Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

I talked a little about wanting to make Christmas more of a spiritual holiday for our kids, especially now that my three-year-old is old enough to really take it all in. We’re still enjoying all kinds of secular activities and entertainment, but I’m trying to really emphasize the real reason for the season. So here are some of the things we’ve done or ideas we’ve had so far this season… and I’ll update this list as we go, just in case you’re looking for some ideas of your own!

Scripture- We’re reading one chapter of The Jesus Storybook Bible each day until Christmas. This blog offers a really awesome explanation. We didn’t start until the 3rd so we had to double up twice, but that worked out fine. The book says right on the back that it’s best for kids ages 4-7 but it has worked out just fine for us so far. 
We’ve also talked about the fact that Jesus is the most important present EVER, because God gave the world Jesus so that we could be saved. My son has already memorized John 3:16 so we’ve been reciting that when this comes up and I’m hoping my daughter (who is currently 22 months) will be able to say it on her own within the next six-ish months.

Symbolism- In the past, we’ve always used a travel trailer as a tree topper. This year we are using a star and when we put it up we talked about how the star guided the way. One day we were out driving around and looking at Christmas lights so I pointed out that we were following lights, just like the wise men did so long ago. I also plan to read this poem about candy canes while we eat some, possibly tonight!

Watching- I really prefer to let movies be a treat so we’ve only actually watched The Prince of Peace and Veggietales: The Little Drummer Boy so far this year, but we own a few Veggietales movies we’ve watched in the past and like: It’s a Meaningful Life // Saint Nicholas

Responding to Scripture- I read about this through That Mama Gretchen, either on her blog or Instagram feed, and loved the idea. We read a poem version of the first Christmas and then colored a picture from a Dollar Tree coloring book. I also found these great coloring page collections online which we’ll be using throughout the month: 1 // 2. Gretchen’s daughter is a little older and drawing actual pictures on her own now so when she initially did this, she had her daughter draw the story herself rather than just color a coloring page.

Music- My mom sent us the Songs Kids Really Love to Sing collection on Baby A’s first Christmas and almost every song on the Christmas CD is spiritual. We listen to the radio in the car, but at home this is what we put on if they want to hear Christmas music. We’re also learning the lyrics to a few songs so that we can call and sing to the grandparents later in the month.

Giving- we’ve worked on a couple of giving projects already. We have a share/save/spend bank for each of the big kids and we occasionally give them a few pennies or nickels for doing something extra nice or helping us with a big chore or something. We’ve been really impressed by our guy’s generosity with his SHARE bank and we’ve been talking about the kinds of things he wants to do with it. We’re also letting the kids help a lot more with our gift-giving process this year and they seem to really enjoy being a part of it. The other day we did a Target trip, which we only do every few months, and it was almost overwhelming how often I had to stop walking so he could show me something else he wants to put in an Operation Christmas Child box.

Nativity- I have been pointing out Nativity scenes every time we’ve seen them, whether that has been as a decoration on someone’s lawn, a display on foyer table, or even as a design on a mug. My three-year-old is pointing them out on his own now, and the best part is that the one-year-old now points out Mary (“May-eeeeee!”), Joseph (“Do-tefffffff!”), and Jesus (“BABYYYYYYYYY! BABY ZUSSSSSSS!”) =D
We have to replace our vehicle so funds are pretty tight this year now, but I had initially wanted to buy a Nativity set we would set out as decoration but which they’d be allowed to play with. We’re trying to be picky about the materials their toys are made of so I wanted to get this one… but I think these are super cute too: 1 // 2 // 3

What are some of YOUR ideas?

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