Teaching Your Children the True Meaning of ChristmasDecember 11, 2009 by Blair
Filed Under Faith
by Blair Massey
The stores have put up their holiday decorations. Yuletide carols are being piped into shopping malls across the country. Ah, yes, the holiday rush is on.
It’s the time of year when the lines are long and shoppers are irritable. There are parties to go to, cards to write, baking to be done, a tree to get, lights to be hung and presents to wrap. Then there is the deluge of television advertisements that tell us what we must buy in order to make our loved ones happy.
The world has taken Christmas and turned it into a celebration of consumerism. For many children, Christmas is about what presents they are going to get. They have no idea what it is really about. What can we do as Christian parents to make sure our children know the true meaning of Christmas?
The answer lies in what we do as parents to put Christ at the center of our Christmas. If we’re too busy with holiday preparations to spend time teaching our children what Christmas is really about, then we can’t expect them to know the truth. The world will teach them its rendition and it won’t be about Jesus. But if we take the time to put Christ at the center of our Christmas, we will be giving our children the greatest Christmas gift of all: connecting with Jesus at a heart level.
Here are some ways you can teach your children the true meaning of Christmas. Begin by reading to your children the account of Jesus’ birth in the Bible. Next, discuss Jesus’ life. Read scriptures that show examples of how He loved and served others.
To make Christmas come alive for your children, teach them to imitate Jesus by following His example of serving others. I have listed some examples below for inspiration.
Before you make your plans please consider the following. Make sure that you choose an activity that will have a meaningful impact. The activity should also require your children to give of themselves in an up close and personal way. And last but not least, be sure to participate in the activity with your children. You’ll be teaching them a valuable lesson in serving, one that they will remember as they get older.
1. Teach them to give
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35.
- Have them choose one of their own toys (in good condition) or purchase a new toy out of their own money to give to a child who otherwise would not receive a toy this Christmas.
- Give a coat or shoes to a homeless person.
- Bring toys and clothes to an orphanage.
- Help a less fortunate family for Christmas by providing all the fixings for a Christmas meal, presents for the children and clothes if needed.
- Pack bag lunches to give out to the homeless. Include a sandwich, juice box, cheese and crackers, Wet Ones, bus pass, a list of addresses where they can get a hot meal and shower, change for a phone call, and invitation to church.
2. Teach them to share
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18.
- Take a basket of homemade cookies to a neighbor you don’t know well and invite them to church.
- Have a friend over for dinner who doesn’t know about Jesus and share the Good News with them.
- Have your child invite a school friend to Christmas service at your church.
3. Teach them to care
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalms 68:5-6.
- Visit a convalescent hospital and sing Christmas carols.
- Visit a children’s hospital. Bring cookies and games to play.
- Bring a meal to someone who has a chronic illness.
- Invite a military person who is away from home to spend Christmas dinner at your house.
3. Teach them to serve
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28.
- Volunteer to make and serve a meal at a homeless shelter.
- Spend an afternoon at a senior citizens’ home. Bring cookies and reading material, sing Christmas songs and serve in any way that may be needed.
- Take an elderly person shopping or do errands for them.
- Do yard work, pet care or housework for someone who is not physically able to do those things for themselves.
By teaching our children to imitate Jesus this Christmas season, we will keep the true meaning of Christmas alive for this generation and for the next. Jesus is the real reason for the season.
Copyright 2002 – 2009
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Christian Lifestyle expert Blair Massey is devoted to helping Christian women around the world get their home, family and life organized. To get organized and start living the amazing life you were created by God to enjoy, sign up for her FREE newsletter now at www.christian-homemaking.com