Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

It has been quite a week at TFA. The temperatures in Orlando dipped below 40 degrees just in time for our Lower School students to really get into the Christmas spirit and “Deck The Halls”. It was such a joy to walk the halls and see the students and teachers setting up their Christmas vignettes and snapping photos to share with parents and families.

Christmas is such a special time at The First Academy. While we enjoy all of the Christmas Dress-Up days, holiday-themed treats, and classroom parties; we are truly blessed to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. Sometimes we get so busy during the holidays that we miss the point of Christmas, placing importance on gifts and parties—not Jesus. My prayer is that our students can cling to His hope, revel in His love—spread it too—and experience the embrace of the Savior born in that simple manger.

While this Christmas may look different than it has in the past in a lot of ways, there are still many opportunities to keep the real meaning of Christmas at the forefront with your family and in your home. Here are seven simple ways to keep Christ the central focus of your life this Christmas season.

  1. Set aside some time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20 and discuss it with your family.
  2. Set up a nativity scene in your home. If you don’t have one, grab the kids and have some fun making one!
  3. Plan a family devotional for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This can be a great way for your family to spend time together while remembering what Christmas is really about.
  4. Make a birthday cake for Jesus that the whole family can be a part of and enjoy on Christmas Day.
  5. Give to others. This can be Christmas gifts of service to friends and family members or volunteering at a local organization or shelter in need (safely and socially distanced, of course!).
  6. The White Stocking. Find a simple, white stocking and hang it in front of the rest of the stockings in your home throughout the Christmas season. Whenever a person does something kind for another person, or just has something to be thankful for, encourage them to write it down, and put it in the stocking (anonymously). On Christmas Eve, choose someone to read each of them out loud. Some of them may be silly, others very touching. But they all are meant to be gifts to Jesus.
  7. Simplify. I love all parts of this season, including the decorations and treats and gifts. However, trying to simplify can help both you and your family focus on having a Christ-centered Christmas.

I look forward to sharing the weeks ahead on campus with our students and families as we all prepare for the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!