Does all the commercialism surrounding Christmas bother you? Do you want to keep your heart and your children’s hearts focused on the true meaning of Christmas?
Focus your conversation, music, decorations, and stories on the spectacular of Christmas rather than the fake. Why? You’ll be reminded of the amazement of what our Heavenly Father did in sending Jesus to save us. You’ll spark your children’s imagination and wonder of Christmas. You’ll build into them traditions of the true meaning of Christmas that they’ll carry with them long after they’ve left your home.
Does focusing on the true spiritual meaning of Christmas mean that we “dis” the culture around us? Not at all. Rather, it means we live with joy and delight of the spectacular.
Choose to Give Your Children the Spectacular
Our children are bombarded with Santa Claus, reindeer, and elf on a shelf. While they may be fun for the imagination, there are true, more spectacular imaginations we can give them.
ONE: Elf On a Shelf
Fake: Santa sends Elf on a shelf from the North Pole to watch our children to see if they’re being naughty or nice. That’s rather ominous and scary. “Big brother” watching to catch our children being bad.
Spectacular: Our Heavenly Father sends angels from heaven to watch over our children and guard them. How lovely and true for us and our children to think on.
Tip: Place angels on the shelf.
Fake: Santa’s reindeer fly once a year on Christmas Eve. Movies typically depict a traumatic concern if they’re going to make it.
Spectacular: God’s angels fly between heaven and earth continually with everlasting power and majestic glory fighting evil and victoriously guiding our way.
Tip: Watch Christian movies on the birth of Christ and the glorious, musical angelic announcement to the shepherds.
Fake: Santa brings gifts once a year. There’s stress if he’ll get the right, longed for gift.
Spectacular: God gives us the gift of Jesus’s birth, life, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, eternal life, and heaven. He gives us the daily gifts of life, the beauty of the sky, the sun, water, food, life, and one another. He is gloriously faithful and generous to give us all these gifts.
Tip: Teach children to open their eyes to God’s gifts. It’s proven that people who keep a gratitude journal are more optimistic about life. They’re mindful of God’s daily gifts. Prayers of My Heart journal has a Month at a Glance section where you and your children can record something for which you are thankful each day. By daily being mindful of God’s gifts, you and your children will live a more thankful, optimistic life. An attitude of gratitude rather than stressing over what you don’t have is one of the greatest gifts God gives us and that we can give our children.
FOUR: Candy Canes
Fake: They mark the pathway to Santa’s workshop
Spectacular: Staffs symbolize the shepherds to whom the angels announced Jesus’s birth.
Tip: Hang candy canes on the Christmas tree. Read Luke 2:8-16.
FIVE: Christmas Music
Fake: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Spectacular: “Joy to the World, the Lord Has Come”
Tip: Listen to Christian Christmas music and teach your children songs that are filled with the true meaning of Christmas.
SIX: Christmas Stories
Fake: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Spectacular: “Jesus Birth in Bethlehem”
Tip: Read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-14 at bedtime and help your older children memorize it. My mother helped me memorize it as a child and it lives in my heart. Give your children this gift by memorizing a few verses at a time and adding more verses each year. Let them recite it Christmas morning.
Fake: Guides Santa
Spectacular: Guides the wise men
Tip: Read Matthew 2:1-2. Decorate the Christmas tree with stars.
EIGHT: Christmas Plays
Fake: Santa’s workshop, elves, and reindeer costumes
Spectacular: The nativity, shepherds, and angel costumes
Tip: Make simple costumes out of pillow cases and scarves. Cotton ball sheep costumes and a baby doll Jesus in a blanket covered box are easy props. This is fun for children, and by acting out the Christmas story, they seal the true meaning of Christmas in their heart.
This year, choose to give your children a spectacular Christmas.
Does it mean you ignore or refuse all the secular?
But it does mean you have the choice and the power to choose how you decorate your house and which books, movies, and songs you make the emphasis.
I pray you and your children have a spectacular Christmas.