I can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner. I mean, Halloween is done and Thanksgiving is almost here. And Christmas always seems to follow way too quickly on the heals of Turkey Day. I don’t know where the year goes, but here we are again. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking about ways to focus your kids on the meaning of Christmas.
With all of the hustle and bustle. Santa. His reindeer. Christmas decorations. Gift buying. Parties. Cookie baking. TV Specials. Christmas pictures and cards. It sometimes feels hard for me to focus on the reason for the season. And if it’s hard for me, I know it’s hard for my kids.
That’s why I want to be intentional about making sure our Christmas season centers around the best gift we have ever gotten – the birth of Jesus. So I created a list of things I can do to help my family center our attention on Him.
Whether you try one or all eight of these ideas, I hope that it helps your family keep Jesus closer to your hearts this Christmas.
8 Ways to Focus Kids on the Meaning of Christmas:
1. An Advent Calendar
My oldest is just at the age this year when we will start doing this with her and I can’t wait! The season of Advent is a special time when we are awaiting the celebration of Jesus’ birth. What better way to countdown to His arrival than with a daily bible verse and a small treat.
If you have the craft gene, I love the idea of making an advent calendar with your kids. Check out this fun list of ideas if you want to go the DIY route.
2. Read The Bible With Them
Yes, you’ll probably read a verse every day with your Advent calendar. But what better way to keep Jesus top of mind than to read the bible story of His birth. Try reading a bit every night for several nights leading up to Christmas. Listening to the Christmas Story was one of my favorite things when I was young. Let your kids ask questions or talk about whatever they find interesting.
3. Get Involved at Church
More than just attending Sundays and Christmas Eve service, this is about getting involved in activities your church is doing this time of year (and all year long). Do your kids like to sing? Have them sing in the children’s choir or perform in a service at church. Of course, attending a Christmas Eve service is still a must. That was a huge tradition when I was growing up and I have so many fond memories.
A lot of churches also have special events leading up the Christmas Day. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to make Christmas ornaments or an outing to go caroling. God has called us to be in fellowship with other Christians and at Christmas time it’s just a little sweeter.
4. Sing Songs About Jesus
Speaking of caroling…
We are a singing family. And we love Christmas carols. What better way to celebrate Jesus than a lifting up your voice in song? We sing in the car, at home, before bedtime, while we’re cleaning, while we’re cooking, on walks…you name it. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can take your voice anywhere. And not for nothing, I challenge you when your kids are grouchy, start singing. You can change an attitude with music.
Can’t sing? Turn on Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music or a local Christian radio station probably playing Christmas music 24/7. I’m not sure anything will get you more energized about the birth of Jesus than music.
5. Set Up a Nativity With Your Kids
Whether your nativity is an outdoor lighted one, under the tree or on a shelf. Put it together with your kids. Let them look at it and hold it and talk to them about the birth of Jesus and while you are putting it up. Even better, place the nativity in the busiest part of your house. It will be a constant reminder to your kids and the whole family every day to focus on Jesus.
6. Pray With Your Kids
Praying with your kids is so important all year long. But at Christmas it’s especially nice to reinforce praise to God for the birth of His son in your prayers. Children learn by example and if your heart is overflowing with gratefulness, what better way to show it than praising God with your words as well as your heart!
7. Operation Christmas Child
So many churches and organizations across the country are involved in making Operation Christmas Child a success. The program delivers toys, supplies and the message of God’s love to more than 100 countries each year. Click here for more information on Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child and find out how you can be a part of this program.
But this effort is a great way to get your kids involved. Go shopping with your kids and have them help pick out items for your shoe box or create homemade cards to put in the box.
8. Find Ways For Your Kids To Give To Others
Jesus became man to save us. While he was here he surrounded himself with those who were in need and taught us to care for orphans, widows and the less fortunate. He embodied generosity. What better way to celebrate His birth and life than with finding ways to give to others.
Opportunities to do just that don’t stop at your Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Find charities in your neighborhood where you and your kids can volunteer, have your children donate some of their gently used toys or bake cookies and take them to an elderly neighbor. Whatever it is, it’s never too early (or late) to instill a generous spirit of giving in your kids.
How do you focus your kids on the meaning of Christmas? Share more ideas with other moms in the comment below!