Having kids has made it difficult to avoid falling into the consumer trappings of Christmas. And, if I am being honest, I can’t really pin the blame on having kids. I really do love the hours of shopping, the lists I can cross off, the wrapping with bows and the giving — I always have. But it's so easy to lose focus and forget why we’re celebrating the holiday in the first place.
That old adage, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” is as important now as it was when I first heard it as a child. I pray that I can do better with my children by continually showing them what the Christmas season is all about.
As my children are getting older, they want to see Christmas in action. They don’t just want to read about Jesus coming to earth as a baby, they want to see Him making an impact in their life and in the lives of those around them. My kids love the Compassion Pop-Up events our local church hosts, so I'm thinking we all could use practical ideas to keep Christ in Christmas. Here are a few ideas we'll be trying:
Advent Calendar - Wrap up 25 Christian books for kids and open one each day in December until Christmas day. They can even be books that you own. You might even find books at your local library or church library that you can return after Christmas. Also, don’t forget to visit your local Adventist Book Center.
Gifts for Service Workers - Do you give gifts to your delivery drivers, post office workers or garbage collectors? How about your local police department or fire department? These are all great people and places to give to during the Christmas season. Don’t forget to include your kids in every stage of gift-giving.
Serve at Your Local Homeless Shelter - Socks, gloves, coats, diapers and food are greatly needed this time of year. Why not give where it’s truly needed in your community? It’s easy to call them up, ask about their current needs and then shop for and deliver the items as a family.
Donate to a Toy Drive - Many local stores and banks often have a toy drive this time of year. Kids love to shop for other boys and girls, especially if there is a wish list. Don’t have a local toy drive near year? Start one in your church or school.
Bible Verse Countdown Chain - Choose some favorite Bible verses about Christ and make a countdown chain. You can read a Bible verse each day in December leading up to Christmas. Let the kids read the verse and then talk about what it means. Here three great verses I'm using:
- I want my kids to know Christ as their redeemer, so John 1:29 is a great verse. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
- I also want them to know how awesome Christ is and that, no matter what they may be going through, there is nothing too hard for Him. He is right there with them. “For nothing will be impossible with God,” (Luke 1:37).
- More than anything, I want my children to be grateful. Christmas has a way of making us want things and then feeling disappointed when we don’t get those things. Gratitude, during the Christmas season and year round, is such a great character trait to develop. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
These are only a few ways to keep Christ in Christmas. I am certain there are many more. This holiday season, let’s commit to keeping our eyes on Jesus and pray that our children will learn to do the same, through our example.