A Note from Chris Adams: Sometimes we just need some new ideas for slowing down to enjoy the Christmas season. And we need ideas to help moms really focus on what counts and what will change their children’s hearts to see Christmas from an unselfish perspective. Dr. Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA shares some creative and easy ideas to help moms “do it different” this year.
Take a few minutes. Breathe. Sit and enjoy a Christmas song or two while sitting in front of the Christmas tree and sipping a cup of hot cocoa. Breathe.
The craziness of the Christmas season is almost at its height. It’s time to make a choice: Merely survive the season or make a memory that will redefine how our families will see Christmas in the future? It is the little things that shape the memories of family.
How do we encourage moms to choose memories over craziness? It starts with teaching moms that there is a choice to be made! Christmas does not have to be the same hectic schedule every year.
There are moments to sit and savor with family.
There are moments to reflect on the story of Christmas.
There are moments to be carved out without a lot of extra work that will change Christmas memories forever. The idea is to show the love of Christ to others in a way that emphasizes the birth of Christ. Giving moms a list of plug and play type moments will help encourage creative idea thinking.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Share a story about what makes Christmas meaningful. For example, my family invited senior adults and single adults who did not have local family to be a part of our family Christmas celebration, attend Christmas Eve service with us, and participate in a gift exchange. Sharing Christmas makes it sweeter!
- Challenge moms to share possible ideas for Christmas memory making on the women’s ministry’s Facebook page or Pinterest page. This isn’t a Pinterest list of crafts to make, but ideas for going, doing, and being Christmas to others!
- Take fruit and peppermints in tiny baskets to assisted living residents. The residents will be given something to smile about, and children will see Christmas from more mature eyes.
- Bake cookies and deliver to first responders. Be sure to take a gallon of milk!
- Decorate a tree and deliver to a senior adult or family going through a difficult time.
- Create a special evening for the family of a deployed military person. Ideas might include: dinner and a movie, game night, bowling night, or driving through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights and then sharing cookies and cocoa.
- Make unChristmas lists—lists of things the family can do over the next year to share the love of Christ to others. Choose one project per month to accomplish.
- Give each family member a set price of one of their gifts. Each person buys a gift at that price for a foster child or resident of a children’s home.
- Offer to babysit for little ones while younger moms have a break. Allow older children to come up with activities and simple crafts.
- Buy dinner for a family while out for a quick family dinner. Pay for the car’s order next in the drive through line. Talk about how a gesture of kindness can change someone’s perspective.
- Invite a struggling family to come to dinner.
- Ask moms to share photos of their memory-making moments.
- Highlight stories of moms who make Christmas memories in a unique way in the weekly email newsletter or women’s ministry page.
The most effective way to encourage moms to make Christmas memories is to do so ourselves. As women’s ministers, we are hectic and crazy too! Take a breath. Slow down. Refresh the soul by pondering on the Christmas story. Look for new, creative ways to experience Christmas. And then go be Christmas to someone else!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.