How to Talk about Christmas

5 easy questions to start a conversation about Jesus.

By Greg Stoughton
woman-table-tm.jpg Without seeming nosy, you are likely to learn something of the state of another's personal relationships or views of Christmas. Photo by Tom Mills

Christmas is as much a time to give as it is to receive.

Good questions this holiday can convey genuine care, turn a conversation toward Jesus or possibly lead another to find God's great gift of salvation in Christ.

Here are 5 questions related to the topic of Christmas that you might find of value:

1. With whom will you (or your family) celebrate the holiday this season?

It is a very general question. But it can serve as a good, safe place to start.

By phrasing your question with the word "holiday" as opposed to "Christmas," even one who wouldn't celebrate Christmas can respond. And without seeming nosy, you are likely to learn something of the state of another's personal relationships or glean some quick insight into how the person views Christmas.

Remember that the best questions are always asked in a manner that requires more than a "yes" or "no" response. Give thought to follow-up questions you might ask to help probe their beliefs, attitudes, preferences, emotions or struggles in life.

2. What does Christmas mean to you?

As an alternative to asking, "what is your spiritual background?" – a good conversation starter the rest of the year – this question can similarly provide a rather direct, quick survey of a person's spiritual beliefs.

Be ready for any natural opportunity the question invokes to be able to talk of why, as a Christian, Christmas is such a special time for you.

If any question feels a bit too heavy, try introducing it with the words, "I was just wondering..." Most people are curious about life and can identify with the active wondering of another.

3. What are some traditions of the holiday you especially enjoy? Or, how will you celebrate this season?

Either of these questions can produce a similar result. By tapping into traditional practices, you can likely talk of how Christian musicals, Christmas Eve services, the reading of the Christmas story or any other spiritual aspect of Christmas is important to you.

4. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Why?

You might be surprised. Songs like Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful or Joy to the World have much universal appeal. A discussion around songs can provide a comfortable transition to talking about Christ. Look for opportunities to communicate your faith story.   

5. In what ways has church played a part in your celebration of the season?

This question is certainly more direct. However, even if the answer is "none," you have still opened the door for some added discussion.

You could soften this question by beginning with a more personal statement (e.g. "Our family really looks forward to the Christmas Eve church service. In what ways has church played a part in your celebration of the season?")

Depending on how the other person responds, you might ask, "Really? Church is a part of Christmas for so many people, what is it that has caused you to stay away?" or "Our church is having a special Christmas Eve service or musical – would you to like to be my guest?"

Giving thought in advance to such follow-up questions will increase the likelihood of continuing a conversation and potentially transitioning talk toward Christ.