Monday, December 17, 2018

ideas for a God-centered Christmas with kids πŸŽ„

With the world quickly transforming into a magical Christmas wonderland right before your child’s eyes, it can become easy for them to lose sight of the reason for the season. The bright lights, ornate trees, and festive gatherings with loved ones bring about a great deal of excitement, often distracting from the reason for the holiday we so eagerly count down to. The holiday season is not only the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also to pay our appreciation to God for sacrificing his only son so we may have the many blessings that surround us. Christmas is the perfect time to remind our kids that God is the giver of every good gift and blessing in our life! Help your child reconnect with God this season by incorporating Him into their holiday routine!

Here are some intentional ways you and your children can have a God-centered Christmas:

// Wake up and show gratitude 
Although we should find time to be grateful for God’s guidance throughout the entire year, the holiday season is the perfect time to further emphasize this and condition it into your child’s morning routine. When you wake up, immediately go to your child’s room for morning prayers. Whether you’re laying in bed together or kneeling beside it, this is a great way to bond with God and one another while showing Him recognition of all that he gives you.

Be intentional about teaching your child why this is an important part of their routine, explaining the importance of not exclusively asking God for help when we need it but also showing consistent gratitude even when we don’t. Make it a family affair by waiting until everyone has woken up for breakfast so you can do a group morning prayer.

// Read and reflect on holiday scripture This season is a significant part of scripture, and therefore it’s important for your child to interact with these holiday verses and incorporate them into their lives beyond the Bible. Dedicate one or two verses to each week leading up to the new year. Challenge your child to not only memorize each verse by the end of the week, but also be able to summarize its meaning and significance in their own life. 

Holiday scripture is a perfect way to bring your entire family together once or twice a week to reconnect with God’s word. Each member can share their relationship with the selected passage, learn and grown from one another’s interpretation, and become mindful of God’s presence this holiday.

// Teach about the Nativity The Nativity story is without a doubt one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday season. After all, it is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Although there are many additional reasons for loving this time of year, remind your children of the holiday’s origins. There are tons of resources available for teaching them about the Nativity, from storybooks to educational shows- in fact, there are so many Christian movies your family can watch together that will engage your children in the story of Jesus’s birth.

Teaching them about the Nativity early on in the holiday season will provide valuable insight for those moments when they become too overwhelmed by the material side of Christmas. It will serve as an excellent reminder you can use each day to keep them focused on the true meaning of the season.

// Create a tree of blessings
Now is the time to truly celebrate the season as God would. To behave with grace as He would, it’s important to be mindful of all the blessings in your life so that you may fully appreciate them. Put up a small tree (2-4 feet high) and deem it your family’s blessings tree. Purchase inexpensive and simple ornaments to decorate with, as well as a permanent marker. Each day have your child pick one blessing they are grateful to God for and write it on the ornament. Have them hang it on the tree as recognition of God’s work in our lives. For a quicker and more space conscious version of the blessings tree, mimic it using branches and a vase.

// Being intentional about giving back God is gracious and selfless, and the holidays are the perfect time to focus our energy on following in His footsteps. Help your child be mindful of all the ways, big or small, they can help those around them.

Each day challenge your child to do one act of kindness for a friend, one for a stranger (or a peer they’re not as close with!), and one for someone they love, such as a sibling or cousin. This will get them into the habit of living day in and day out as God would, perhaps even extending their holiday grace well into the new year! 

"The secret to having a joyful, peaceful Christmas lies in keeping our families focused on the miraculous birth of Jesus and the incredible gift that God gave us when He sent us His only Son!" -R. Vincent

Christmas is the perfect time of year to teach our children about the unconditional, unmatched, sacrificial love of God. When we focus on creating a Christmas that is centered on Jesus, we teach our children the true reason for the season, and that is a gift that has eternal impact.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!