In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, many parents try to carve out time to make the nativity the focal point of their celebration. This is an especially difficult task in a culture that wants to remove Jesus from the holiday season altogether. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 says the best way to teach your children is to talk with them as you go about your daily life. In our family, we made it a point to find ways to ensure our children’s focus was on celebrating Christ, not just on the list of things they were hoping to open on Christmas Day. We did not allow them to write ‘Christmas’ this way – ‘Xmas’, because it removed Christ. Today, we would not allow them to say “Happy Holidays.” Not that there is anything wrong with this sentiment in and of itself, but our culture is trying to replace Christ with it. So if a store clerk says, “Happy Holidays” to your kids, we encourage you to teach them to always respond with “Merry Christmas!”
To make Christ the central focus on Christmas Day, get a large empty box and put tissue in the bottom. Lay a Bible on the tissue that is open to Chapter 2 in the book of Luke. Have a bookmark in John 3:16 and Luke 24:1-11. Place a cross in the box too. Buy chocolate wrapped to look like gold medallions and fill the bottom of the box with these. The medallions symbolize value and royalty. Buy or make a crown to place in the box as well.
Wrap the box in glittery gold wrapping paper with a purple bow (purple is the color of royalty). Don’t wrap any other gift in this paper. Make a tag and put the names of everyone who will be present when your family opens their gifts on it. Save this box for the last gift and choose a child to open it. If your children are old enough, have one of them read Luke, Chapter 2. The best way to keep children involved in a conversation is to ask them questions. Ask them why it was important for Jesus to spend time on earth. Pass the cross around and have another child read John 3:16. Ask your kids why it was important that Jesus died on a cross. Why couldn’t he die at home in bed? Ask them what they think it would have felt like to have nails driven into their hands and feet and left hanging until they died? Have a large nail handy to show them.
Give everyone present a piece of the candy and pass the crown around. Have a child read Matthew 2:1-2. While everyone loves babies, ask them if they think a baby can rule the world? So why did God send His son, who was supposed to be the King of the world as a baby instead of a full-grown man? Ask your children if any of the presents they received begin to have the value of eternal life, the greatest gift we will ever receive.
Have another child read Luke 24 and ask those present how they know Jesus is real if they can’t see Him. Have everyone share how their life is different because Jesus lives in their heart. Ask them why we get gifts on Christmas. This is how our family celebrated Christmas while our kids were growing up.
Carla and I wish each of you a blessed Christmas holiday as you celebrate the most precious gift we will ever receive with your loved ones.