Every year, as store aisles overflow with glittering ornaments and fragrant pine garlands, I prayerfully ask God, “How can I give Jesus to my family this Christmas?” Last year, I felt challenged to be more intentional about celebrating each of my family members—regardless of where they were spiritually—just as intentionally as I share my faith.
I’ve always felt the urgency to share my faith with the lost of the world, but if I’m honest, I haven’t been as intentional about growing my connection with my family because I’m worried about where they are spiritually. Sometimes, my healthy spiritual concern for them twists into panic when their relationships with Jesus appear unchanged. When all I want is the reassurance that my loved ones know Christ, connecting without sharing the gospel seems a little unproductive. But is that how Jesus engaged with unbelievers?
Jesus Met People Where They Were At
The Gospels show Jesus entering into connection with the lost people around him. Jesus celebrated at weddings and reclined at dinners with those who would believe and those who would not (John 2:1–2; Matt. 9:10). Jesus made time for people and esteemed them just as they were because faith would only come through a relationship with him.
Isn’t it amazing that Jesus, God in the flesh, took the time to see, know, and love people without expecting their faith in return? That truth inspired me to do something special for my family last year. Let me explain.
My mother believes that everyone has "sprinkles." If each of us are proverbial ice cream cones, everyone has something special about them, something extra God gives them that makes them less vanilla. So last year, I made an effort to celebrate each family member by hosting the inaugural Sprinkle Family Awards Ceremony.
Craft Your Family Awards Ceremony
Try this fun, creative way to let your loved ones know that, like Jesus, you see, know, and love them. Your family’s award ceremony can incorporate your own sayings and memories and be as simple or elaborate as you desire.
1. Name Your Family Awards Ceremony
The Sprinkle Family Awards Ceremony worked for us, but is there a different way your family talks about people’s unique qualities? Ask a few family members to help you come up with a name. Try to partner with loved ones who share your desire to celebrate one another. (Feel free to share this article if you’re unsure how to explain your plans!)
2. Create Your Family Awards
Each family member received an award that we called a Sprinkle. My mother was given the Happiness Pioneer Sprinkle Award. We wanted to recognize her for all her bravery in gaining certification to work in a new state and uprooting from her home last year after a challenging season. Be sure to keep your award names positive and inspirational. If possible, create physical awards to hand them. I made ours with clear resin and molds, but you could use something simple like plastic trophies from your local dollar store or paper certificates.
3. Invite Your Family Awards Attendees
Choose to host your ceremony along with your extended family or with your nuclear family alone. Or maybe you want to share the joy with your church small group or neighborhood community.
4. Follow a Basic Program Outline
I acted as the master of ceremony. To begin, I gave a simple welcome and then moved into acknowledging each awardee. For each Sprinkle, another family member and I explained the concept behind the award. Then we announced the recipient and invited them to our “stage” (the center of the living room). Next, we serenaded the awardee with a song (made up on the spot) and then gave the awardee up to five minutes to make their impromptu acceptance speech. I closed with a simple prayer for God’s presence and blessing to be with our family in the coming year.
The Joy of Hosting Your Family Awards Ceremony
Our first annual Sprinkle Family Awards Ceremony was a smashing hit. Experiencing the laughter, tears, and heartfelt acceptance speeches of my loved ones was such a reward in and of itself. Since I surprised them with the entire affair, they didn’t have the opportunity to create an award for me in advance. So they asked me to leave the room for a few minutes, and when I came back, they presented me with the Tinkerbell Sprinkle Award to recognize me for the magic and love I added to our gathering. What a blessing it was to be seen, known, and loved by them in return.
Whether you have many believers or few in your family, everyone can get behind the idea of recognizing each other for the challenges they overcame and the new strides they made. Most importantly, you will be loving your family like Jesus, demonstrating in a fun, engaging way that you value them right where they are. This will help remove relational barriers and pave the way for great—even potentially gospel-centered—conversations moving forward.
Meet the Author
Titania Paige is a child of God, Gerald's wife, and mama to her baby girl, Gabrielle. She owns a kingdom-first design studio over at MadeforThisDesign.com, where she specializes in making faith-led visionaries shine online. She loves watching her husband play Skyrim and learning Japanese with her daughter.