Top Tips for Christmas Time

Is it really the most wonderful time of the year? 

For many, I’m sure it is. I’m sure that for some, Christmas Day reflects a Hallmark movie where the streets are lined with snow and the houses constantly smell like gingerbread. I’m sure somewhere on this planet people’s lives actually look like their perfectly staged Christmas cards and family politics are non-existent. I’m sure somewhere this perfect vision exists - but not in my family. 

I want to preface this by reassuring you that I love my family. They’re somewhat crazy in the best way and Christmas Day consists of us cramming around a table on mismatched seats, eating copious amounts of food. But there’s no snow, more like icy slush. There aren’t picture-perfect moments and there definitely are family politics.

Being the only Christian in my family adds another potential challenge. On Christmas Day, how can I keep the focus on Jesus when everyone else is focused on presents and prosecco? During the weeks before Christmas, how do I pursue peace amongst the chaos of Christmas shopping? How do I honour my parents whilst disagreeing with their Christmas priorities? 

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re not on your own. So how can you be a light to your family this Christmas? 

1. Short & Sweet times with Jesus 

The freedom of uni means you can spend as much or as little time with Jesus as you want. There’s no one asking you why you've bothered to read your bible. There’s no pull to watch something with the family when you want to watch a sermon on youtube. 

So expect that maybe your time alone with Jesus may be shorter, but choose to make it sweeter. I’ve found that waking up 30 minutes earlier to read my Bible in my room helps me to keep my focus on Him, even if everyone around me is focused elsewhere. 

Why not use the Bible App to find an Advent Devotional? 30 minutes in the morning will help to frame your whole day. 

2. Expect Difference 

If you’ve recently become a Christian, expect that this year may feel different. You may feel different from the rest of your family, but you’ll also know the peace and hope Jesus can bring to you and to them. By expecting that maybe this year won’t be the same as the years prior, you can process this quicker and learn to love your family in a new way.

3. Invite your family…

Christmas is a great time of year to invite your family to experience more of Jesus. For some, an invitation to a local Carol Service may be the way to go. For others, inviting family members to serve with you may help them to understand more of God’s heart this Christmas. Why not give candy canes out to your neighbours? Or bless a local home for the elderly? Whilst at uni, your mission field is your friends. But whilst at home, your mission field could be your family. By inviting them to serve with you, they get to see more of the effect Jesus has had on your life and takes the focus from receiving gifts to giving gifts to those who need them. 

4. Find a church… 

Did you know that the Student Linkup app doesn’t only work for your uni? 

Why not search your local area for churches and find out what they’re doing over Christmas. Getting around other Christians, even if just once over the break, will encourage you and help you to be an encouragement to your family. 

5. Pray for each other 

Perhaps this isn’t your story and you’re going home to a family that loves Jesus. If this is you, commit to praying for and checking in with your friends who don’t have the same support at home. Ask them how they’re feeling, celebrate when their family makes small steps towards Jesus and pray if it gets difficult. 

My prayer for you is that this really is the most wonderful time of the year and that you and your family would know the love and peace of Jesus this Christmas and always. 


Victoria Seithel

Communications Developer

Viki loves raising up new leaders and is committed to sharing the hope-filled story of student mission with the churches she serves.

Partner with Victoria