How to help your kids grasp the real meaning of Christmas
Christmas is coming! The tinsel is up, we can smell pine needles in the air and the children in our lives are thrilled! With the visits and letters to Santa, the Elf on the Shelf, the great food and the presents that they know for sure are coming.
In Australia, we know how to get excited about Christmas. We have our kids colouring in pictures of reindeer and Santa, fairy lights everywhere, multiple feasts and Christmas parties. Adults look forward to the holidays, to having a few days off without taking any annual and kids look forward to the presents.
If you ask a person of the ages of two until sixteen what they are most excited about they will give you different answers. “Santa”, “Christmas Day”, “Stockings” but they all lead up to one thing - the gifts they expect to get.
As Christians, we live in a tension when it comes to Christmas. Because there is a beautiful, undeniable magic about the excitement of our children. But we can’t settle for their excitement to be centred around presents.
It is not enough for them to have a good time. Even two year olds, especially sixteen year olds: we need to work together to reveal the importance of Jesus for them. It’s probably a good reminder for us as well.
Here are some of our best ways to help your kids enjoy the magic of Christmas in a way that points them to the real reason for the season.
Church is a fantastic place to get involved in and excited for Christmas. We’ve recently been sharing pictures from some of our linked Churches but there have been carols events, scripture assemblies, gingerbread houses, Christmas lunches and more.
Christmas is a fantastic time to get involved with your local church, take advantage of the community focused events and traditions that solely point to Jesus.
It’s not enough to enjoy the events run by external agencies, but instead take on some of your own. Family traditions are one of the most important ways we can help kids grasp the true meaning of Christmas as they are likely to have the most impact, particularly if repeated year after year.
While fairy lights, leaving Santa cookies and milk and the Elf of the Shelf add to the magic of Christmas, it’s important to have a think about the model your family is providing.
Some fantastic family traditions we’ve used with our families include;
- Encouraging kids to be generous to other people in their lives. It could be a gift for other kids, taking part in Christmas toys and tucker or your own activities.
- Tell the bible story to your kids. Read it. Watch videos about it. Ask questions about it. Get them to make craft from it.
- Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas Day
- Decorate with nativity decorations. Reindeer are pretty, but nativity is more meaningful.
- Play Christmas carols that mention Jesus and dance the season away.
- Dress up in Christmas themed clothes - get them to put on a play for you!
- Thank God for giving the best present of all
Of course, another way to celebrate Christmas is to use a countdown! There are heaps of excellent ones around that tell the story of Jesus or point people to the lead to his birth through the bible.
We’ve created one for our Instagram audience which highlights the promises about Jesus in a fun and summer themed way!
There’s still 12 days to Christmas, so now is the time to be pointing your kids to the story of Jesus!