Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson


Total Christmas Makeover by Melissa Spoelstra


Seeing the words “Christmas” and “makeover” combined may make you uneasy at this busy season. You’ll find, though, that author Melissa Spoelstra’s goal for Total Christmas Makeover is to help you find ways to keep your focus on Jesus without discarding all of your traditions and starting new ones. As she asks, “Have you invited Jesus to His party?”


Spolestra bases her ideas on the Old Testament and the ways God chose to have His people remember Him and what He did for them. Looking at these, she suggests three points—ritual, relationships, and rest—we can use to be sure Jesus is at the center of our Christmas celebrations.


She splits the 31 reflections in Total Christmas Makeover into three sections, one for each point, beginning with ritual. This doesn’t mean a stiff, formal response, merely something different from your normal routine with a focus on what God has done. You can use an Advent wreath, a Jesse Tree, or create your own.


The relationships portion brings several ideas together. All involve being with others. Some may focus on fixing special foods and sharing meals. Time spent together in worship is another part, while the final piece involves explaining traditions and their importance to children.


Including rest may sound impossible, but setting regular work aside to have time for reflection is important, too. While putting these points into practice, don’t forget the fun. This is a party. Just be sure you’re keeping your attention on the Guest of Honor.