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Real Life Moment: Season 1, Episode 3

My Christmas to-do list.  Get the tree, shop for presents, cook the food, organize the family get together, wrap the presents, clean the house, find enough seats for everyone, clean up afterward, collapse on the couch.  Notice anything missing?  Jesus?  It’s so easy for all of us to get so focused on all the things to do for Christmas that we forget the Christ that it’s really all about.  The staff at Real Life is no different.  But we have learned some things over the years that we use to keep Christ in Christmas.  Take 1-2 of these ideas and incorporate them into your Christmas this season! 

Mike Davis (Senior Pastor): One of the things we’ve done was actually started by Bari’s family before our kids were even born but we’ve continued, is just reading the Christmas accounts before opening presents. When the kids were small and learning to read, they would read it for everyone to hear. I always thought that was a really cool way to focus on what Christmas is really all about. I have no doubt that will continue that moving forward. 

The Grice Family

Nick Grice (Engage Ministry Director): We have put out the Fisher-Price Little People nativity set every year since our boys were little. We have also helped a family in need each year to supply gifts for them

Lisa Rhoney (Preschool Ministry Director): When we celebrate Christmas with the Rhoneys we too read the Christmas story. Granny always selects who is gets to be the reader. As the grandkids were getting bigger, it was an honor to be chosen as the reader. I love that she often will have old Sunday school pictures that she would show as the story was being read.  Also, a Christmas we will as a family purchase an item out of the Samaritan’s Purse gift guide. We have given seeds for farmers and different animals to families over the years. 

Clint Rhoney (Executive Pastor): My Mom and Dad have always been very gracious in not insisting that we have to “do Christmas” on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. We would find a day usually in December, sometimes in January to get together and do Christmas as an extended family. They showed us that getting together was more important than the when of getting together. While traditions are important, people are more important.  

The other thing my Dad did is when we’d gather as the extended family we would read the Christmas story but following that he’d share a little bit about the importance of having Christ in his life and the difference it had made. With extended family some in the room were not Christians, some were churchgoers but not necessarily Jesus followers so my Dad redeemed the time and made sure his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids knew how important Jesus was to their life. 

The Gordon Family

Phyllis Gordon (Childrens Ministry Director): Our family watches The Nativity Christmas movie together.  A fun thing we do together is make gingerbread houses and see each other’s creativity in the finished product.

Wendy McSwain (Communications Director): When my kids were little we’d make the cake Wonder Way provided for Jesus’ birthday and sing. As they’ve gotten older, we try to watch things like the Bible Project or other interesting stories that remind them on the story, but also hold their interest.

Jesus and his birth are still the most important part of Christmas. And celebrating and sharing that story with our families is as timely as ever. For more information about Real Life Church, go to and look at our family ministry pages and service times for December.