A Christ-Centered Holiday

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After my grandmother died, my mother hung up a stocking at Christmastime to help our family honor her life. We put in love notes and cherished memories of her. After my father died, I did this same activity with my kids to help them with their grief. The very young had a concrete activity to do, and my older children were able to work through their feelings of loss. He did not reciprocate my expression. For the next two months, either at bedtime or while driving Tommy to school, I would pray for this least-liked classmate.

Least Liked! My mother-in-law set up a Nativity scene in the kitchen on Dec. Then she hid baby Jesus far from the kitchen. Her sons had to find the figurine.

Making Christ Centered Christmas Traditions For Your Children

As Christmas approached, the figurine would be hidden in progressively closer locations — moving from the upstairs bedrooms to the kitchen itself. The hiding spots became more challenging as her boys grew older. This past December, my kids and I made Christmas bingo cards. They chose fun activities, as well as some acts of service, to include on their cards. Put the slips of paper into a jar or hat and pull out an idea. There is so much to see and do at Christmas. To keep from being too busy, my husband and I developed a list of activities — from making cookies to ice skating — then each family member chose only one activity for the holidays.


Mormon authors, others share ways to help keep Christmas centered on Jesus Christ

Instead, we were able to enjoy each other, and the season was a lot less hectic. Four-year-old Lydia Grace Moyer can tell you why. Not until the morning of Dec. Lydia jumps out of bed and races downstairs to rush from one manger to another. As the preschooler hugs baby Jesus, welcoming Him to their home, her mother smiles. The following simple, sometimes unusual suggestions will help you and your family focus your thoughts on Christ during this special time of year.

Use an Advent Jesse tree and companion book to help them prepare their hearts for the true meaning of the season. These small evergreen trees are decorated with ornaments that symbolize stories from the Bible. Look online for a detailed description of ornaments that are often used. If no live play is available, perform one. To keep Christmas Day focused on Jesus, some families postpone their gift exchange to Epiphany on Jan. By tradition, Epiphany recalls the arrival of the wise men to worship Jesus and so reveal Him to the world as Lord and King. Together as a family, visit a nursing home, serve meals at a mission or church, or pack and deliver Christmas baskets for food pantries.

These are just a few ideas to help you start your own family traditions. Try these fun-filled, age-appropriate activities that will direct children, and adults, back to the true meaning of the holiday, to focus on Jesus and celebrate Emmanuel, God who is with us. Each article is used by permission. All rights reserved. This article is a compilation of articles written by various authors. The author names are found within the article. Call Store. Every year, when we visited for Christmas, all of the children made birthday cakes for Jesus.

Each child got their own cake to decorate. When they were all done decorating their cakes, we added candles, turned out the lights, and sang Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus.

When I was growing up, we always had store-bought advent calendars to count down to Christmas. The kind where you pop open the little window and there was a picture or verse under the flap. Today, you can purchase calendars with candy or toys behind the flaps.

Many people use Elf on the Shelf to countdown to Christmas. But, I never used our elf, Lindsey, to keep the focus on Christ. I just had fun with her. However, last year, we replaced Lindsey with Melk, the Christmas Monkey. Read storybook versions. Read it over and over again until your kids can retell you the Christmas story.

To help your child remember the Christmas story, incorporate their favorite toys into telling the story. When my daughter was younger, she used her Littlest Pet Shop animals to retell the Christmas story. The Christmas Story Brick Challenge includes twelve days of activities that incorporate memory verses, coloring pages, and more — all built around a Legos theme.

Each Holiday Is an Invitation…

Do nice things for others. Hold doors.

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Speak nicely. Here are a few ideas for doing Random Acts of Kindness through the holiday season. A few weeks ago, I discovered this amazing resource from Not Consumed. This collection has over pages!

4 Ways to Create a Christ-Centered Christmas

For Christmas, this pack includes scavenger hunts, random acts of kindness, scripture readings, and more. Talk about what they mean. See if you can find the original version and a version sung by kids. This will help keep preschoolers engaged.

Holiday Ideas and Seasonal Resources for Christian Families - Christ Centered Holidays

From the youngest to the oldest, keep the whole family involved. Let the younger ones retell the Christmas story to older family members. Have the older children read books and sing carols with the younger siblings. Have older siblings read advent verses aloud at dinner. I enjoy hearing the pastor read the Christmas story from the Bible.