How to Keep Christ in Christmas with Kids

How to Keep Christ in Christmas with Kids


The snow has already fallen, the Christmas decorations are hung, and thoughts of what Christmas truly means fills my mind. A time of reflection of our Savior, a time of peace. Yet the true meaning of Christmas sometimes slips away as commercials and the “me” mentality take its place. We write lists of what we want, and what will make us feel special, but even better than the gifts we receive are the gifts we give, as we are reminded that we were already given the best gift of all when Jesus came to earth for our salvation.

I’m going to be honest with you, there was a tone in my house and it wasn’t all warm and fuzzy… it stunk, it was one of ungratefulness and entitlement. As I looked at my children with sadness in my heart, I thought to myself, “no, this will not be.”

So I told my children, “go grab your piggy banks, we’re going shopping for Christmas gifts”. I was very young when I started participating in giving presents on Christmas, and it was always such a big deal to me to find the gift that would really make someone smile.

My children’s ungratefulness turned to joy, as their eyes lit up with anticipation that they were able to participate in giving presents on Christmas. They were super excited! My daughter grabbed her purse and said, “look mom I am like you.” With her sweet little purse tossed over her shoulder she was ready to spend her cherished $3 on someone else. It no longer became about me, me, me, Christmas became about others.

Isn’t that what it’s about? The gift of giving. God giving to us? Giving of Himself, His only begotten Son so that we may have the gift of salvation?

So as the advertisements bombard us with thoughts of what we think we lack, lets remember what Christmas is about. Love, joy, peace; a personal God who not only created us, but came to earth in the flesh so that we may spend eternity with Him.

Here are a few ways to help your family stay focused this Christmas season

1. Buy a nativity set. A nativity set is a great way to be reminded of God’s love and mercy and the reason we celebrate Christmas. My kids love our nativity set, they have fun interacting with it, and it is a great learning tool.

2. Focus on doing good deeds for others: Awe Filled Homemaker offers a great list of 24 activities that are kid friendly, to help redirect your kids focus on others during this Christmas season. 24 Random Acts of Kindness.

3. Make a generosity tree: Cut out a paper tree, add the scripture verse, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” – 1 Timothy 6:18. Every time you see one of your children doing a kind act, or if they see a sibling doing a kind act glue a pine needle to the tree.
Generosity Tree Instructions found at Inspiration to Creation

4. Encourage your children to buy or make their christmas gifts. Being a part of this special time of year, not just on the receiving but on the giving part is truly a rewarding experience.

5. Read daily scripture to focus on the reason why we celebrate Christmas…the hope we have in Christ, and His birth many years ago. Ann Voskamp puts out a great reflection in her book “A Jesse Tree Journey”.

And as the day gets closer

5. Christmas Eve service: A time to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Putting aside all the hustle and bustle of the month and focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ the King, and how can you beat the adorable kid’s participation?

6. Reading part of the Christmas story found in Luke 2 on Christmas morning. This is always a favorite Christmas tradition of mine, reading a documented account of Jesus Christ’s birth. Recollecting the time in history that forever changed our lives.

Please Share Your Thoughts

  • Joanna

    This Christmas I come in contact with a single mom who is not able to get her one year old daughter any gifts. Esther and I went through her toys and found two of her toys that are one year old appropriate and are meeting up to give them to the mother this Sunday. Esther is so very excited that another little girl “gets to get presents for Christmas because I have lots of toys.” And I’m glad I got her involved instead of just doing it myself. It makes my heart swell with pride <3 So easy to get caught up in the materialism. It's so precious to find ways to teach them to focus on others instead of self. Thanks for the reminder and tips!

    • I love that Joanna! That is so sweet that Esther is already willing to give up her own toys so someone else would have something for Christmas. Tell her aunt Grace is so proud of her.

  • Dean

    Grace, your simple reminder brought back the special feeling of what I’ve always loved about Christmas. Thank you so much for guiding our Grandchildren on this truthful path. Love ya all.

    • You’re support means so much to me. I am so glad the article helped bring back what you loved about Christmas, because I needed the reminder too. Thank you for standing by me and andy on this tough job of parenting. It’s hard and their times we mess up, but I am pressing forward and looking up!

  • alyce

    Beautiful article. Your children reflect the goodness you teach them. I feel I have grown spiritually from your articles and my just being near you.

    • Mrs. H, I hope you truly know how much I appreciate your words. If my actions only affected myself on this journey to love God and love others, I would only be a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 cor. 13:1. My desire is to permeate truth to those around me so that their life will be changed by God’s grace too. I have def. seen you growing and am excited to see all God has in store for you.

  • Thank you Grace for adding my link! Our Generosity tree is slowly getting filled with pine needles and helps me to remember that our heart is to reach others with God’s love!

    We also do a dollar store buying time where each kid gets money and they buy gifts for other family members! We have done that for the last two or three years and this year my kids were ready to go get gifts! (We haven’t been out yet, but I know my kids love to give). Christopher wants to make cookies for people, so I think shopping this week will include morsels! :) We were inspired by this silly book called “You Can Do It, Sam” where Sam and his Mom make cakes, then early in the morning they leave the packages at the door of their neighbors houses, Sam going up to each door and putting it in front of it. Cute book! I highly recommend it!

    Operation Christmas Child is also a neat way to give, and don’t forget to check out Lil Light O’ Mine Blog! She has tons of ideas and she calls her thing “Light Em Up” with ideas on how you can bless people, including leaving out coffee and donuts for your garbage man, giving candy canes out, and just helping another Mom in need! I think we printed out from her sight a whole list of ideas, but I don’t think we can write in the snow “Have a great day!” Someone may take that the wrong way! lol

    Anyways, I loved this article and am sharing it! Keep up the good work, Mom! You are planting seeds and remember that we are the ultimate example (even as we are a work in progress!)

    Hope you have a great Christmas!

    • That is so exciting that your tree is getting filled! Kids are so sweet how quickly they pick up on these visual reminders.

      Thank you for sharing the personal stories from you family on what you are doing to think of others this christmas. Personal stories are my favorite!! It is getting that privileged inside view into another’s life.

      I also, love that you incorporate what you learn in stories for your personal life. That story ,”you can do it sam” sounds great! Did you get it from the library?

      Thank you for sharing the article and for your encouragement! I really appreciate it.

  • Oh, and Christmas Caroling to shut-ins! That is always neat, as well, and something Tim and I are hoping to do this year.

  • Linda+Henderson

    Yeah- I really like the part about teaching the kids to give to others, getting their minds away from themselves. That sounded super special for Esther to help a friend out by giving away her extra toys. It’s good for kids to learn to share at an early age, like you all did. And what you said about helping them to focus on Jesus for Christmas, since we’re celebrating His birthday, was the best part of all! When you were growing up, you probably remember how we always had a manger around for Christmas. And sometimes we’d leave it up all year round. It’s a great idea for somebody to read Luke 2 as a reminder of when Jesus- the Lord of the Universe & God’s Son, humbled Himself to be born in a manger as a baby. He came with a purpose in mind- to deliver each of us from our sinful natures, so whoever chooses to believe in Him can spend Eternity in a far better place. Praise the Lord all of you believe in Jesus, and know He’s real, as we do, too. Your clear and systematic presentation of how to make the holidays more special for children is a good reminder for parents to focus on what’s most important about the holidays. Definitely a word in season!( Btw-The picture of Timmy by the tree is too precious!)

    • Thank you for commenting Mom! I think it helped encourage us to give, because you loved giving, it’s amazing what kids pick up and they truly not only can tell the action but the heart behind it.

      Thank you for your encouragement too! I love that I can count on you, to encourage me to do the right thing. We all need people in our court.

      Also, I remember the manger! Do you guys still have that? I know we still have some great pictures with it in it.
      It was great talking with you tonight Mom! Love you