You have the decorations. You have the gifts and the wrapping paper. You have all the ingredients for all the Christmas goodies and you have the best intentions to make sure you share the REAL meaning of Christmas with your kids this year. What you don’t have is time!
Despite the fact that retailers throw up the Christmas trees before we have time to dispose of our autumn pumpkins, the Christmas holiday is actually a pretty short time span… just about thirty short days from Black Friday until Christmas Eve. How will you get it all done and spend quality time with your kids imparting the true meaning of Christmas? You’ll multitask…like always. Here are some suggestions.
Baking and Talking
Christmas baking is a fun tradition in most homes, but this year instead of simply focusing on “getting it done,” invite the kids into the kitchen, get them involved, and use the time to talk about why you’re doing this. Are you baking goodies to give to others? Discuss the greatest gift given to earth. Are you baking for a specific holiday event? Discuss the fun memories you have from this event in the past, or the special people you all get to connect with at this event. Discuss how time is passing and now, more than ever, we need to share Jesus with others.
If you have really small children you can even use cookie shapes and decorations to help tell the story of Jesus and why He came to earth. “The dab of yellow frosting at the top of the Christmas tree cookie represents the star in Heaven that told everyone Jesus was a very special baby.” Illustrations as simple as this can help get a very young child’s mind on the Savior.
Wrapping and Praying
Wrapping gifts can get to be a chore this time of year. Recruit the kids to help with wrapping tasks they can handle and also use it as an opportunity to discuss real generosity and why we focus on that at Christmas. With each package tagged, make sure your kids take a moment to think of the person receiving the gift. What have they gone through this year? What are their needs? Encourage your kids to say a little prayer for the recipient of each gift they tag. How can you as a family connect with the individual in other ways throughout the coming months?
The Bible does say it is more blessed to give than to receive, but it did not specify that it’s more blessed to simply give beautifully wrapped presents. Giving of ourselves and our time is often the greatest blessing. Use this gift wrapping time to help your children understand that people need us during times other than the Christmas season. They need us (and our attention) all through the year.
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.