Last year at this time, I was knee-deep in holiday lesson plans, 2nd-grade Christmas party planning, and writing/directing a production about the birth and life of Jesus. I’m a world away from all of that now, but with five additions to our household this year, finding ways to make Christmas special is important in a whole new way!
The busyness that surrounds this season can leave you looking back from December 26th, wondering where all the time and opportunities to pour into your children went. But I wanted to highlight the joy of Christmas, not dampen it with more time-fillers that unnecessarily become a financial burden.
I wrote about some of the things we are doing this year a few days ago in: 5 Simple Christmas Activities that Point Kids to Jesus. Here are four more easy and low-cost ways to help kids focus on Jesus this Christmas:
6) Add the Christmas Story to your countdown calendar.
As a little girl, I always looked forward to taking my daily candy cane from the calendar my mom made to help our family count down to Christmas Day. This year, I decided to make the story of Jesus’ birth part of our countdown. I divided the Biblical account into easy-to-digest sections that can be read each night of the week before Christmas Day. Then, I printed the scriptures out and rolled each section into a “scroll” that fit nicely into the pockets of the countdown calendar. Now, one of the girls can unroll part of the Christmas story during evening devotionals each night. Get my Christmas Story Countdown here:
This may sound obvious, but I hadn’t realized the lack of music playing in our house until one of the girls mentioned not feeling the “Christmas spirit.” Now, we pick a Christmas station on the radio, create one on Pandora, or make our own music, singing “Joy to the World” while getting ready for school in the morning and “What Child is This?” at bedtime.
8) Play Christmas Charades or Pictionary.
For some Jesus-centered family fun, fill a bowl full of phrases like:
- Star of Bethlehem
- No room in the inn
- Swaddling clothes (try acting THAT out!)
- Frankincense, gold, and myrrh (or drawing THAT!)
- Silent Night
Form teams to play charades or pictionary. Drawing and acting will make your kids active participants in honoring the Christmas Story, rather than just an audience to it. If you’re brave, you could get out some play dough and sculpt (instead of drawing) or play “name that tune” with favorite carols.
9) Look for a way to serve others.
Make homemade ornaments for a nursing home, blankets for the homeless, or cookies for your local law enforcement officers. The list of ways to be a blessing to others is endless, but the experience may more meaningful if you brainstorm your own ideas as a family. Whatever you choose, your kids are bound to discover how much joy can be found in giving to others.
You just read the 6th post in a series called 7 Days of Focus on Jesus. May all of our hearts be turned toward Him this Christmas. If you missed a post, you can find it below:
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