With all the holiday cheer, holiday baking, holiday shopping, holiday decorations, and holiday music, it is easy for us and our children to loose the real heart behind why we celebrate Christmas. I love all the typical Holiday stuff – Santa & the reindeer, Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas”, the sparkle of the Christmas tree, and presents under the tree. But with in the midst of all the holiday magic, I strongly believe that our kids have got to know the purpose of why we are celebrating! If we are not intentional about sharing the “why behind the what” of Christmas, our kids can get swept away with Christmas lists and miss that Jesus is at the center of it all.
Here are 5 really practical ways to celebrate Jesus this year at Christmas….
1. Bake a Birthday Cake for Jesus!
Every kid loves a good birthday party! Little kids might not get the whole Jesus in the manager thing, but they understand that a birthday is reason to celebrate! What we have done in the past is sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” at one of the meals of the day – we bake (or buy) a little cake, put a candle in it, and let the kids sing and blow out the candles. This is just one small but very fun way to keep bringing the focus back to Jesus.
2. Read the Christmas Story as a family!
Start a tradition of reading the story of Christmas as a family at some point on Christmas day. For my family we do it first thing Christmas morning before presents are opened. Before the wrapping paper gets shredded and ribbons start flying, we cuddle up as a family and read the story of Christmas from the Bible …. or from a Children’s Bible for us. Remind your children of the greatest gift of all – Jesus. Spend a moment to direct the attention back to Jesus and the “Reason for the season”.
3. Give Back
A mother’s nightmare is having the spirit of Christmas development greediness and self-focused children. We need to remind our kids that “God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son”. A good remedy to overt the self-focus of our kids this year is to have them join us and be a part of giving back. Here are some great organizations that do great outreaches during the Christmas season: Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, or local or church-based outreaches.
4. Make Your Nativity Set a Focal Point
It might seem like a really simple thing, but keeping one or two nativity sets as a focal point of our Christmas decor is a constant reminder to our children that Christmas is about Jesus. There is nothing wrong with the Santas, the snowmen, gingerbread houses, and Christmas trees, but if that decor is all our children see and baby Jesus in the manager is on display in low traffic areas…. our kids will subconsciously assume that Christmas is not about Jesus.
5. Talk with Your Kids about the “Reason for the Season”
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, make sure to have age-appropriate heart-felt conversations about why we celebrate Christmas. Explain your heart and your gratitude for Jesus and ask you children to share what Christmas and Jesus being born means to them.
What about you? Are there any Christmas traditions that your family does to keep Christ in Christmas? Share your ideas by commenting below!