06 Nov Lead Your Family Well this Holiday Season
Lead well this holiday season. Don’t just cruise through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Be intentional, thoughtful, and strategic. If you allow your heart and mind to cruise through this season, it will be enjoyable but not truly meaningful.
If you are not intentional about how you celebrate, chances are, you will be lulled into the sentimental charms of culture. You will smell the aroma of pumpkin spice lattes and reminisce as you hear familiar tunes about reindeer and mistletoe. You may even shed a few tears as you watch one of your favorite Christmas movies. But, you will not be deeply affected by the truths that undergird the season. These holidays allow us to contemplate our God’s goodness, the incarnation’s radical mystery, and the hope each new year holds. We have an opportunity to convey the treasures of our faith to the next generation.
I am reminded of the words of Moses to the people of Israel as he instituted Passover in Exodus 13:14 (ESV): “And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him…” That’s when you know you got it right. When your kids ask you, “What does this mean?” Suddenly, it is about more than sentimentality and warm fuzzies; the mind is working, and the heart will soon follow.
There is nothing more powerful than a couple of toddlers peering into a nativity set as a Christian mother explains to them how “…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)”
It’s cute to see their bewilderment as they try to figure out how the elf got off the shelf and into the cookies, but to see them crawl into Dad’s lap as he reads the Christmas story… that is what shapes a soul, and that is what changes the world.
Here are a few things to consider this season:
- Family Meals – What a great cathedral is to the worship of the Church; the dinner table is to the worship of a family. We have a rule at home that has been a game changer for family discipleship and growth – one conversation at a time. I got that idea years ago from Michael Hyatt. It has become an eleventh commandment of sorts for us. Our conversations became more inclusive, thoughtful, and meaningful.
- Go Big with Decor – I want everyone in my neighborhood to know this season is special to our family. I want them to wonder why. The same goes for our kids. They should know that something special is taking place.
- Engage with Tradition – G.K. Chesterton once said (I am paraphrasing), “Tradition is the only true democracy because it gives a vote to your ancestors.” Give them a vote this holiday season. Break out your great-grandmother’s fruit cake recipe. If no one eats it, donate it to the Pastor. Believe it or not – I like it. Traditions give previous generations a seat at the table. Talk about them, and tell your family’s story.
- Lots of Bible – Look for opportunities to read the word during this season. Have someone read Psalm 138 just before the Thanksgiving meal. Read from Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Engage in a devotion plan that will guide you through the season.
- Dream Together – My favorite time of the year is the week just after Christmas. As the new year approaches, Julie and I map out our calendars for the following year. We plan the major events we want to attend as a family. We talk about things we need to delete from our schedule. Often, we drop good things to focus on the best and most fruitful things.
I’m sure your mind is turning about how you might want to tweak a few things this season. May God guide you as you plan, and may this season be your most meaningful, fruitful, and life-changing yet.