My mommy group recently had an awesome discussion on the message board about how to teach kids the real meaning of Christmas. I liked the ideas so much, I'm copying them here so I can use them now and in the future!
Guest Post by: Megan Lagoy
Guest Post by: Megan Lagoy
- We give a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve- a special tithe to church. Even the kids can get some money from their piggy bank to contribute.
- We bought the "What God Wants for Christmas" set at Lifeway, it is a cute way to teach kids the true meaning of Christmas through a nativity set.
- I know this sounds corny, but we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas Day. I think you can even buy plates, napkins that say happy birthday Jesus online.
- On Christmas Eve we read the Christmas Story from the Bible (It's in Matthew)
- We try to teach our kids the importance of giving rather than just receiving so we usually do some type of toy donation. This year we are doing Operation Christmas Child and are adopting a family. She goes with us to pick the presents, helps wrap them and then we deliver them.
- We do clothes/toy clean-outs pretty often and give to kids who many not be as fortunate.
- We participate in the "toys for tots" program. The kids come and are part of the process, from selecting a toy to wrapping and delivering it.
- One discipline I impose for myself is, I only get the kids 3 gifts to represent the three gifts the wisemen gave to Jesus.
- The Christmas train in Alvin was a neat train ride of the Christmas story (if you're local to League City, TX).
- Before we set up ANY decorations at all we find our manager scene and read the Christmas story and put the manager scene up and then say a prayer together as a family.
- Because my husband grew up very poor and spent many holidays without presents, food, we use this time as a way to remind ourselves how blessed we are and we adopt a family (you can call Lighthouse Christian Ministries for a list of needs if you're local to League City, TX). What is great about Lighthouse is that your drop the toys off to the parent or at the door so the kids think that the parent was able to buy for them and they don't know it was charity.
- Our annual organization is World Vision where you can donate by giving animals for villages, donating money for sexually exploited children, and even help American children in poverty. You donate $25 and it helps the American children with necessities worth $325.
- When the kids are older I am planning on having them come with me to serve in a food kitchen for the homeless.
- Last year we asked our friends and family to help us pack the food pantry at our church instead of bringing presents to our daughter's birthday party. It turned out so great! We loaded up her wagon and she pulled it into the church. She helped her daddy put cans, diapers, and all sorts of stuff on the shelves. The whole time she kept talking about how she was helping "the babies".
- We mostly have been doing books according to the season. One of my favorites is Who is Coming to Our House?
- We Use a nativity scene as an advent calendar. You can tell a different part of the Christmas story each day as you get closer to Christmas. I made my own so that there were enough things to add to the scene for each of the 25 days (manger, wise men, sheep, shepherds, Mary...of course baby Jesus on Christmas day), but you can also purchase some that have it planned out for you online.
- We help the kids pick out or make a gift for each member of our family. The idea is that they will learn the joy of giving and not just getting. You can give them $1 for each family member at the dollar store or help them make something...and wrap it themselves.
- We will choose an angel on the Christmas tree at the mall and have him wrap the requested gift and drop it off.