There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate your faith with your children during the Christmas season! These simple, but beautiful family traditions can help keep children focused on the true "reason for the season" amidst all the holiday frenzy. Try these 7 simple family traditions to help keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations.
7 Simple Family Traditions
1. Read Christmas Stories Together: Advent is a perfect time to introduce this simple family tradition. Read a story or two from one of these recommended Religious Christmas books or Children’s Bibles at bedtime each night. It is a great way to reinforce the meaning of Christmas, and helps children prepare for the upcoming religious holiday.
Religious books and bibles also make perfect Christmas gifts which can be enjoyed for years to come. See Recommended Children’s Religious Books & Bibles for a superb selection of religious books and bibles for infants through teens
2. Hang an Advent Calendar: Display an Advent Calendar in your home, and have children add an ornament each night at dinnertime. Advent Calendars with their religious ornaments make great teaching tools, and are a wonderful visual reminder of the Nativity story. This is an exciting way for children to countdown to Jesus’ birthday.
3. Display a Children’s Nativity Set: Set up a child-friendly nativity set by your Christmas tree where it is easily accessible. There are many adorable Children’s Nativity Sets available which are very durable. Playing with a Nativity set is an extremely wonderful tactile and visual learning experience which brings the birth of Jesus to life.
4. Light the Advent Wreath: Set up an Advent Wreath in your home. Take a moment to light a candle at Sunday dinner for each of the four weeks during Advent. Many Advent wreaths include simple family prayers,blessings or hymns which can be sung during the wreath lighting. Sing a simple Advent or Christmas song together.
5. Encourage Good Deeds: Encourage good deeds throughout the Advent & Christmas season in order to prepare our hearts for Jesus’ coming. Construct a simple family manger (a shoe box will do) which can be filled with "good deeds hay" to make baby Jesus warm and cozy. To make "good deeds hay," cut small strips of paper and have family members write down any good deeds they have done during the day. As the season progresses, the manger fills up with "good deeds hay" until it is ready for the infant Jesus (a small doll or drawing) to be placed. What a precious family Christmas gift for Jesus!
6. Display Religious Decorations: As the saying goes, "Keep Christ in Christmas." When decorating your home, don’t forget to display religious decorations along with your regular Christmas decorations. Christmas ornaments portraying the nativity scene, a nativity set, an outdoor or window nativity are visual reminders of the true meaning of Christmas, When decorating with lights, talk to children about the meaning of light, a beautiful symbol of our faith.
7.. Plan Family Christmas Activities Together: Take the time during the hustle and bustle of the season to enjoy some family time. A few suggestions for family activities include a family Christmas movie night complete with popcorn and a favorite children’s Christmas DVDs; baking extra special Christmas cookies together by using religious cookie cutters; and singing along to the beautiful Christmas hymns and carols on the piano or with your favorite Christmas CDs. Whatever you choose to do, make it a special time together to celebrate your faith.
A final word...Always remember that of the countless Christmas gifts we give our children, the time we spend nurturing their faith is priceless. It is the only gift that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Developing children’s faith begins early, and religious holidays are the perfect opportunity to celebrate your faith together as a family. Reading together, praying together and preparing for Christmas together are wonderful ways to keep Jesus at the center of our Christmas festivities and our lives.
For additional information, please visit www.littleones.com for our Teaching Values & Faith feature including Recommended Children’s Religious Books & Bibles , a selection of children’s religious books and bibles suitable for religious holidays, Baptisms, Communions, Confirmations and other special occassions.
Also visit www.littleones.com for our selection of Great/Award Winning Children’s Books, Little Ones Recommended Toys & Gifts, and Children’s Educational DVDs along with teacher tips, parenting articles, family fun and much more!