Even before I found out that we were going to have our first baby, I had always a strong desire to teach my children that Christmas is a celebration about Christ. This blog post is not about whether you should incorporate Santa into your holiday or decorate a Christmas tree. It is simply about keeping Christ the center of your holiday. I recently asked some mom-friends how they kept Christ the center. Here are some great responses:
“Christmas morning while eating breakfast, we read the Christmas story from our Bibles. My children and I bake Jesus a “birthday cake” as well.” – JD
“We always watch “The Nativity Story” as a family on Christmas Eve. There are a few parts that might be a tiny bit scary for small kids, such as Herod sending out soldiers to kill all baby boys. We just explained it and hide their eyes if they can’t handle it. It brings my husband and I to tears every year, and makes the Christmas story come alive.” – KR
“Dec 1-25 we read OT prophesy and portions of the Christmas story every night in our devotion time, and the story again on Christmas morning. We try to encourage giving by making gifts for teachers and other special people in our life. We have a “little people” nativity they play with–makes it more alive. Several other nativities they can’t touch and just talk about it… all the time. My mom did that, and I hated it, as a kid. but I am eternally thankful for that influence on my young mind now.” – TP
“We use the whole Christmas time to teach lessons from the Bible. i.e. The gifts they get– some are what they ask for, some are not and they don’t get everything on their list. This teaches them that the answers to our prayers are yes, no, and wait and we point that out to them. Then, they must be thankful for everything, even stuff they don’t want. If they are unthankful for even one gift the rest of their gifts will all be given to other people by them. And yes, we have done that one year with our daughter. We teach them that God brings all things into our life, good and bad, and things we want and things we don’t want and we need to be thankful early on for each of those things.”- PJ
“We talk about it a lot!! Seems lame, but it’s amazing to me how the kiddos just love to talk if I will listen!!!” – BH
“We’re doing the Christmas Adventure Box this year, and LOVE it! It started on Dec. 1, and we have missed several nights. It goes through the Nativity in detail, and some of the other nights are like going to look at Christmas lights – Jesus came here to be our Light, and we are the light of the world. An object lesson with the candy cane, etc. Just a sweet biblical lesson each night. I’m so happy with it. You can find it by going to. Christmasadventurebox.blogspot.com” – J.B.
A cute idea that was given to me this year by a friend, D.S: Take the Joseph and Mary from your manger scene and hide them around your house (similar to the Elf on a Shelf). The kids can find them each day and you can talk to them about what their journey must have been like. On Christmas Eve morning they should be in the nativity, and on Christmas day add the baby Jesus to your nativity. – S.G.
I hope these comments give you some ideas. We have also been intentional about CHRISTmas. Here are some things that we do…
For us, we try to make Christmas a season of giving.
We have gotten to the point where we can’t walk past the Salvation Army bell-ringers without giving money. He knows that when he gives money it goes to feed other boys and girls. He will even remind me of this fact, so I am always prepared to dig into my purse for money whenever we go shopping. I know he is going to want to give and I never want to dampen that desire.
Also, we have an amount of money budgeted for Christmas presents. He gets to use some of it to buy everyone a gift in his immediate family. We talk about getting presents that the person would like and he has done pretty well so far.
We also make Christmas a relaxing day to celebrate. He doesn’t get to rush downstairs and open presents. We enjoy our breakfast, then we read the Christmas Story, sing happy birthday to Jesus and, finally, open presents.
He is such a giver and I hope and pray that he always has this desire.
One of the families in our church doesn’t do much for Christmas. Everyone gets a few small gifts but they wait until each kid’s birthday and make that a HUGE deal. I love this thinking, because, in truth, this season is all about Jesus. It’s His birthday.