)

9.  Start a tradition

When I was little, my cousins and I used to prepare our annual Christmas concerts for the family, with each of us playing different instruments, reading different Bible verses, or performing certain acts. And while the home videos are embarrassing and will probably never see the light of day if I have anything to do with it, it was a great way for us kids to bond and provide the adults with some entertainment – even if we weren’t all that good. There is nothing that kids take with them into their adult lives more than family traditions that they remember with love. So, if you don’t already have one, start one. This way, you will have something to look forward to and remember in a few years’ time as a family, and your kids will likely pass the tradition onto their own kids one day.  Traditions you can start include reading “A Christmas Story” on Christmas Eve, taking a family photo, hanging special ornaments on the Christmas tree, or leaving out food “for the reindeer”.  These memories will be cherished long after the kids have grown up.

Christmas Lights by Pugetsoundphotowalks (Flickr)

10.  See the lights

Every year my family piles into the car and drives to a nearby street known for the rows and rows of houses flaunting their exquisite Christmas lights. There is something peaceful and joyous about quietly observing the fantastical themes set up, including moving Santa sleighs, flickering reindeers, and lit up trees with those closest to you. Those in Cape Town can visit Edison Street in Meadowridge, Adderley Street in the CBD, as well as the Malmesbury Christmas Light Festival in the Swartberg region and the Somerset West Festival of Lights in Somerset West.

Cat by Kvanhorn (Flickr)
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