Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Santa and gifts tend to take the spotlight this time of year, but as parents we want our children to remember what and why we are celebrating. The glitter and glitz of the season distract our kids and it makes it difficult to help them remember, but simple activities and special family time can help change their focus. This is not to say Santa is bad or that getting gifts is either, but making sure Christ remains at the center of the season can make our families’ Christmases much more special.

Simple ideas can include:

    - Making a tradition of reading the Christmas Story
    - Acts of service
    - Reading “I Believe in Santa Claus” by Diane G. Adamson
    - Giving fewer, but more meaningful gifts
    - Having your children help you put up your crèche
    - Making a nativity with your children
    - Simply discussing the reason for Christmas
    - Reading stories that explain the real meaning behind Christmas traditions (i.e. “The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg and James Bernardin)
    - Attend interfaith Christmas celebrations
    - Have a family activity to give a gift to Christ (a weakness, a shortcoming, a vice). This can be personal and private. Encourage family members to write down something they can give to Christ and then put them under the tree, throw them in a fire, put them on the tree, etc.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that what you focus on is what your children will focus on. Make your emphasis something you want your children to remember and care about.

What do you do to help your children remember why we celebrate Christmas?

By Brooke

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