Christmas is just around the corner. Your presents are wrapped (hopefully), your cookies are baked and the Christmas menu is planned. Did you forget anything? In the hustle of the season, sometimes the real Reason for the season gets pushed to the side, like a forgotten gift at the far side of the tree. It may be late in the game, but it isn’t too late to put some things in place to help keep the kids focused on Jesus this Christmas morning. Here are a few of our favorites:
A stocking surprise. Tuck a small birthday candle into the bottom of each of your children’s stockings along with a packaged baked good like a Hostess Cupcake or a Twinkie. They may wonder about the lone candle. You can simply say, “It’s just a little token to remind us that today is a birthday celebration.” Later, you can put the candle in the cupcake, light it and sing, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”
Wrap up Jesus. If you have a nativity set, you can easily do this activity with your children on Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve, wrap up the baby Jesus and add a little bow. Place Him somewhere nearby but out of sight. On Christmas morning, ask your children to look at the manger scene. What is missing? Where could He be? As they search for Him, provide a few distractions (such as, “Look over here!” and “Wow, this is cool!”). Once they find Him, they can unwrap Him and place Him where He belongs. Use the time to teach your children that the Jesus that lives in our hearts is similar to that wrapped baby Jesus. Remind them that we need to seek Him out, uncover Him and place Him where He belongs (in our hearts). Jesus is never far (like the hidden baby Jesus) but we need to resist any distractions that might keep us from focusing on Him. It isn’t easy but “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Letters from Jesus. You can make sure that Jesus gets His proper place on Christmas morning by addressing cards to your children from Him. Tuck the finished cards into the branches of the Christmas tree to be discovered on Christmas morning. Add a personalized note with a Scripture verse. Here is an example:
I know today is my birthday celebration, and usually the birthday boy is the one who gets the cards. But I wanted to give you a card on this very special day because you are very special to me. On that first Christmas morning, I may have been just a baby, but I had you in mind. Long before you were born, I knew you. I came because I love you. In all the busyness of today, please don’t forget about Me. Here is a special word from Me to you:
““Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
Someday we will meet face to face. Until then, follow Me. Have a very Merry Christmas.
What are some of the things you do in your family to keep Christ in Christmas?
Merry CHRISTmas to you![photo credit: mattbeccemjay from morguefile.com]