What do you want for Christmas? What is Santa bringing you? What am I getting? These are all questions young children are asked by others or they are asking themselves. Christmas is a wonderful time and it is good to give and receive gifts. (Look at the wonderful Gift God gave us.)
How do we keep our focus on Christ and not only the celebration of His birth, but of His entire Story. How do we lead our children to find more joy in giving than in receiving? As parents, I encourage you to seek out ways that are age appropriate to keep Christ in Christmas, to celebrate Him as His redeemed ones, and to teach your children in the process.
Here are a few suggestions, some of which we did with our children. God will give you other ideas.
1. Celebrate Advent with devotions and a simple wreath with candles. We or the kids read Scriptures prophesying the coming of Christ and culminating in the birth of Christ. There are advent books that you may use so see what fits your family. (Blowing out the candles was a fun part.)
2. Encourage giving within your family. At the first of December we would all draw names. Each person would plan to make or buy a gift for that person, but he also had to perform secret acts of kindness for that person throughout December. The reveal was on Christmas Day of who had been so kind to you during the month.
3. Find a child or a family to adopt for Christmas and let your child pick out gifts to give them. They could possibly receive fewer gifts themselves so these without could receive something for Christmas.
4. Bake cookies and take to an elderly neighbor or to one in the nursing home.
5. Wrap presents containing words that express the gifts Jesus gives us; like SALVATION, PEACE, MERCY, LOVE, GRACE, and STRENGTH. As you open these gifts discuss these words and open the last gift on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This gift would be JESUS, the greatest gift ever.
These are just a few suggestions. There can be many others. Just remember to encourage your children to focus on the Christ of Christmas and giving rather than just receiving. God will show you and God will bless……