Today's tip sounds like a no-brainer – Read what's there. But whether we realize it or not, we bring a lot of history and preconceived ideas with us.
Let me give you some seasonal examples – From just the information we have in the accounts in Luke – We don't KNOW that Jesus was born in a stable. We only know Mary laid him in a manger afterwards. Granted, mangers were usually found in stables.
But keeping assumptions separate from from what we actually read is critical.
There's also no mention of an innkeeper and no donkey to ride into town on. And although I love the carol, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", they didn't. They just spoke.
Popular culture, tradition, personal experience and favorite teachers or preachers all contribute to what we think we know about Scripture.
Take care to let God, through the Holy Spirit, be your primary teacher and focus on what the Word itself says.