Updated: Feb 11
Since our family began celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas, one of the improvements we made was to decorate in a way that makes it obvious to others that our family knows that Christmas is really all about Jesus. This is a two-part post where I inspire provide some ideas for outside decorations here -https://brunkle1990.wixsite.com/website-3/post/decorating-to-point-to-jesus / and then ideas for inside decorations below.
I enjoy displaying nativities throughout my house. I started out with just one set, which takes a center point in my family home. I have added a few more over the years - one of my most favorite being a Korean male and female with baby that we acquired during our time stationed in Korea.
I challenge you to try to display more nativities in your house than you display Santa figurines. Believe it or not, I don’t display a houseful of decorations; I just decorate the main living area. But, I do make it an effort to intentionally decorate my guest bathroom in such a manner that my guests know that our family centers our holiday on Jesus.
I display written signs that point to the Savior, a nativity set, and a simple hand-towel that is embroidered with the nativity.
Some of the signs I have found or made include the following messages:
Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Come Holy Night!
A simple canvas painted with a Christmas tree that is surrounded by the text of Isaiah 9:6.
A wiseman silhouette with the “Wise Men Still Seek Him” message
A nativity stenciled silhouette on a simple piece of wood.
Since I began focusing on Christ as the center of our Christmas, I’ve added more decorations to our collection. One of my favorites is a set of Christmas pillows which I made from one yard of nativity print fabric. I stitched simple rectangles on a sewing machine and filled them with poly-fill. I glued fabric letters cut out of felt that spell out “Joy” on the front of each of them. I put these pillows on my couch in place of the regular throw pillows that we display the rest of the year.
One of our favorite traditions is to build the Jesse Tree throughout the Advent season. For more details about the Jesse Tree and links to free ones or ones you can purchase, see this post - https://brunkle1990.wixsite.com/website-3/post/consider-building-a-jesse-tree . I display my Jesse tree near the front door. Since you add ornaments to the tree, one by one each day of Advent, it is an odd looking little tree as it is being built. I prefer to put it close to my door because it usually is a conversation starter. This funny little tree provides an opportunity for me to talk about how our family celebrates Advent with a focus on Jesus and provides an opening for me to have a conversation about the Gospel. I truly think offering someone who doesn’t know Jesus the opportunity to believe in Him is the best gift I can offer a guest to my home.
Our funny little Jesse Tree by the door.
I only display one Christmas tree; with all of our frequenting moving as a military family, I could never convince myself that the extra unpacking another a set of tree decorations sounded desirable. But I know many folks decorate more than one tree. If you do have more than one tree, consider a themed tree.
One of my newer friends developed a Jesus-themed tree after she heard my talk on celebrating Jesus at Christmas. All of the ornaments on her tree pointed to Jesus. Some of the items she included were stars, nativities, crosses, and few words that represent Jesus’ character - joy, peace, hope, etc.
Make a “Names of Jesus” tree in which you display the names assigned to Jesus from the Bible. You can craft these names on popsicle sticks, small wood shapes, or even just write them on paper and roll them up like a scroll. If you have children, you might pick a name each evening to discuss and read the corresponding Scripture. Here is a list of forty names that can be used for such a tree, with the relevant Scripture:
The Mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace (all above are Isaiah 9:6)
Almighty (Revelation 1:8)
Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)
Author and Finisher of Our Faith (Hebrews 12:2)
Bread of Life (John 6:32)
Christ (Luke 2:11)
Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22)
Beloved Son (Matthew 12:18)
Creator (John 1:3)
Glory of the Lord (Isaiah 40:5)
God (Isaiah 40:3)
Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14)
Heir of All things (Hebrews 1:2)
Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
I AM (John 8:58)
Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
Jesus (Mathew 1:21)
King (Zechariah 9:9)
King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
Lamb (Revelation 13:8)
Lamb of God (Johan 1:29)
Way, Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)
Light of the World (John 8:12)
Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15)
Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
Redeemer (Job 19:25)
Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
Savior (John 2:11)
Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)
Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)
Word (John 1:1)
Word of God (Revelation 19:13)
Messiah (Daniel 9:25)
Arm of the Lord (Isaiah 51:9)
You can also choose to create and display a blessing tree. This is similar to the thankful trees that some families create at Thanksgiving. Each day someone from the family, or the family together, writes something they are blessed with and adds it to decorate the tree. Alternatively, one might use a regular Christmas tree with rolled up small pieces of paper which contain ways the Lord has blessed you this year. For something simpler, you may tape a silhouette of a Christmas tree to an empty wall and decorate it with colored paper circles on which are written different blessings for which your family is praising the Lord.