Have you ever felt like the true meaning of Christmas is getting lost on your kids? Christmas is undoubtedly a wonderful time of excitement and joy, bringing delight and bliss to the hearts of children and adults alike. But do your children know that this holiday serves as a reminder of Jesus’s birth more than 2,000 years ago—a birth sent to us as a surprise gift of hope and salvation? The joy that Christmas brings is real, but everlasting joy comes from entering into an eternal relationship with God through the power of His Son.
From presents and candy canes to jingle bells, parties, and decorations, it’s easy for children to forget what the season is really about. And no parent wants to take away the awe and wonderment of the Christmas season from their child. So, how can parents let kids experience the magical thrill of the Christmas season while also ensuring they understand the holiday’s true meaning?
The good news is when it comes to celebrating Christmas with your kids, it’s not an either/or situation – there are plenty of ways to enjoy both! So no need to disguise yourself as the Grinch and ruin their glee just yet. With some thoughtfulness and creativity, you can still bring out your inner Santa Claus AND make sure your kids keep Christ in Christmas throughout this joyous time. Here are seven ideas to help you get started:
1. Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus
Kids love to join in the fun of celebrating birthdays, but what could be even more exciting than doing it for Jesus? After all, Christmas is Jesus’s birthday! You can encourage kids to think of this day like any other birthday—a time to be thankful for Jesus’s life and celebrate the gift of His presence.
When kids learn how their favorite holiday actually marks a very important birthday, they may just fall even more in love with Christmas every year! So bring on the cake mix, frosting, and candles—it’s time to give Jesus a special birthday just like you would any other special person in your life.
2. Display a Nativity Set
Adding a nativity set to your home around the holiday season is an excellent way for children to better understand and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. Kids will love hearing stories about how Jesus was born in a stable, with his parents Joseph and Mary, by his side.
They can learn about how the angels announced Jesus’s birth to shepherds and how the Three Wise Men came from afar to present Him gifts. When kids become familiar with characters from the Bible through these stories and nativity figurines, they will gain an appreciation for what this special holiday represents.
3. Cultivate the Spirit of Giving
Christmas isn’t just about getting gifts; it’s also about the spirit of giving. Every gesture of giving is an opportunity for children to draw closer to their Heavenly Father, who gave us all His Son—the original gift we shouldn’t ever forget! Christmas is the perfect time to teach children how good it feels to give to others and model a spirit of generosity.
As parents, you can guide your children into the spirit of giving by helping them pick out the perfect gift for their family and friends. And gifts don’t have to be expensive; even making something from the heart counts if it is heartfelt and given out of love. No matter how small the gift, it’s important that your child sees the joy that comes from making someone else smile during the holiday season!
4. Serve as Jesus Served Others
Jesus’s ministry on earth was a powerful demonstration of His commitment to serving the greater good, wanting nothing more than for the entire world to know the truth of His Father’s love and to receive His grace. During Jesus’s mortal life, He fed multitudes of hungry people, healed all kinds of sickness, and raised people from the dead.
His willingness to serve extended even unto death when He gave Himself for our sins on Calvary’s Cross. Jesus’s love was beyond anything that we as humans can comprehend or truly understand, and through that love, He showed us what true service looks like. We can look to Him as an example of how we, too, can serve others selflessly with love and compassion.
One of the best ways to serve others this Christmas is to teach kids how to do it. Whether it’s visiting a nearby nursing home, donating clothes or toys to charity, delivering food baskets to families in need, or making Christmas cards for soldiers serving overseas—teaching your children how they can serve others this Christmas will leave an indelible impression and instill a heart of empathy and compassion year-round.
5. Write a Letter to Jesus
For a fun holiday twist on the usual letters written to Santa each year, why not also have your kids write a letter to Jesus? Writing a letter to Jesus is a great way for kids to foster their relationship with God. It can be as simple or unique as each child would like. They could write about whatever is on their mind or heart, share stories from their life, ask for guidance or express gratitude as they thank Jesus for everything He has done and all the blessings He has bestowed.
They can even draw pictures or use stickers to bring their letters to life and show how much they care. In doing so, you can help your children grow in their relationship with the Lord as they learn how to speak directly and honestly to Him. Additionally, it will give children a sense of accomplishment and serve as a creative form of prayer.
6. Attend a Christmas Service
One way to create lasting memories and help your little ones understand the true meaning of Christmas is to attend a Christmas or Christmas Eve service with your family. Being together in a place of faith can help children think more deeply and reflect on the religious foundations describing Christmas. They will have time to ask questions and gain insights into how Jesus’s birthday is celebrated, and they will be blessed with the opportunity to take part in traditions that provide hope, love, and peace.
Additionally, it’s an opportunity for you to teach them about looking beyond themselves into a world united by faith and compassion. Being surrounded by others who share similar beliefs can bring about a strong sense of community for kids, offering them a unique kind of companionship that comes with being part of something larger than themselves. Showing your children how special it is to come together as one is a timeless classic that will have lasting effects far beyond this holiday season.
7. Read the Story of Christmas from the Bible
During this magical time of year, you can use the Bible’s story of Christmas to help your children understand the true history and origins of the memorable holiday. From passages in Luke and Matthew, kids can learn that the birth of Jesus resulted from a special plan by God to bring Himself into our lives as our savior and spiritual guide. They will also discover how Mary and Joseph left Nazareth on their faith-filled journey to Bethlehem so they could be counted in the census, an act that ultimately brought forth Jesus’s birth. Light a candle and read a little of the Christmas story found in the Bible each night as a family.
The birth of Jesus comes alive in Luke 2:1-20 with details about Mary, Joseph, shepherds in the field, and angels singing. Reading this particular passage together on Christmas Eve or when everyone is gathered around the table for Christmas dinner has become a tradition for many families. This is a beautiful way to show your kids how much God loves us and how miraculous it is that we were given His son. As well as providing a foundation for faith, this story serves as a powerful reminder to focus on kindness and giving during this festive season.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Kids can easily lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas if you’re not intentional about the activities you choose to do. By incorporating a few purposeful activities into your children’s holiday experiences and emphasizing why we celebrate this special day, kids can still come away from Christmas with an understanding of its true meaning—complete with an abundance of festive cheer! Santa Claus may be at the forefront of these magical memories, but teaching children that Christmas is about faith, charity, family, and love will no doubt make a difference throughout their lives.
“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes
not in the hurrying & the scurrying to get
more done, nor is it found in the
purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when
we make the Savior the focus of the season.”
-Thomas S. Monson
At the Kids Guide, we believe in keeping Christ in Christmas. That’s why we put together this important article about Christmas to give parents the tools they need to preserve the classic festive magic while also ensuring the most essential message is not lost.
This post is sponsored by the Kids Guide to Christmas In America & the Kids Guide to the Bible: The Birth of Jesus. For information about these products simply click one of the button links below to learn more!