Christmas is an easy time to focus on the secular. We are surrounded by twinkling lights, beautifully wrapped presents, elaborate decorations, and plenty of secular things. There are images of Santa Claus, elves, and fantastical tales. In the midst of what has become secular, the truth remains. We celebrate Christmas becauase God the Son was born as a baby on Earth.
As Christian parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children why we celebrate Christmas. This season is called Advent. Advent means “Coming.” It is a time of anticipation. We anticipate the arrival of Jesus. Although the stores begin to decorate much earlier, Christians begin to celebrate Advent on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Christmas is all about the birth of Christ! During the season of Advent, take time to do some of the following activities with your children:
- Attend church throughout the Advent season. Advent is the time when we anticipate the coming of Christ. Don’t get too busy to refocus on the “reason for the season” on Sunday mornings.
- Make nativity scenes a prominent part of your Christmas décor.
- Use an Advent Wreath at home to celebrate the season. Go to a local Christian bookstore, order online, or make your own.
- Read the Christmas story in Matthew.
- Read the Christmas story in Luke.
- Talk about similarities and differences between the birth narratives.
- Play with nativity scenes, acting out the birth narratives found at the beginning of Matthew and Luke.
- Sing Christmas carols together. Be sure to sing ones that focus on Jesus’ birth like “Away in a Manger,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “O Holy Night.”
- Ask your children frequently why we celebrate Christmas. If talk of gifts and fun arise, acknowledge the joy that they bring but redirect your child to the birth of Christ.
- Help your children make Christmas cards celebrating Jesus’ birth. Attach the cards to Christmas gifts.
- Bake a birthday cake for Jesus and sing “Happy Birthday!” on Christmas morning.
- Wrap up a baby doll to be opened on Christmas morning. When opened, let your children know that God the Father gave us the gift of Jesus, His son. Remind your children that this is why we celebrate Christmas.
My prayer for your family this Christmas is that your children can explain exactly why we celebrate Christmas, that they tell others, and that this joyous celebration is the best yet because you deliberatly focused on the birth of Jesus.