Last Updated on March 21, 2018

It’s hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that has become December. With Christmas cards, class parties, and gifts to buy … it’s hard to find time to just be together. Spending time together as a family, however, is one of the most important ways we can instill the real meaning of Christmas into the hearts of our children.

Here are just a few ways we are attempting to make the most of Christmas with our children this year:

  • One-meal-a-day policy: Our schedules are crazier than ever, but we’ve decided to eat one at least one meal together each day where we all spend time together around the table eating, talking, and reflecting on the day. If this can’t happen at dinnertime, we make sure we eat together at breakfast or at lunch. Mealtimes offer us the single greatest opportunity to converse with our children.
  • Turning our hearts to Christ: In an effort to focus our attention to Christ, we are currently working through the Truth in the Tinsel eBook (specifically for preschoolers) as well as opening an Advent box each day. Both of these resources have helped us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas–celebrating the birth of Christ! Through hands-on and tactile experiences, our children are learning about the story of Christ’s birth as well as how the birth of this tiny baby has affected the entire world.
  • Three gifts: Last year we decided to give each of our children three gifts for Christmas (in addition to their stocking from Santa). This kept our own consumerism in check by not allowing us to go completely overboard lavishing gifts on our children. Jesus received three gifts, after all!
  • Unwrap a book each day: Reading to our children is another way that we can spend quality, meaningful time together as a family. This year I gathered up all of our Christmas books we had from previous years and wrapped each one individually. Every day until Christmas, our boys will “unwrap” one book.
  • December 23: Both of our families live in town, so Christmas Eve and Christmas day are spent shuffling from house to house. We decided to start our own tradition of December 23 being our “day.” We don’t open gifts until Christmas morning, but we do other special traditions together like driving around to look at Christmas lights and making sugar cookies together. This is one of my favorite parts of the entire holiday as we get to spend time enjoying each other.

No matter what your schedule looks like this Christmas, take time to spend some unhurried moments with your children each day. Those precious moments are when we can instill in the hearts of our children the true reason for the season.

* Originally published December 2012

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  1. I'm inspired by the three gift idea (we went a bit more overboard this year and are wondering what our kids will expect next year!) and love the Christmas book idea! Thanks so much!

  2. I love all of these ideas… especially the book idea! might have to do that next year!

  3. Thanks for sharing. We host an annual Christmas party on Dec. 23rd that is kid oriented, with dinner, games, the Christmas Story and other activities. Even if no one else can come we have it with just our family.