One year my family and I used a candle that had the days of Advent marked on it. We lit it during our meals and blew it out when the candle melted down to the next day’s number. This shimmering Christmas candle helped remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World, the One we celebrate, the reason for our joy and the One who shines and leads us.
As I reflect on celebrating Christmas this season, I want to remind my three children about the foundations we have in faith and family—especially when life can feel shaky. My hope is that my kids will eventually share them with the next generation so no one in our family becomes distracted by the moment and misses the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is about giving to others as Christ gave to us.
How to share Christ’s generosity:
- Bake sugar cookies and give them to neighbors.
- Bring loads of food to those working on Christmas Day, such as the staff at a neonatal intensive care unit.
- Participate in a family gift exchange.
- Send as many items as possible in shoeboxes for children in other countries.
- Donate clothes to children in need.
Christmas is about remembering Jesus’ birth.
Fun ways to tell the Christmas story:
- Write and perform a skit about the story of Jesus, or make a Nativity scene to act out the first Christmas.
- Make countdown-to-Christmas paper-chin links—each link sharing a few sentences about the story of Jesus.
- Beginning on Dec. 1 and continuing to Christmas Eve, write on slips of paper about the times family members loved others well. Add the slips to a box that can be opened as a gift for Jesus on Christmas Day.
- Bake a birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is about savoring and celebrating Jesus’ birth
Activities to enjoy the season:
- Tour the neighborhood to see Christmas light displays.
- Sing Christmas carols.
- Design paper snowflakes.
- Attend a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
- Go to a Christian Christmas music concert or play.
- Visit a live Nativity scene.
- Send Christmas cards to friends and family.
Christmas is about the greatest love ever given, with the hope that all would receive it.
Christmas messages to remember:
- God doesn’t care about riches; He only cares about what’s in our hearts.
- Jesus came for you. He came for me.
- God sent His Son because of His great love for us.
- Jesus is the Savior of the world.
- Jesus’ birth was the Good News that brought great joy.
Christmas is about how God is faithful and kept His promise to send a Messiah, His only begotten Son, to save humankind from sin.
Present the Christmas story in the Bible as real and not fiction:
- Jesus came as a helpless baby, born in a Bethlehem stable.
- The glory of the Lord shone all around the shepherds.
- An angel appeared to the shepherds and told them not to be afraid.
- Heavenly hosts praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest.”
- The shepherds hurried to see Jesus and spread the Good News to others.
I don’t want to let the beauty of Christmas slip between my fingers in the busyness of the season. These lists are my attempt to make sure my kids know how to treasure and celebrate what Jesus has done for them. And they help me remember to share with my kids the reason we celebrate Christmas.