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Dec 20, 2023 12:10:00 PM

What is the True Meaning of Christmas? 8 Ways To Keep Christ In Mind This Christmas

The holidays are a busy time of year, with the quest to complete gift buying, baking and other tasks sometimes overshadowing the real meaning of the season. Fortunately, though, it’s entirely possible to take key steps for Christians to remember the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus and the transformative events that forever changed human history.

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What is the True Meaning of Christmas?

The true meaning of Christmas is far from the hustle and bustle surrounding gift-giving, Santa, consumerism and holiday food. Instead, Christmas is the time of year when we remember God’s love for humanity, the gift of his only son Jesus Christ, the nativity story as told by the Bible and the promise of eternal life because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Christmas story is truly one of humility, awe and peace.

Christmas, which is observed on December 25 every year, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The origins of Christmas is a transformative event that unfolded around 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.

Christ’s birth changed history, transforming the manner through which human beings interact with the Almighty. Jesus’ birth was a fulfillment of prophecy and his sacrifice on the cross saved humanity. John 3:16 (NIV) tells us:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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Bible Verses About The Meaning of Christmas

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 highlights several of Christ's titles that He is given when He is born at Christmastime, including Prince of Peace. One way we can keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind is reflecting and praying over each of His titles that are mentioned in this verse.

One way you can pray over and reflect on each title is by picking one title a day, having a discussion with your family about what the title personally means to each person and reflecting on how that title relates to your personal relationship with Jesus.

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:23 gives us the meaning behind Christ's Hebrew name, Immanuel. As the definition of His name is God with us, we can firmly believe that Jesus born at Christmastime is truly God's only son, our God in human form.

One way you can reflect on this Bible verse about Christ' birth this holiday season is by reflecting on what it means for God to send His only Son to earth to have a personal encounter of the human experience firsthand. What does it mean to you to know that our divine Creator humbled Himself by coming down from heaven and becoming a human just like yourself?

Luke 1:30-31 (NIV)

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Mary and Joseph are such an essential part of the Christmas story. Without both of them saying 'yes' when the angel of the Lord visited them, Christ would never have been born. In this Bible verse, the angel of the Lord brought Mary the good news, and she in return accepted the Lord's will.

To reflect on this part of the nativity story, we can focus on Mary's "yes" to God and how we can also say "yes" to God as faithfully and unabashedly as Mary did. In what areas of our life are we feeling God's pull but that we're not saying yes to Him? Where can we look for God's hand in our lives and see what He wants us to do in those areas?

Luke 2:11 (NIV)

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

This Bible verse about the origins of Christmas reminds us of God's promises. God promised us a Savior from the line of David. As the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, he proclaimed this Truth that God's only son had been born. The true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate God's fulfillment of His promise of a Savior.

To keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind this holiday season, we can give praise and thanksgiving for the gift of a Savior and God fulfilling His promise on sending us one. Look for ways to rejoice and celebrate the baby Jesus this holiday season.

John 1:29 (NIV)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John the Baptist, who is Jesus' cousin, plays a pivotal role in the Christmas story as well as Mary and Joseph. John testifies and proclaims widely that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the one who came to give us eternal salvation. The meaning of Christmas is to also reflect and rejoice on knowing that Jesus came to die for us, so that we may have eternal life with Him and Our Father in heaven.

John the Baptist's birth is also closely connected to Jesus' birth and the Christmas nativity story. John's purpose was to proclaim the true identity of Jesus Christ and prepare the way of the Lord. To reflect on John the Baptist's role in the meaning of Christmas, consider how you can prepare the coming of the Lord to those in your family and community.

How to Keep the True Meaning of Christmas in Mind

Among all the holiday busyness, get togethers and event planning, it's essential that we keep Christ in Christmas through all our celebrations this holiday season. Here are some practical ways to keep the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront of your celebrations this year:

Make a Commitment to Keep Christ First During Christmas

If you’re looking to keep Christ in Christmas this year the first step is to make a commitment. The holiday season is a busy time and it’s easy to slip into the chaos and to push aside the real reason for the holiday: focusing on the birth of Christ, who humbled Himself to becoming human. Make a prayerful commitment to keep the focus on Jesus and take pointed steps to live that out.

Consider a Daily Scripture Reading About the Birth of Christ

One of the best ways to keep the birth of Jesus in mind this holiday season is to read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth. You can map out a reading plan, integrating Matthew 1, Luke 1, and John 1, among other scriptures that focus on the life of Jesus. Keeping scripture at the center of the Christmas season is the best way to put Christ first.

Knowing you'll need additional time to read daily scripture about the birth of Christ, try to look for ways you can incorporate it into your daily routine. This can include reading Scripture at family meal time, listening to an audio version of the readings on your commute to work or holiday shopping, or taking time to read Scripture before going to bed.

Read a Christmas Devotional to Remember the True Meaning of Christmas

In addition to scripture reading, consider grabbing a copy of a Christmas devotional to help keep your focus on Jesus. The YouVersion app has digital Bible studies that you can do for free, and there are countless Christmas devotionals that will help you remember Jesus and eternal salvation this holiday season.

You can also make this a family commitment by choosing one to read together and discussing it over holiday meals. Or you can even just do one with your spouse, friends or faith community as well as a chance to make a concerted effort to keep Christ in the Christmas season.

Keep Church a Consistent Fixture During the Christmas Season

There’s a lot to do during the Christmas season, but one goal worth keeping is consistent church attendance. Remembering Jesus, God’s only son, is easiest when you keep your Sunday commitment to attend church. Surely, cooking, baking, and shopping all need to be done, but make a pledge not to sacrifice spiritual learning during the holiday season.

Make sure to look up service times well in advanced of your plans, so that you can make sure to carve time out for service amongst all your other holiday activities.

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Consider Using the Shepherd on the Search

There are countless tools available to parents to help keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind. One of those products — The Shepherd on the Search — helps kids and families alike focus on the true meaning of Christmas. A plush character from the nativity story, the shepherd doll helps families focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Here’s a description: “During the Advent season, begin reading the story of your shepherd's timeless journey in a beautifully illustrated interactive children's book, and let the fun begin every day as you hide your shepherd and your children find him in a new place along the search!”

Set Limitations During the Christmas Season

If your goal is to focus on God, the Bible and the birth of Jesus during advent, then consider setting some limitations early on. When it comes to gift-giving, events and other holiday fun, be clear with friends, relatives and your immediate family when it comes to spending caps and other restrictions that will help you push materialism and distractions to the side to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Other ways to set limits during the Christmas season is by limiting the amount of time your family spends on their phones or other digital devices, in order to make room for reflecting upon the nativity story - either as a family or privately. You can also set limits on childrens' screen time for watching tv shows and programming that isn't centered on educating them on the true meaning of Christmas. Keeping resources and materials around the house - such as the Bible or a Christmas devotional for children - for everyone to entertain themselves will keep them from getting bored or frustration with these limitations.

Keep an Active Prayer Life

Scripture and devotional reading are important elements for remembering Jesus during the Christmas season, but so is keeping an active prayer life. Don’t sacrifice prayer time, even as events and holiday happenings crowd your schedule.

Keeping connected to Christ is essential every, single day. Need inspiration? Here are 5 morning prayers to start your day with God.

Use Decorations That Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas decorations are always a lot of fun, but as you’re getting ready to put up your tree and decorate your home, consider integrating more decorations that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. After all, surrounding yourself with images showing Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the nativity is a wonderful way to remember the true meaning of Christmas and the wondrous events that unfolded in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.

So, there you have it: eight ways you can more closely follow Jesus, as you keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind. Looking for more inspiration? Check out these best Christmas movies you can watch right now with a free 7-day trial to Great American Pure Flix.


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.