Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

120 pages
Dec 2003

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas

by Sharon Jaynes

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt

D - Dinner Conversation

After a day of Moms running errands and sitting in carpool lines, Dads staring at a computer screen and making sales calls, not to mention Junior’s rushing from a packed school schedule to basketball practice, it’s a relief to finally sit down as a family and share a meal. Dinnertime is a chance to refresh, refuel, and refocus. To bring that focus back to Christ during the holidays, you can make a conversation jar to steer you in the right direction.

Purchase a Christmas jar or canister, or decorate one of your own. On 2"x 4" strips of paper, write questions that pertain to Christmas. Fold the strips and place them in the jar. During dinner each night in December, have a different family member pull a question from the jar. Then go around the table, taking turns giving answers.

Below are a few questions to get you started, but part of the fun is coming up with your own.

  • Describe the sounds that might have been heard in the stable on Christmas night.
  • Who do you think took care of the sheep when the shepherds ran off to see baby Jesus?
  • Describe a Christmas tree to a blind person.
  • What do you think the wise men wore when they visited Baby Jesus
  • What smells do you imagine were in the stable?
  • What do you think the animals were thinking after Jesus was born?
  • What is your favorite Christmas present ever?
  • What Christmas tradition means the most to you?
  • How much light does it take to drive out darkness?
  • What are some amazing facts about the Christmas story?
  • What is your favorite Christmas carol?
  • What is your favorite Christmas smell?
  • What is your favorite Christmas food?
  • What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  • Describe how the sky looked when the angels appeared to the shepherds.
  • Which person in the Christmas story would you like to have been?
K - Kitchen Jars

As soon as the Thanksgiving dinner table is cleared, Christmas begins. Thanksgiving’s newspaper is bulging—not with articles on how people gave thanks but with retail circulars boasting incredible sales and warning, "Only twenty-nine more shopping days ‘til Christmas!"

It’s not easy to keep our focus on the Christ-child during the holidays. Long shopping lists, a plethora of cookies to bake, parties to attend, Christmas pageants to view, a home to decorate, packages to mail, meals to prepare, and cards to address can overwhelm us.

I keep two simple jars in my kitchen to remind me where my focus needs to be. One jar is filled with fist-sized rocks. The other is three-fourths full of sand. I’ve discovered that I can pour all the sand into the rock jar, with the grains filling in nicely around the rocks. However, if I try to wedge the rocks into the jar three-fourths full of sand, the rocks won’t fit. As the innkeeper said, "There is no room."

In my life, the large rocks represent the things that God wants me to do: spend time with Him each day praying and reading His Word, love and support my husband, and nurture and care for my child with whom God has blessed me.

The sand represents my to-do list, which is as endless as the sand grains: decorating, baking, running errands, etc. If I begin my day with the rocks, then all the sand will fit into place. But if I start my day with the sand, somehow the rocks never seem to fit in.

Consider making two jars of your own to help keep your focus on Jesus Christ this Christmas. Tie a beautiful bow around each one and place them in a visible spot. And remember, Jesus is our rock and our redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

Excerpted from:
Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas
By Sharon Jaynes
Copyright © 2001
Published by Moody Press
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.