By Karen Whiting
If you plan to stay home and isolated from older grandparents or plan a smaller celebration, make the most of it with creative ideas.
For Christmas, it’s time to be thankful for health, family, and all the people who keep you safe.
Here are a few ideas to give thanks socially distanced:
- Chalk it up by decorating your driveway and sidewalk to express thanks. Thank medical workers, firefighter, military, and law enforcement. Add some rainbows, stars, and praying hands to your designs. Or add hats and other symbols of those who serve.
- Brighten the day. Save empty bottles and fill them with autumn colored water. Place them on sunny windowsills and let the light shine through. The light reminds Jesus the light of the world is always with us. Be sure to set a dinner place for Jesus!
- Call, text, and chat online with family and friends. Plan ahead if you’ll ply any games. Having duplicate board games can work well, with everyone moving each person’s piece on their board. Let each family be one player if it’s a game for a limited number of players.
- Have a centerpiece showcase where each family sends a photo of their table setting and centerpiece. Make it more fun by challenging family members to have something that represents prayer, Jesus, or gratitude in the centerpiece.
For Christmas, share the joy of the season:
- Make the season an ADVENTure by spending a few minutes each day with an advent wreath. Let each family on the Zoom call take a turn leading. They can have a song to sing and a scripture reading or simply share a Christmas memory for all to listen and enjoy. These daily moments can make you feel very close.
- Do a mail cookie swap to share something sweet. Write a note with each type of cookie about a memory or why it’s a favorite. Have a plating time when you take photos or meet online to share how they look on each one’s plates.
- Deck the halls together online and share memories of ornaments and nativity sets. You can also have each family read one part of the nativity account. Have a countdown when everyone turns on their lights at the same time to bring a glow to the season.
- Make plans of how you’ll help serve in your community. Choose a way to thank community workers with gift cards, trays of goodies, or thank you notes.
- Unwrap gifts together online or by phone, with one person at a time opening a gift.
- Record your online calls to capture the memories.
Remember those who serve:
- Emergency calls rise during the holidays due to stress and loneliness. Take time to pray daily for EMTs, medical workers, law enforcement, and firefighters who respond to the calls and often must leave their families to help another family. Each day of the season, light red (firefighters), white (medical), and blue (law enforcement) candles and pray for those workers [Or tie those colored ribbons to a candle]. Let the trio of colors also be a reminder of military service people who may be deployed this season. Pray also for the people they will help. Pray too for the safety of your loved ones and for peace in our country.
About the Author:
Karen Whiting is an author of 26 books including 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve. She grew up with many family members who served in all these areas and her husband served in the US Coast Guard. Watch for her next family devotional book, coming next fall, from Rose/Hendrickson Publishing on prayer and helping children pray.
Check out Karen Whiting’s Book: 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve
52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve is a unique devotional that is written for families who have members that are called to serve in first-responder roles like military personnel, police officers, and EMTs, or are called to serve in their churches and communities. Each week features a family beatitude to focus on with a devotion and related Bible reading, activity option, chat prompt, scrapbook/prayer option, frontline tips, and a prayer. This devotional is designed to work with your family, if you have 5 free minutes, or up to an hour, you can customize it to fit into your schedule. Perfect for children ages 4 to 12 years, with activities ranging from preschool-age to middle school-age.