I know the internet is full of articles on Christmas these days. Gift guides, recipes, home decor and all kinds of mambo jambo . And while I absolutely LOVE all of those things (I won’t be a hypocrite and say I don’t) , Christmas really is about Jesus. Why? Well, on Christmas we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ . Nowadays, mass media,stores and everything around us makes Christmas about spending money and buying gifts. It’s an entire industry, of course. That can have a HUGE impact on how our kids perceive Christmas. Teaching the young ones why Christmas is about Jesus more than anything else has to be a priority for parents this time of the year.
So how do we teach our kids the true importance of Christmas? Well, there’s a lot of options you can try, depending on how old they are or on your relationship with God.
Reading from the bible
This is a method you can use regardless of how old your kids are. If they are younger, use an illustrated bible to help engage them more and show them the story of how Jesus was born and how this is related to Christmas. How caroling is actually commemorating Virgin Mary’s walk from door to door to find a place to give birth to baby Jesus, so on and so forth…
Teaching them carols
If your kids like singing, then this will be fun! Carols often include the actual Christmas story and things about baby Jesus and Virgin Mary. The important thing is to emphasize the religious part of it, because there loads of carols out there that are actually more like Christmas songs about snowing and how cold it’s outside.
Include traditions in your Christmas routine
Your kids love decorating the house, buying and opening presents and cooking holiday goodies? It’s not like you have to take all of those things out just so you can teach them the religious meaning of Christmas. Put it that way: gifts, festive food and festive home- these are all things that people do to celebrate something. In this case, the birth of Jesus Christ.
We don’t give away gifts because that’s what everyone does, we do it to share with loved ones the joy that comes to us from the birth of Jesus Christ .
Decorating our home and making everything around us look jolly is not so that our neighbors can see how many nice things we bought from Target. It is because our soul is so happy and so grateful that Jesus was born, that we can’t keep all that happiness inside and we need to show it to other people so they can take it and be joyous as well!
I think this is a very easy way to explain it to your kid, no matter what age they are.
Teach them how to fast
In my opinion, there is no better way to prepare for Christmas than fasting. It is the ultimate sign of respect, redemption and faith that gets you ready for a very important religious holiday. This can be done even with kids and of course in a more gentle way. If your kids are really small, then give them a small task to do every day or week that connects to fasting. Here is a few ideas:
- help them do a good deed or help someone in need
- take them to share food to homeless people. Your own example is the best education they will get
- make arts and crafts or gather older toys that can be given away to other children from hospitals or poor areas and let your kids share them
Once your kids are older, you can always explain to them the meaning of fasting and exclude just meat from their diet for a few days, a week or the whole fasting period as they grow up and understand more. Obviously, you won’t make the fasting strict for them, because they are just kids, but getting them used to the idea will make a huge difference for when they grow up
Take them to church
The Holy Liturgy is truly important for any person, but for young kids even more. It teaches them about all the fundaments of christianism and it promotes kindness and patience.
Taking your kids to church from when they are very little gets them accustomed to the surroundings and they will be a lot less likely to misbehave or lose their patience when they grow up. Plus, you always want to be an inspiration to your littles ones. If they see you go to church and you pray and how this has a positive and beneficial impact on you, they will follow your path.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas day, what better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ than to go and pray in His Father’s house and attend the Holy Liturgy? You should teach your kids to love and cherish this celebration and include going to church in your holiday routine.
The meaning and value of this holiday will increase drastically for your kids IF you add more meaning and value to it! The birth of Jesus Christ is the value they need.
Teaching them to stand up to their values
Let’s face it, a lot of families in America don’t teach their kids about God and are not religious at all. In response to this, a lot of kids might be rude or even make fun of a kid like yours who says a prayer and makes the sign of the holy cross before and after he eats, doesn’t go to a Sunday birthday party because he would rather go to church with his parents or thinks that Christmas is more about Jesus than presents.
- Teach and encourage them to never be ashamed of who they are and what they believe in.
- Tell them to be proud they are christians
- Explain to them that for Christmas, they can feel a special kind of joy in their heart – a type of joy that people who don’t believe in God and Jesus Christ can’t understand or imagine.
Do thematic arts, crafts and decorations
Grab your scissors and colors and start making Christmas tree decorations that also include the story of Jesus’s birth.
Grab my Free Christmas arts and crafts sheet for your kids here!
A Christmas drawing gallery on your wall is also an amazing idea that will get your kids excited about the holiday that’s getting closer and closer every minute.
These are just a few of the ideas that I plan to do this year with my daughter. I refuse to fall into nowadays society’s traps that lost its moral and religious values and I also refuse to teach my kid otherwise.
I hope some of these ideas will be useful for you and your little ones and you will find the same joy we do every year when we celebrate the birth or Christ!
What are your most loved Christmas traditions?