As Christmas approaches, we can get so busy getting things ready for the big day. Christmas shopping, baking, parties, and concerts fill our schedules. Our calendars are so full making sure our gift lists are checked off and our family Christmas photos are done that sometimes we forget to revel in the joy that this time of year brings. We spend so much time in preparation for Christmas day, I wonder how much of that time is spent preparing our hearts for the true Wonder of Christmas? This holiday season, I encourage you to take moments of personal and family reflection on the true meaning of Christmas. Try some of these activities with your family to deepen the quality of time spent together. 
  • Guest Prep | Brainstorm things your family does to get ready for guests. Discuss what you’d do differently if Jesus came to stay at your house. Read aloud Mark 1:3-4. Say: “John the Baptist told many people that Jesus was coming. We, too, can let others know what Christmas is about—our Saviour’s birth.” Pray, asking God to bless your family’s plans for his Son’s arrival.
  • Holding onto Hope | At breakfast, discuss each day’s Christmas-related plans. Talk about how anticipating this special time is like or unlike what Mary and Joseph hoped for as they waited for Jesus.
  • Preparing a Place | Have children design place cards and decorate paper plates for a meal. Afterward, read Luke 14:12-24 and talk about how God loves each of us and invites us to a heavenly feast. Say: “While we’re preparing our hearts for Jesus, God is preparing a place for us in heaven.” Close in prayer, thanking God for each family member by name.
  • Waiting for the Promise | Discuss why waiting is tough—and how it feels when a long wait is finally over. Read aloud Jeremiah 33:14-16. Say: “This prophet told people that the Messiah, Jesus, was coming. More than 500 years later, God’s promise was fulfilled.” Brainstorm promises you could make that might be worthwhile in 500 years. Say: “Knowing that God always keeps his promises helps us trust him while we’re waiting.”
  • “Spread” the News | Set out sugar cookies, frosting, blunt knives, and sprinkles. While kids decorate cookies, discuss ways we can “spread” the good news about Jesus’ birth and add “sprinkles” of joy to people’s lives.
  • Nativity Copycats | Encourage kids to follow the examples of people in the Bible: loving Jesus as Mary and Joseph did, praising Jesus as the angels did, telling others about Jesus as the shepherds did, and giving Jesus gifts as the wise men did.
  • Christmas Concert | Let younger children ring bells, play music boxes, and dance to Christmas carols. Say: “Knowing that Jesus is coming makes us happy!”
  • The Big Picture | On a long piece of paper, outline a Christmas design. Each day in December, spend a few minutes colouring in the details together. As the mural comes into focus, discuss how to stay focused on Jesus. Display the completed mural in a window. 

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About the Author: stephanie holmberg

Stephanie is a wife, mother, pastor, and friend who is passionate about seeing people live authentic, purpose-filled lives. When not working alongside her amazing kidmin team, you will find her at home spending time with her family, snuggling her furry friend Milo, or out exploring all the amazing places Edmonton has to offer.