Christmas is such an exciting time of year! It is especially exciting for children. Although many families have fun looking forward to Santa rewarding good little children on December 25, it is a wonderful thing to teach our children the real meaning of Christmas.
Here are several kid-friendly ideas for a Christ-centered Christmas.
1. Advent Calendars
Children love routines and building anticipation. Advent calendars blend these two loves while also building an awareness for the reason for Christmas.
There are many kid-friendly advent calendars available for the Christmas season. Here are just a few I’ve found on Amazon.
- Caspari Christmas Flat Advent Calendar, Three Wise men. This flat calendar has little doors that open in the starry night sky and all around the wise men as they travel to Bethlehem.
- Nativity Chocolate Advent Calendar. Chocolate and a scripture verse are hidden behind doors surrounding the stable scene.
- Journey to the Manger Advent Calendar. This calendar comes with puzzles, a poster, stickers, and a parent guide for the season.
- O Christmas Tree Treasure Box. This advent calendar can be filled with little Christmas treats and treasures each day until Christmas. Perhaps the final treasure can be a tiny baby Jesus that your child discovers on Christmas day.
Decorating with nativities is a wonderful way to keep the true meaning of Christmas before your children. You can keep the beautiful nativity up high and away from little hands while also letting the children enjoy playing with a kid-friendly nativity.
3. Bedtime Stories
Make a tradition of reading Christ-focused Christmas books before bed. Here are a few suggestions.
- One Wintry Night by Ruth Graham Bell
- Itsy Bitsy Christmas You're Never Too Little for His Love by Max Lucado
- The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
- Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck
- God Gave Us Christmas by Bergren
- O Holy Night by Tietz
- The Legend of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Christmas by MacKall
- The Berenstain Bears Get Ready for Christmas by Berenstain
You can find a great selection of Christmas books at Christianbook.com, too.
4. Jesus Birthday
Make birthday cupcakes or a small cake for dessert on Christmas day. Light the candles and sing happy birthday!
Is there a birthday tradition in your home? Use that in your Christmas celebration.
We used a “Your Special” plate for the birthday boy or girl. On Christmas morning, there was one extra plate on the table . . . our special birthday plate. The children had to figure out who was having a special birthday.
5. Christmas Movie
Many families have some special Christmas movies that they watch each year. Add a story that focuses on the birth of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas to your watch list this year!
- The Promise: the Birth of the Messiah (animated musical telling the Christmas story)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
6. Where’s the Baby?
We had neighbors that had an outdoor nativity crib on their front porch. The children kept an eye on that empty crib all December. On Christmas morning the children would run out to the front porch and find a baby Jesus (doll) swaddled in the crib.
Maybe you have an indoor nativity that baby Jesus is removable from the crib. Christmas morning you can have a “Where’s Baby Jesus” hunt. While the children are looking, place him in the crib.
7. Serve Others
Christmas celebrates God’s good gift to mankind in sending Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. We can give to others, too.
Here are some ideas to teach your preschooler to give back.
- Visit a nursing home, a rehab facility, or an elderly neighbor and sing Christmas carols. Even a picture colored by your child would be a special delight.
- Have a container that you drop loose change in all year long. Let your preschooler put the coins in the container. Explain that at Christmas you will buy a present for someone who will not get a present. Let them help you buy it, wrap it, and deliver it.
- Make homemade (or purchased) goodies and take them to your neighbors.
8. Read the Real Story
Read Luke 2:8-20 from the Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, you can download a free Bible app on your smart phone and read it from there! Your children may even enjoy acting out the story of the birth of Jesus as Christmas draws near.
Pick one or maybe two of the ideas to begin incorporating this year! Merry Christmas!
Non-product images from unsplash.com.