With just under two weeks until Christmas everyone is starting to prepare for the festivities. We are shopping and wrapping, decorating and preparing, and all the while our children are watching every move we make.
But, are we teaching our children what Christmas is really about?
Are we sitting down and spending the time to teach our kids that Christmas is not about the gifts and toys? Christmas is about so much more than that.
Christmas is about spending time with family. It is not about having time off school or sleeping in. It is about spending time with family and being thankful that you have family to spend it with.
Christmas is about giving to those less fortunate, not receiving. Christmas is about giving to those who are less fortunate because there are people who do not have money for food or a family to spend time with. It is not about receiving gifts.
Above all, Christmas about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The whole reason we have Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the sacrifices he made for us.
How do we teach our children what Christmas is really about then?
It starts from the very first Christmas. You have to start early and be consistent every year. You have to teach your kids what Christmas is really about from their very first Christmas because children learn from an early age.
You don’t have to spend money to teach them if you don’t have the money. Read them stories about the first Christmas. Read them stories from the Bible. Don’t make Christmas about the gifts either. Give them very few gifts, you can give them 3 gift for the gifts the 3 Wise Men brought to baby Jesus.
If you have the money you can teach them to give to the less fortunate. You don’t have to have a lot of money either. The Salvation Army had their Red Kettles out this time of year, so if you are out shopping and have some spare change throw some in the bucket. Believe it or not, your little one will see what you are doing. You can use the time to explain to your child what the red kettles are for.
If you have the money, you can even buy gifts for less fortunate kids. There are different ways you can do this. At our mall we have a giving tree where you can pick a child depending on their age. If you don’t have this option, you can fill shoeboxes with gifts for Operation Christmas Child. For older kids you can make this fun by letting them pick out what things they give. They can choose the toys and explain that these kids may not have clothes so they may need some socks and shoes. This can be a great way to teach kids just how fortunate they are.
Have a nativity scene. Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus and having a nativity scene is a great way to show this to kids. Put out all the pieces except baby Jesus, then Christmas morning your kids can put Him in the manger. This is one of my favorite parts of christmas.
Teaching kids what Christmas is really about doesn’t have to be hard, but it should be something you consider a high priority. How do you teach your kids what Christmas is really about?