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Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Discover how each figure in the nativity can lead your family closer to Jesus during the Christmas season and how incorporating seven simple traditions, inspired by nativity scenes, such as creating a tender mercy tree, can remind you of the true meaning of the holiday season.

Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Ensign Peak (first published 2010)
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  506 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Amanda Lewis
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book so much I went out and bought it. Mrs Freeman discusses Christmas traditions that she practiced in her home with her children that focused the Christmas season more on Christ. Mary, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, the wiseman, the sheep, and the baby Jesus each teach different lessons, and have unique traditions, that you can do in a day or over the course of a week or two. While this book is geared more toward families with teenagers I know she has made a simplified version ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book could best be utilized by families with young children, I learned so many new insights into the Nativity and the Spirit of Christmas. I intend to pass along these traditions to my children and their families to bring the focus of Christmas back to CHRIST! It is a wonderful book full of practical, easy ideas to use with your family to have a more Christ-centered Christmas.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
This is a great little book that helps remind us of the most important parts of Christmas. It's full of scriptures and stories that point to Christ. It focuses particularly on seven pieces of the nativity and lessons we can learn from each one: Mary (ponder), Joseph (serve), Angels (share the joy), Shepherds (testify), The Wise Men (journey another way), The Lamb (and Simeon and Anna) - give thanks, and finally, The Christ Child (believe). I love the lessons and insights the author shares and th ...more
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
My husband and I had been discussing that we wanted to do something for Christmas this year to make it special. Our kids are getting a little older and only the youngest still believes in Santa Claus. We really wanted to focus less on getting and more on giving to others this year.

I have heard Emily Freeman speak at Time Out for Women and think she is a wonderful speaker and author so I was excited when I received a copy of her book A Christ-Centered Christmas to review. As I started reading thi
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How do you start Christ-centered family traditions if you didn't grow up with very many? You need Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman! She has 7 awesome traditions that are centered on Christ that she shares with you. Each tradition is focused on one of the members in the nativity. She shares stories, songs to sing, scriptures from the Bible to read, and activities to do with your family. I love that this book is really for family of all ages. You can adjust the activi ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this with a nativity set at Christmas. Though I'm not usually inclined to read books that start off with the assumption I need help re-centering my own life (I'm too arrogant, apparently), I actually didn't get the "holier than thou" impression from this book that those kinds of books can give off. Instead, I found a fairly simple, and yet profound guide to pondering the figures in a typical nativity set. I enjoyed the brief personal stories and the songs and scriptures the author compiled ...more
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to review this book with the holiday season upon us. Even more so, to take the time to reflect on and read a lovely book centered on Christ and Christmas. I really appreciated the author's introduction and what inspired her to write this book. I loved how each chapter started with a verse of scripture, and ended with a summary of each tradition with suggestions how to incorporate it in your life. As well as a sweet paragraph describing the tradition. The author's heart-felt stories ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My bestest friend gave us this book for Christmas last year and I finally got around to reading it. I don't know if I'm just extra weepy this year but the thoughts in this book really touched my heart and I cried through almost the whole thing, especially the section about Mary. I'm hoping to implement at least a few of the ideas this year and try to change our focus to the real reason for the season; our Savior Jesus Christ.
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are definitely doing all of this as a family for Christmas this year. If you've been searching for a simple way to make Christmas more meanigful, pick up this slim little gem.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
Some absolutley fabulous ideas that I am going to employ in my Christmas celebrating from here on out.
We love this book. There are some beautiful tradition ideas to keep your focus on the Savior throughout the Christmas season and I like them all. I also like the idea of beginning to decorate for Christmas on November 1st. I may do that next year. :)
I have the book and nativity set. This year, we “delivered” each piece of the nativity secretly to our children throughout December and would read the chapter associated with the piece when it “arrived.” It has been a fun, simple way to help our chil
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a book about studying one figure from the nativity a week or a month through the Christmas season and building traditions to focus on the reason for the season. It's good. You can use it as an open, read, do, lesson book.

I expected to like this book more than I did. I don't know if it's because I was listening instead of reading it. I'm reading her Christ centered home one and really like it. I just felt like there weren't as many nuggets in this one. And I felt like I could take the idea a
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this because one of my counselors at church chose a condensed version of this for the Christmas lesson for the young women this year. A quick, simple read. It really was thought provoking. I find myself evaluating what we do during the Christmas season and if there's too much Santa and not enough Christ. I love that the author doesn't try to get rid of Santa completely, he's still an important, fun part of it! But it's really not his holiday.
I loved this book. I look forward to implementi
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I love the sweet and simple ideas presented for adding meaning to family Christmas traditions. I shared many with my husband and hope to include some in future years. The explanation of the roles of each figure in the nativity will stay with me and help me remember their importance in the birth of our Savior.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the ideas presented in this little book! I would highly recommend it as a starting point for new families just beginning to establish their own traditions.
There are great ideas in this book. I wish I had a family to do the activities with.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great ideas
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful reminders of how Christmas should be celebrated.
Heidi Tucker
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short quick read which inspired me to change my focus at Christmas. Love this!
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am excited to put into action a lot of the ideas Freeman suggested. I am grateful when people share their ideas and talents with others.
Jan Ostler
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I enjoyed the ideas in this book, and look forward to using them as my children grow a little older!
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily Belle Freeman is my "go-to" when I need a book that will draw me closer to Christ.

And this book does just that!

I LOVE her starting story....

She was in her car with her little daughter listening to Christmas songs when her little girl said:

"Mom, I believe in Santa Claus and you believe in Jesus Christ."

Right then Emily decided that they were going to spend the season teaching about Jesus Christ as much as they taught about Santa Claus.

ANOTHER THING I LOVE ABOUT EMILY...she takes where you a
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I knew from the first page of the introduction that this would be a book with a great message. Emily Belle Freeman relates an experience with her daughter. Her daughter said that she believed in Santa Clause, while Emily believed in Jesus.

This is a small book that focuses on seven characters in the nativity. Using the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke, the figures in the nativity are described and the significance they have in the Christmas Story. You can tell that Emily Freeman has given
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book came right on time for me this year. So often in the hustle and bustle to buy presents and prepare for family gatherings I feel I lose the Christmas Spirit. More important than long wish lists and Santa Claus is the true meaning behind the holiday.

A Christ Centered Christmas takes each nativity piece and centers a story and activity around that figure. The chapters are small but thought provoking. Also included are recipes for yummy Holiday trea
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds, christmas
I started this book a little too close to Christmas to be able to really do the seven different traditions. Each of them has a devotional I was planning to do with the family, but some of them also include an activity to do for a full week--like secret acts of service, watching for tender mercies for a week, etc. So I think I'll put this away for next year and make sure to start seven weeks before Christmas next time. Or you could easily skip the longer activities and just do the song and script ...more
Terri Ray
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book and sharing it with my family. I had intended on reading it with my family this Christmas, but things got so busy that we read the first bit together, and then I finally wound up summarizing the rest to share where my thoughts were going as far as Christmas presents/traditions I wanted to share this year. Next year I am hoping we can read it the whole way through as a family. I have been not enjoying some of what I felt was too much commercialism at Christmas t ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick read whose sentiment is exactly what I've been wanting. I adore nativity sets! Some of Freeman's thoughts are precisely what I've been thinking, and she turned them into an easily readable book that's translatable into concrete traditions.
My VT'ers (Cheryl and Myrna thank you!!!) turned this book into a treasure chest of gifts which have been being thoroughly enjoyed by our all of our children. Each day they can't wait to have our "Treasure Box" scripture study/discussion/activity/de
Caroline Heeb Hicks
I've only read 20+ pages and think this book is such a great idea! It shares how to discuss Christ more during Christmas using the individual characters in the nativity as the main topic of discussion. It recommends setting aside 7 days for the 7 characters in the nativity and then following each of those characters examples and reflecting on Christ the way they did. Such a great idea! I'm totally doing this in my family next year. :)

I just finished the book and the ideas really apply to an olde
Tina Peterson
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Christ-Centered Christmas is a welcome book designed to teach your family (mom & dad too) about what Christmas is really about. Emily Belle Freeman carefully introduces a new way to lead your family to Christ. She began this tradition with her own family by introducing a new character from her Nativity each week and then she would teach her children about the true meaning of Christmas through carefully prepared activities. You have the choice of doing the traditions in the order you prefer ...more
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Emily Freeman and Simon Dewey collaborated on the bestselling book The Ten Virgins. For nearly 20 years, Emily has addressed groups of women as a writer, songwrite, and motivational speaker. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a strong desire to find their application in modern-day life. Emily and her husband, Greg, are the parents of four children and live in Lehi, Utah. Simon Dewey studie ...more