1. Christmas songs. Listen to Christmas songs and carols that talk about Jesus’ birth. Children can easily learn song lyrics which help them to remember biblical truths. Traditional Christmas carols are a good place to start. But consider listening to other children’s Christmas songs such as Colin Buchanan’s King of Christmas.
2. Give to others. It is very easy for children to largely see the joy of Christmas as a time to receive presents. Of course Christmas is a special time for children to enjoy gifts. But it is also an opportunity to model giving to others. Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful charity which gives gifts to children in developing countries. Families can pack a shoebox full of gifts that are an incredible blessing to the recipient. Each shoebox is likely to be the first gift the child has ever received and includes a booklet about the good news of Jesus Christ. Involve your child in the process of giving to others, whether that be donating to a local charity or buying a present to give away to those in need. It is important to explain to your child that God has blessed us abundantly and that everything we have belongs to Him. Therefore, being generous to others with what we have pleases God.
3. Santa as fantasy. Many Christian families celebrate Santa and this is a very special part of Christmas for their children. But it is important to make sure that when you talk about Santa it is in the realm of fantasy. Children need to know that Jesus was a real baby born in Bethlehem and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven. It can be confusing for young children if they perceive both Santa and Jesus in the realm of fantasy.
4. Read the bible. In the lead up to Christmas read the story of Jesus as a family. Consider reading a gospel account of Jesus’ birth before opening presents on Christmas Day. It is ideal if you can read from a children’s bible where the language is age appropriate. But if you haven’t got a children’s bible, don’t let this be a barrier. Reading from an adult bible can provide an opportunity to discuss and explore the Christmas story as well. Just make sure you stop to explain unknown words or concepts to your child as you read together.
5. Go to church. Attending a Christmas service is a wonderful way to model to children the importance of celebrating Jesus’ birth. If you are travelling and unable to attend the Christmas service at your home church, look online for a local church with a children’s program.
Please note that some ideas in this article have been adapted from material written by Kidswise (Sandy Galea).