We have all heard the admonition to “keep Christ in Christmas,” but do we really know how to do that? Secular culture has co-opted Christmas for so long that it can be difficult for Christians to see where we have been led astray.

Think about the things you do every year for Christmas: 1) decorate your home, 2) put up a Christmas tree, 3) send Christmas cards, 4) give gifts to family, friends and coworkers, 5) attend special parties and concerts, 6) listen to Christmas music, and 7) attend a Christmas Eve worship service.

Is Christ the focus for each of these activities? Do you decorate with stars and angels or with Santa and snowmen? Do your cards share a biblical message of peace and love, or do they offer wishes forĀ  over indulgence in food and drink? Do you emphasize receiving or giving gifts? Are the gifts you give a way to show off your wealth or your love? Do you remember the poor with your giving? Do you prioritize time with family over time with God, or are you focused on sharing the message of Jesus with the lost?

It can be messy to “keep Christ in Christmas.” Not everyone wants to remember that the holiday celebrates the birth of a Savior King and not the coming of extravagant material gifts. Not everyone knows the difference between hymns and carols about the sacred birth and songs about reindeer and snow.

What can you do to “keep Christ in Christmas”? Here are a few suggestions: 1) decorate with a nativity, 2) symbols of faith on your tree, 3) choose cards that tell of God’s love, 4) give gifts that bring people together, 5) remember the poor when you are giving gifts, 6) make time to read the story of Jesus’ birth, and 7) make worship a priority.

Share the story of your personal faith journey with love. Be a witness to the love of Christ rather than a judge.

Merry Christmas!