In the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping gifts, sending cards and attending special events, it is easy for families to miss the entire point of Christmas – Christ himself. It’s especially important to focus on keeping Christ in Christmas with children. Here are several simple ways to focus on Christ.
Nativity and Advent Wreath
Make or purchase an advent wreath to use each week before Christmas. Light the candles and use readings from a book to celebrate each day.
Display a crèche or nativity set in your living room or another room where your family gathers each day. Each week as you celebrate using the advent wreath, make connections between the advent readings and the nativity display.
Purchase coloring or activity books that focus on Christ and the nativity. Set up a special area or put everything in a Christmas basket with new crayons or colored pencils.
Research the location of a living nativity in your area and attend one evening.
Select a puzzle that pictures the nativity. Set up the puzzle and work on it throughout the season, taking the time to ponder and discuss the puzzle subject while working on it.
Write a thank you note to someone who displays a nativity scene in their front yard. Leave it on their doorstep along with a small gift to show your appreciation for their witness and sharing of the Christmas story.
Christmas Music and Worship
Attend a performance of Handel’s Messiah. The week before the performance, read the Scripture passages used by Handel and consider their meaning and significance in order to prepare for the performance. If you are unable to attend a performance, purchase a high-quality performance on CD and listen to it throughout the season. This one is my favorite performance of Messiah.
Go caroling and make a point of singing Christmas carols that clearly share the significance of Christmas. Give out small plates of star-shaped cookies and attach a little card about the significance of the Star of Bethlehem and Jesus.
Sing a different Christmas carol each evening after supper. After singing, discuss the meaning of the carol and then sing it again.
Attend a Christmas Eve service. Consider attending a service at a church other than your own so you can focus solely on Christ instead of all of the regular “church” stuff.
Christmas Cards and Letters
Make it a priority to send out Christmas cards that point people to Christ. Whether it is through the design or the wording, send out cards that focus on Christ and the meaning of Christmas as opposed to Santa or other secondary matters.
Enclose a Christmas letter with your card and make a point of sharing what Christ is doing in the life of your family. The letter can be brief, but this is the one time of the year it is especially natural to share what Christ is doing in your life with all of the people who are important to you. Ask your children what they would like to include in the letter.
Place all of the Christmas cards you receive in a pretty box or basket. Each day, take a card out of the box, read it, and pray specifically for the person who sent it. Consider going through the cards again and again, specifically praying for the sender all year.
Merry Christmas to you as you focus on keeping Christ in Christmas with your children!