Notes on Parenting

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teaching Our Children About Christmas Through Music

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We’ve all considered or put on our own special Christmas Eve program. There have been baby dolls swaddled in blankets,  children fighting over who gets to be the angel or who has to use the pink towel for their shepherd’s costume, and we’ve even decided to avoid the drama and merely read the kids the Christmas Story from the Bible while they all drift off to the Land of Nod.

But…What if you did something different – shook things up a little and got the kids really involved?

Adding music is a wonderful way to capture your children’s attention and make sure everyone can be involved – everyone can sing a Christmas carol. Discussing and interpreting the biblical text is also a wonderful way to help them really get something from the tradition.

An example of a Christmas program could be:
-Sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” when you discuss Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem
-Sing “Away in a Manger” when you read about Jesus being born
-And then sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” when you talk about how special it is that Christ was born and how important it was that he was born so humbly
-Sing “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” when you talk about the shepherds being told by the angels that Christ was born
-Sing “With Wondering Awe” when you tell your children about the three wise men who came to visit Christ

Finish your special musical Christmas program as follows:
-Sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” and then talk about how we can all come to Christ and still follow the star by following His teachings
-And then sing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and talk about the true meaning of Christmas.
-Sing your children’s favorite Christmas hymns – even if you sung them during the story.

If there are other songs you enjoy that help tell of the Christmas story, make sure to include them! A couple favorites that would be wonderful in the story are: “We Three Kings” and “The Friendly Beasts”. Make sure you sing songs your family loves because it will personalize it and help it hit home for your children.

Do your best to make sure you don’t just read the story, but explain it and teach the principles the story holds. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring a loving spirit to your home on the holiest night of the year.

Have you ever done a Christmas program with your children? What have you done to help tell your children the Christmas story?

Hymns can be viewed here


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