Daily Memories and God-Connections

meaningful christmas
source: babi

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And not just for yummy food, gifts and parties. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for parents to teach their children about Jesus! Kids have been looking forward to Christmas all year. Stores, media and school talk about it every day. It’s the easiest time to focus on Jesus!

I’m not opposed to singing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer or making stocking-shaped cookies at home. But I am opposed to making these things the center of our Christmas celebration when the story of Jesus can be just as fun, exciting and “magical”!

Instead of putting daily thought into what an elf on your shelf is doing, why not make daily memories and big God-connections with your kids about Jesus? It’s easy to do–here are some of my favorite ways:

1. Advent Calendar

source: mandi ehman

Advent calendars can be more than the open-the-door-and-get-a-piece-of-candy. There are tons of cute calendars where you can enter your own items. I like to put in a Bible verse or a special Christmas activity (like reading a book or delivering cookies to a neighbor). I love the above printable paper chain as an advent calendar!

2. Christmas Catalogs
I usually trash the toy catalogs that come in the mail during November and December. The only catalogs we look through are the gift catalogs from World Vision, Compassion and Samaritan’s Purse. We let our kids pick out one gift to give from those catalogs. Last year, my daughter picked bunnies to give to a needy family. My son chose a goat so a family could have milk! These are the Christmas lists I want my kids to make!

3. Christmas Books

source: katherine marie photography

I have an addiction to Christmas books. I just can’t pass them up! However, my Christmas books are about 95% about Jesus and NOT about Santa or elves. Not because I think Santa is evil, it’s just that there are so many fantastic books that focus on the true meaning of Christmas! We pull these books out only at Christmas and read them all month long. One of my favorite ideas is to wrap up 24 Christmas books and let the kids unwrap one each day leading up to Christmas. How fun if those 24 books were focused on the love and gift of Jesus!

My philosophy on Christmas (and lots of other things in parenting) is not to restrict my kids, but to overwhelm them with fantastic alternatives! I don’t have to control my kids from “believing in Santa” or give them this weight of “we’re not allowed to watch that” because we have so much fun learning about Jesus, the wisemen, and the shepherds. They don’t feel left out because our holiday is full of daily “magic” about Him!

How can you make the real story of Christmas fun and exciting?

Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!