Every year it seems that the Holidays get more and more commercial, and for the devout, that means it becomes that much more challenging to “keep the Christ in Christmas.”
Here are some great activities parents have done that focus on Jesus, that have helped their families celebrate the birth of our Savior, as well as draw closer together as a family. (most as submitted to Focus on the Family)
Names of Jesus
“We cut out stars from cardstock paper and wrote ‘Jesus is …’ on each one. Then
we wrote words that described Jesus, such as “Savior,” “Emmanuel” and “Prince of Peace.” For our family devotions that night, we talked about the different names of Jesus that we came up with. Creating these stars to decorate our kitchen cabinets was a great way to engage my kids in remembering the character of Jesus.” – Beth S.
Stories of the Season
“One year, my family found books about Christmas in local thrift shops and at garage sales. We searched for books that told the Christmas story from different perspectives and demonstrated the true spirit of the season. We wrapped each book individually, and starting on Dec. , the kids selected one book each night. We unwrapped the book and read it together as a family. This tradition allowed us to wind down each evening with a focus on Christ and the celebration of His birth.” – Louis R.
Find the Baby Jesus
“Find the baby Jesus” is a game that has been used in my husband’s family for more than 30 years. My mother-in-law set up a Nativity scene in the kitchen on Dec. 1. Then she hid baby Jesus far from the kitchen. Her sons had to find the figurine. As Christmas approached, the figurine would be hidden in progressively closer locations — moving from the upstairs bedrooms to the kitchen itself. The hiding spots became more challenging as her boys grew older. This simple game kept Jesus in the forefront of her sons’ minds, and it is a tradition that my family continues today.” – Marybeth M.
Gift of Gospel
“Last year, I asked my immediate and extended family to select a Scripture that meant something to them during the course of the year. On Christmas morning, we all took turns reading our chosen verse or passage and sharing why it was important to us. We found that this was a way to include Jesus in the gift-giving, and it helped everyone grow a little closer to our Savior.” – Janet R.
And finally, the greatest gift we can give each other, and preserve the truest meaning of Christmas is in serving others. We’re called to humbly serve other people — not only the poor and sick, but our families, friends and neighbors, too. You may not have the time or ability to volunteer at your local soup kitchen, or homeless shelter, (which if you can please do!) but everyone has someone around them that is in need. It doesn’t have to be huge, think about getting an extra bag of groceries for your elderly neighbor on a fixed income, or maybe taking or picking up the kids from school for that harried single mom – just reach out to help, and you will find where your help is needed. — Gail S.
What family traditions do you have that help celebrate the true meaning of the Birth of Our Lord? Please reply using the comments below, and Merry Christmas!