Christmas is a holiday that can easily lose its meaning for people. Little ones, especially, can come to believe that the season is all about them – their wants, their desires – when they see their mountain of presents under a well-decorated Christmas tree. (In our case, the mountain is from family and friends.)
As a mother to two wee ones, I wish to veer away from the commercialism of the season and “keep Christ in Christmas.” I want my children to grow up with their eyes and hearts on the real reason of this wonderful celebration.
It starts with the nativity story
Little kids like good stories, and nothing is more beautiful than the story of the birth of Jesus. From the moment the angel Gabriel appears to Mary up to when the Wise Men trudge to where the Holy Infant lays, children find every detail exciting and enthralling.
By letting this wondrous narrative live in our children’s consciousness right from their earliest years, we are already imparting to them that Christmas is about Jesus. This will be our foundation and baseline for deeper discussions in the future as our children grow older.
Some ways to help young children soak in the story
Read Christmas books together
We just started a new family tradition of unwrapping one Christmas book every day from the first of December until Christmas Eve. I collected our books within one year, choosing mostly those that are about the Nativity or the traditions surrounding it. Our favorites so far are those by author Tomie dePaola, who tells such charming stories while effortlessly passing on information about the Catholic faith.
Make your child her own nativity play set
I bought a cardboard Nativity Set, pictured above, from Booksale. My daughter just loved coloring and assembling the Holy Family, shepherds, Three Kings, animals, and the stable. The set now proudly sits on our Jesse Tree table and gets played with all the time.
Here are some links for your child’s own nativity play set which you can do together:
- Making Friends – just print and assemble
- Scrapbook Scrapbook – print, color, and assemble
- Life Your Way – print and assemble; has option to color yourself
Color Advent coloring pages
Being always on the lookout for Christmas-related activities, I found an activity book featuring Bible characters called My Heavenly Helper. It goes so well with the readings for our Jesse Tree.
- Ministry to Children – a free printable set containing one coloring page for each week of Advent
- DLTK – I love this free Christmas Story Advent Coloring Book featuring different scenes in the story
Bring the story of Jesus to life by dramatizing it! You can do your own mini-play complete with costumes and dialogue, or you can use your nativity set to re-enact the holy birth. It’s a fun way to get to know the story intimately and will surely stay in our children’s memories until adulthood.
Staying with the Nativity Story and keeping our focus on it will help our families keep Christ in Christmas. The mountain of presents under our trees may give our children temporary happiness, but the joy they will receive by rooting them in our faith will last a lifetime.
Here are the links to the other blog carnival participants. I hope you’ll take the time to visit them and leave a comment on their posts! 🙂 The list will be updated throughout the day, so please do come back and check on them. God bless us all!
- Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
- The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
- TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
- The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity Story
- Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
- Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Dominique’s Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
- Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
- Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying…
- Lique’s Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
- Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
- Cymplified: Christ -Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
- Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
- Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
- City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
- Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
- Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Celebrating the Golden Days
- Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
- Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
- Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
- Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
- Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
- Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings
- Green Eggs and Moms: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Green Eggs & Moms Style!