What is the True Spirit of Christmas?

December comes just once a year. If we’re not careful it can pass us by in a frenzied whirlwind of ribbons, packages, and parties. Or, for some, it may seem like a month just like any other. Nothing special.

Neither of those scenarios sound like a fun Christmas!

My mom used to plan these extravagant lists of Christmas activities. Every December she would drag us all over town going from place to place, event to event, activity to activity. I went along with it of course, but in the back of my mind I thought it was a little silly. Why did we need to do all that?

Now, years later, I can finally say I understand why she did it.

My mom was helping us find the true Spirit of Christmas. She was pointing us in the right direction. She chose our Christmas events and activities carefully. Everything we did, we did together as a family. And everything we did, brought us closer to our final destination.

And our final destination was the true Spirit of Christmas.

Finding Home

The true Spirit of Christmas, that magic feeling, that warm, cozy, fireplace-crackling, lights-twinkling, hot cocoa-steaming, fuzzy-blanket kind of feeling comes from being home.

But what is “home,” really?

I wrote about this last Easter, but what I said then applies to Christmas as well.

We find home in Him.

Jesus Christ is our home. Unless we come unto Him, we will never be home.

This Christmas, we can glory in home. Our true home. The home that Christ’s love and light makes for each and every one of us.

Once we find it, we can open the door to our home. We can share His light. We can be kind. We can laugh. Smile. Serve. Forgive. Reach out.

This Christmas, I am hoping we can find the true Spirit of Christmas in that feeling of being home. Here are 8 ways to help you find the true Spirit of Christmas.

8 Ways to Find the True Spirit of Christmas

1. Unwrap Memories with a Happy Family Memory Jar

Not only December flies by in a hurry. Sometimes I feel like I blink and the whole year has come and gone. That’s why this activity is a perfect way to preserve fun family memories. All you need is a jar and some paper. Throw a ribbon on the jar to add some Christmas color.

In the days leading up to Christmas have your family members start writing down some of their favorite family memories, but shhh, don’t tell anyone what you wrote just yet. Put your memories in the jar and then on Christmas day sit together as a family and “unwrap” your favorite memories from the year. Enjoy the laughter and smiles as you reminisce with your family about the great memories you’ve shared together throughout the year.

Here’s an example of a fun, Christ-centered activity my family did together last Christmas!

2. Meet with the Missionaries

I love meeting with the missionaries. They are just the sweetest, kindest, most genuine, and innocent people you’ll ever meet. They dedicate all of their time to teaching people about Jesus Christ. In so doing it is only natural that they become examples of Him.

So, how do you meet with the missionaries? First of all, if you don’t know who your local missionaries are, you can request a visit from them here.

If you already know your local elders or sisters, you can consider…

  • Inviting them to share a meal with you in your home.
  • Inviting them to share a spiritual message with you in your home.
  • Inviting them to share a scripture with you over the phone.
  • Inviting them to pray with you or for you.

You can also consider attending this special upcoming live Facebook missionary event, “A Savior is Born,” on December 18th at 7 p.m.

Read about the experiences I’ve had working with the missionaries in Nauvoo, Carthage, and in Germany.

3. Share Your Light

For many people, Christmas can be a sad and lonely time of year. Participate in the Christmas #LightTheWorld service challenge and you can help brighten the lives of those around you. This is a global movement to inspire everyone to focus on serving others and showing kindness at Christmas. You can join the movement and learn more here.

You can read about how Jesus Christ brought me light in a time of darkness in my life here.

4. Create a Spiritual Treasure Box

Have you ever had a spiritual experience? What was the most spiritual experience of your life? When have you felt close to God? Spiritual experiences can be precious like treasures as long as we REMEMBER them.

So, this Christmas, consider writing down one of the spiritual treasures from your life. Take your written treasure and place it in a box and wrap it just like any other Christmas present. Then, you can choose to gift this treasure to someone close to you on Christmas OR you can save this treasure box and gift it to yourself next Christmas (kind of like a memory time capsule!).

See an example of one of my spiritual treasures here.

5. Tell a Family History Story to a Child

Do you know what kids love? Christmas! But do you know what else kids love? Storytime!!! This Christmas, take the time to sit down with your kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews and tell them a story, but not just any story. Tell them a story from your family history. What’s the funniest story you know from your family history? What’s a story you heard about your family history that you’ll never forget? Who is your favorite relative and why are they your favorite? Kids like stories, but if you tell them a story from your family history that really means something personal to you they will absolutely love it!

Here’s an example of a family history story that I’ve shared with my kids.

6. Visit an LDS Temple

Temples are beautiful and peaceful places inside and out. My mom always said even just visiting the temple to walk on the grounds can bring blessings. Sometimes even just driving by a temple can lift your spirits.

In the winter the sun sets early and the darkness that follows can seem endless. If you want to see and feel some of the biggest Christmas lights on earth, then go and visit a temple. Learn more about LDS temples here.

Read about a time when I felt lost and visiting a temple helped me. You can also read a little-known fact about women and LDS temples here.

7. Choose to Forgive

I recently finished reading a book that reminded me of the importance of forgiveness. Choosing not to forgive ourselves and others is like choosing to keep poison in a wound; and why would anyone want to do that? Christmas is also an especially wonderful time of year to ask for forgiveness.

Forgiveness isn’t easy, but I believe that the true Spirit of Christmas lives within the words: I am sorry. I forgive you.

8. Learn about Jesus Christ in the Scriptures

Why not go straight to the source? Reading about Jesus Christ in the scriptures has often brought me comfort and peace. For example, after the death of my mother, a scripture she taught me helped me feel closer to her. What are some of your favorite scripture stories? What is your favorite story about Jesus?

Try our scripture activity, “Names for Jesus Christ,” with your family this Christmas – it’s free! Click on the button below to receive your free printable.


That’s it! There you go!

I hope you will enjoy trying out these 8 Ways to Find the True Spirit of Christmas with your friends and family. Please share your experiences and comments below.

Merry Christmas everybody!

With love from,

Justina

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