If your family is a member of the Christianity faith, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ’s birthday. However, now the holiday has been associated with shopping at retail stores to find the best present for your loved ones. There are many activities to include in your family’s celebration of Christmas that can bring this meaning back to your celebration.
The most popular thing to do on your birthday is to have a birthday cake. Therefore, you can make one for Jesus Christ. Have your kids bake a cake with you, and perhaps you can also all blow out the candles together. Throwing a birthday party for Jesus is a great way to show your kids why the holiday is celebrated. This idea may even allow you to think less about gift giving to each other. Children of many ages understand what a birthday party is about.
If going to church is not a regular thing in your family, Christmas is the day to go. The sermon will have a message of the meaning of the holiday. It will talk about why we celebrate the day (the birth of Jesus Christ), and why we give gifts on this day (the Three Wise Men). If you feel as if you can not explain the day because you do not attend church on a regular basis, taking your kids to church is a great option. They will understand that this day is important. There are many faces in church that will be happy and glad for the day. The focus at the church will be more on the meaning of the day and not on what kind of gifts everyone has gotten.
Compare your own birth stories
Everyone has their own birth stories. The Virgin Mary and Jesus have their own birth story also. According to the accounts in the bible, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable. They did so because they had no room in the inn for them to stay. Her husband Joseph was by her side the entire time, and many visitors came to see the child. Can you imagine a modern day baby book of the birth story of Jesus? You can tell your children about their own birth stories; where you were at, who was there, and who came to visit. Many visitors came with presents for the infant, Jesus. Did anybody bring presents to you when your children were born? By sharing and comparing birth stories, your children can better understand what it was like for Mary on the cold December day long ago.
A star walk
The visitors that came to see Jesus knew he had arrived by a star that they followed to see Mary and the young infant. You can help your kids understand this part of the story by having a star walk. If it is not too cold, take your children outside and find the biggest and brightest star, then walk for a little while talking about where you think the star trail might lead. You can tell your children about how the Wise Men followed a star long ago to see Jesus. If it is too cold, you can make a game inside. Cut out a few stars from construction paper and tape them in a ‘trail’ around the house. Have your children follow the trail to find Jesus. Jesus can be played by a baby doll. Anyone will do. Children tend to learn more about history and stories when they are actively involved. This activity may give you an ice breaker to introduce some other games that celebrate the Christian meaning of the holiday.
Help those that need it
Just as the stable was there to help Mary and Joseph in their time of need, your family can also help those that need it. If the stable was not available for Mary to give birth in, we do not know what would have happened to them in the cold of the night. Many of the visitors that came to see Jesus brought gifts of useful things. Giving others, those that can not help themselves, is in the true spirit of Christmas. Helping out at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or a farm could be several ways to show the true meaning behind Christmas. All of these activities are related somehow to the story of Jesus being born.