Making Christmas Meaningful
Meaning of the Season
The Christmas season is called “Advent” which means “the coming of Christ the Messiah into the world.” The official season begins four Sundays before the holiday as believers prepare their hearts for the arrival of the Savior and celebrate the moment when “God with us” became literal reality. We celebrate more than a special child’s birth; we celebrate “Incarnation,” which means “God becoming flesh and living among us.” (Read John 1:14)
Create meaningful moments focused on the meaning of the season using one or more of these simple activities with your family during the advent season. If you don’t have a church home, we would love for you to join us for a special service.
What Can You Do?
FINDING BABY JESUS
Gather as a family and read the Christmas story in Luke2. Go through your nativity set and talk about each piece as described in the Bible, ending with Baby Jesus.
Let your family know that you want to remember to “find” the true meaning of Christmas during this season, so every day Baby Jesus will be hidden somewhere around the house. Each day, the children can search and find Christ to put him in the manger. This reminds us to seek to find Him throughout the season.
CHRISTMAS CARD PRAYERS
The Christmas season is filled with wonderful wishes from family and friends. Each time you receive a special Christmas card or annual Christmas letter, take a couple of minutes to talk about the blessing that God has given you in those friends or family.
Then, thank the Lord for those individuals and pray for them. Instead of throwing these beautiful pictures and thoughtful cards in the trash, put them in a special box or basket. Place the box/basket near your table. Throughout the year, pick a card as your family prays before a meal, and spend some time praying for the family that sent the card.
JESUS IS THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT
Get a strand of lights. Turn out the lights to show the darkness and then plug in the string of lights to show its glow. In John8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Read this passage together and briefly discuss ways in which we can follow Christ. Then have everyone get in their pajamas, load up on hot cocoa/apple cider and drive around to look at Christmas lights.
Play some traditional Christmas music as you drive and sing Christmas carols together. Notice how beautiful and brightly lit the homes with lights are. Point out the homes that don’t have any lights at all and how dark it is.
Have everyone vote on which house with lights was his or her favorite; then pray for the family that lives in that home and pray that those who see that house will remember that Jesus is the light of the world. Before you head home, thank God for sending His Son to shine His light for us.
TREE DECORATING TRADITION
Turn on Christmas worship music. Decorate the Christmas tree. Take turns putting on the star or topper. Sit and read the book The Legend of the Christmas Tree. Children ages 4 to 8 will discover the wonderful story of how the evergreen tree first became a symbol of Christmas and a way to tell people about God.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL – MOVIE NIGHT
Everyone loves A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Buy or rent your favorite version of the film for a family movie night discussion with your older children. After watching the film together, discuss key scenes and themes from a Christian perspective. Take turns asking one another the following questions…
Question: Was Scrooge made in the image of God? Answer: Yes, but he certainly didn’t live like it!
Question: In what ways did Scrooge show he had a sinful heart? Answer: He was selfish, stingy, mean, etc.- all of which show the dark side of people.
Question: After he realized he was wrong, what did Scrooge do? Answer: He turned away from the wrong toward the right. He repented – and showed it by changing his ways!
Go further by downloading a free movie chat discussion guide at MovieNightChat.com.
MEANINGFUL GIFT GIVING
This creative approach to gift-giving limits everyone to three gifts, each representing one of the three gifts the Wise Men brought to a baby king.
Gold (a precious metal): The gift that would be most precious – possibly the biggest item or something they’ve wanted for a long time. Place a Gold bow on Red wrapping paper to symbolize the most-costly gift God gave when Jesus shed his blood for our sins. Before opening read John 3:16 together.
Frankincense (a sweet-smelling perfume): This item would be the “sweetest” to them; something that fits their personality, their passions, their interests or hobbies. Many choose a favorite food item for this gift. Wrap it in Silver paper, representing the fulfillment of the promised Messiah. Read Isaiah 9:6 together before opening.
Myrrh (an oil used for many practical purposes, like anointing): This gift is a highly practical item. Although it may not be exciting, some things simply need to be replaced. One year you might give each child new bedding; another year, fun pajamas. A sweater, socks, t-shirts, tights, and the like, can be bundled together in one big box.
Wrap this gift in Green paper, representing Jesus as the everlasting hope of mankind. Read Titus 2:13 together before opening.