The year 2020 has been filled with challenges for most of us. As we approach the holiday season many are filled with expectancy and caution.

While the holidays may look different for many, the reason we celebrate, and our love for family and friends do not have to. As believers in Christ, the focus of the holiday season is celebrating the birth and life of Jesus Christ. With faith-filled hearts, we celebrate His birth with our families, friends, and the community of faith.

The challenges of 2020 do not have to diminish the sacred beauty of the Christmas season. We can find ways to celebrate safely and make memories with our families and friends. I still remember the first Christmas season of the Bridges show. We lined up guests to share their holiday traditions and family memories.

Didn’t Remember Last Year’s Gifts

When a family of ten shared their commitment to stick to their budget and make holiday memories rather than go into debt it made perfect sense. They highlighted their point by asking this question: how many of you remember the presents you received last Christmas? I paused. I didn’t remember. I tested their premise by asking my co-workers and a few family members. Most people (even children) didn’t remember last year’s Christmas gifts.

That moment on the Bridges set changed the way I thought about Christmas gifts. From that moment forward I focused more on making memories during the holiday season. This is one of many secrets I learned in the studio.

Make Christmas a Sacred Holiday

Perhaps that focus would benefit us in this challenging year of 2020. It may be that some gatherings will need to be smaller, or travel prohibited, but what can we do to celebrate our faith and make memories with those we hold so dear? Just as the family of ten made the intentional decision to stick with a budget and focus on making memories, what can we do to make this Christmas a sacred holiday?

While this holiday season may be riddled with challenges we can choose to focus on the sacred. We have our faith – our families – our friends – and our community of faith. We can choose to celebrate our faith and make moments with our family and friends the highlight of our holiday season.

There are many Secrets from the Studio over the last 25 years but focusing on faith and family during the holiday season is one of my very favorites.

Monica Schmelter is the General Manager of WHTN, Christian Television Network, and host of the daily television show Bridges. When people ask her why she smiles and nods so much while she’s interviewing guests she replies, “Oh that’s simple I am trying to think of what to say next”. You can watch Bridges on-demand at

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