How do you help your kids keep the right focus at Christmas? This is something that we need to be intentional about, so our kids don’t focus solely on gifts, forgetting what Christmas really is about.
Our goal when our kids were younger was to be sure they knew and remembered what the true meaning of Christmas was – the birth of Christ.
We also wanted to help them to focus on how they could show Christ’s love to others, rather than thinking of themselves.
We do most of the normal things at Christmas. We have a tree, and decorations around the house. We play Christmas music, and we give the kids and family presents.
That doesn’t mean that our kids don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas, or that all they thought about was what they wanted for Christmas. It’s easy to let that happen with your kids, unless you plan ways to prevent it.
Here are 7 simple ideas to help keep the right focus at Christmas:
1. At Thanksgiving, start talking about how thankful you are for Christ’s birth.
2. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, remind your kids often of what Christmas is.
When the kids were little, we would ask them “Whose birthday is it on Christmas?” or “What happened on Christmas day to make it so special?”
On Christmas morning we sang happy birthday to Jesus, and read the story of His birth from the Bible, before we opened our presents.
3. Sing songs about His birth.
We listen to the fun songs, but also make sure that we listen to and sing the songs that remind of us of what Christmas is all about. Teach them songs like Away in Manger, Joy to the World, and Silent Night.
4. Have decorations that remind them of the purpose/meaning.
One great example of this is having a nativity scene that the kids can set up, and even play with. We also have window stickers that say “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come,” and a little nativity night light.
A star on the top of the tree is a good way to talk about the star that led the wise men to Jesus, and once again bring their focus to His birth.
5. Plan ways to show God’s love to others, by showing them love and kindness.
Talk about who you want to show love to, and make plans of how to do it. Perhaps you know a family who is struggling financially, and everyone chips in with a little money for them, or a food basket.
Another idea is saving throughout the year to send money to a missionary family at Christmas.
6. Encourage kids to think about what they can give to their siblings and family, to show their love.
My kids used to get SO excited about buying little gifts for their siblings. Often they didn’t have much money, so their gift might be as simple as a candy bar, or something from the Dollar Store. However, they loved finding something special to give, and were more excited about giving their gifts on Christmas, than opening their own.
7. Visit widows, or older folks, and carol for them.
We often did that with the kids, and we brought them a plate of goodies, then visited with them for a few minutes before going on to our next stop. Their response to our visit was always an encouragement to all of us. We would go home and talk about how fun it was to surprise them, or to visit them and give them some company.
Bringing joy to others at Christmas was something that also brought joy to us.
What are some ways you help your family keep the right focus during the Christmas season? I encourage you to make traditions that your kids will remember, while also keeping their focus on the true reason for the season!