12 Ways to Help Kids Find Christ in Christmas

It can be truly difficult for children to remember what Christmas is all about. Those pretty Christmas lights and fun presents and jingle bells are pretty darn exciting. I'm not going to suggest you stop making cookies or handing out gifts come Christmastime, but I do encourage you to steer your children toward Christ all this Christmas season. Now - before the hustle and bustle of other holiday planning takes over - is the perfect time to take just a few minutes to plan some simple ways to do that. Here are my favorite dozen.

1. Put up a nativity scene - preferably one the kids can play with. It doesn't have to be expensive. For example, you might try this free printable paper nativity set, or this toilet paper roll set kids can color themselves. And why not read the biblical Christmas story to the children while they work on it?

2. Learn the lyrics and meaning behind famous Christmas carols.
(And while you're at it, play all - or mostly - Christmas music about Jesus.)

3. Bake (and eat) a birthday cake for Jesus. Hint: It doesn't have to be a typical birthday cake. At my house, we've used everything from gingerbread to monkey bread. But we always put a candle on it and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.

4. Find somebody to serve as a family. Maybe an elderly neighbor needs yard work done or a dinner cooked. Maybe there's a local shelter where your family could volunteer. Maybe your kids could do extra chores or find jobs with neighbors in order to raise money to give a needy family livestock. It doesn't really matter what service you choose - just that your children understand you're doing it because Jesus told us to serve others. You can also explain that being born and dying on the cross was Jesus' service to us.

5. Select a few good Christ-centered Christmas picture books. (Here are some of our favorites.)

6. Pick a few activities to go with those Christmas books. They don't have to be complicated, but any hands on activity will help your kids remember the books better.

7. Download (and use) a free Advent calendar

8. Make a paper chain - and on each chain, write one of the names of Jesus. Explain to your children why Jesus has each name.

9. Use this free Advent plan to go along with The Jesus Storybook Bible (a children's Bible that, in my opinion, every family should own).

10. Select Christmas movies that are about the Biblical Christmas story or the spirit of Christmas. For example: Why Do We Call it Christmas?, The Little Drummer Boy, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Crippled Lamb.

 Courtesy of  James Petts and Wikipedia Commons.
11. If possible, make your Christmas decorations reflect the real meaning of Christmas: Think angels, bells, and lights.

12. Teach your children why we use certain Christmas symbols. For example, The Legend of the Christmas Tree is a good resource explaining why we have Christmas trees. There are even picture books that use common Christmas imagery, like  stockings and candy canes, to point to Jesus. I also recommend you explain why we give each other gifts on Christmas. (Because the Wise Men gave them to Jesus shortly after his birth.)

Now it's your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to help your children find Christ in Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments below!

1 comment

  1. Before our first was born, we met some people who didn't teach their kids about Santa. At first, that just seemed so... foreign and wrong! Lol After we got to thinking about it (he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake), and comparing it to some Bible verses (they changed the image of the uncorruptible God into that of corruptible man), we decided we didn't want Santa to steal the season's glory away from the Lord. We do realize it's just pretend, but we didn't want to teach our kids Santa and Jesus and the one day say Santa isn't real but expect them to keep believing Jesus is. We still do a tree and gifts, which some people are totally against, but our point was just to let Jesus be the "main character" of the season. I love your ideas above. We usually open our presents on Christmas Eve and then read the Christmas story over a special breakfast on Christmas morning. We also tell our kids that Jesus wasn't actually born on December 25th but that it's a special day we set aside to remember his birth.