Keeping Christ in Christmas

The excitement of Christmas is filling our house – the tree is decorated; most of the gifts are wrapped; soon the baking starts; and family starts arriving next week.  It is so easy in all this activity to let the real meaning of Christmas go unmentioned.  We adults know that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday but how are our children going to know unless we tell them?  They may see this only as a time when all the relatives get together or there’s lots of goodies to eat or everyone gives them gifts.

Enjoy the traditional practices of Christmas.  Don’t be so different from the world that the world wouldn’t want what you have. An old English historical writing contains a letter from Pope Gregory to Saint Mellitus, who was on his way to England to do missionary work among the pagan Anglo-Saxons. Pope Gregory suggested that converting heathens would go easier if they were allowed to keep some of their traditional practices, while reinterpreting those traditions spiritually towards the Christian God instead of to their pagan ‘devils’.

Today we as Christians should hear what Pope Gregory said and enjoy the traditions of the world, but be sure to give them Spiritual meaning for our families. Make every effort to teach the real meaning of Christmas through everything you do:

  • While decorating the tree share that the evergreen tree reminds us of the everlasting love Jesus has for us.  The tree is like a big birthday cake for Jesus and the lights are the candles.  The lights remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world and that “God lights our darkness” (2 Samuel 22:29)
  • While wrapping gifts share “It is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) Point out that because it is Jesus’ birthday we give gifts.  Jesus said when we give to one another it is the same as giving to him. (And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40) Share “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).   Make sure your children are involved in making or purchasing gifts to give so they are not just on the receiving end of the gifts.  Also point out that giving is not only things, but he can give love, friendship, help, and joy.
  • Make the manger scene central in your decorations. Be sure your children hear the Christmas story from the Bible often. It’s fine to tell them the pretend stories of Santa and elves, Rudolph and Frosty, but be sure to tell the true story of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angels, Shepherds, etc.  Also help them understand the true story of Santa.  He loved Jesus so much that he wanted to give to others.  A good book about Santa is “Santa, Are You for Real? “ by Harold Myra.

Check Train Up The Child for ways to relate the real Reason for the Season to traditional seasonal objects.  Just search on the site for ‘Christmas’, ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’,  or for a traditional object (ex. Santa, trees, wreaths, mistletoe, etc.)

 

Share

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

This has been a very challenging year for us all but let us remember to look for God’s goodness and mercy in the midst of all the confusion.  Make a list of all we can be thankful for and give Him thanks!

For ideas on leading your children to give thanks, please check out our previous Thanksgiving posts here.

 

Share

Tell Your Children About Veteran’s Day

Psalm 106:3     Blessed are those who keep justice,

2 Tim. 2:3     You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Veterans Day pays tribute to ALL American veterans, but especially honoring living veterans who have served their country.

It was originally called Armistice day which was the day during World War I that an agreement to stop fighting was signed – at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns fell silent.

– Lead your children to honor all our Veterans and to pray for God to bless them and their families.
– Set an example to your children of always going up to those you see in uniform and thanking them for their service.

Here’s a great site to help you celebrate Veteran’s Day with your children.

 

Share

Teach Your Children About Columbus

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.
Mark 16:15

History:

‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!’  But why did he set sail?

“Christopher Columbus had a belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery.  Columbus’s own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean.”  Phyllis Schlafly Radio Script, October 14, 2002

Washington Irving wrote of Christopher Columbus: “ Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when they first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings.”

Teach your children that each Columbus Day, we celebrate the life of a brave explorer who loved Jesus and obeyed the Bible’s command to spread the gospel.  He landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It was first celebrated in 1866.   October 12th was made a federal holiday in 1934.  Since 1970 it has been celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October.

The results of Columbus sailing the ocean blue was the discovery that the Earth was indeed round and also the settlement of new lands.  This resulted in the further spreading of the Good News which led eventually to our hearing the Gospel of Jesus.

Activities:

  • Trace his journey on a globe from Spain to San Salvador Island:

  • Play with a ball, preferably an inflated globe ball, and talk about the fact that Columbus discovered that the world was round.
  • Tape off a boat on the floor or make one out of a large box and pretend to be Columbus discovering America.  Then get out and lay on the ground and thank God and sing as Columbus did.  Pretend the stuffed animals are the natives in the land and tell them about Jesus.
  • Check out this site for some Columbus Day crafts: http://www.dltk-kids.com/Crafts/columbus/index.htm
  • Consider getting a map of the world shower curtain
Share

Labor Day

Labor Day logo - Various cartoon workers

Let’s always teach our children the reason for the holiday being celebrated – that it is not just a day out of school or a time for a picnic. There is a story behind each one.

Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women (whether they get paid for their work or not). It has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1894. Read the history of this holiday here so you will be equipped to tell your children what the day is about as you go about your celebration.

Use some of these suggestions to emphasize the importance of work to your children:

  1. Read the story of Nehemiah in your Bible. Then tell it in your own words or try to find it in a children’s Bible and read it to your children. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and Nehemiah led the people to rebuild them. They had a mind to work. (So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height,for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah. 4:6)
  2. Build a wall together out of pillows and talk about having a mind to work and working together.
  3. Think of ways your children can ‘work’. Find suggestions here for age appropriate chores.
  4. Memorize as a family Col. 3:23 ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,’ Talk about doing your best at whatever you do and doing it cheerfully.
  5. Thank God for the work that Dad does and the work that Mom does.
  6. Play charades acting out different jobs.
  7. Lead your children (by example) to appreciate those who have a mind to work. Say ‘thank you’ to those yall encounter doing their work – waitress, teacher, trash collector, doctor, policeman, etc. Especially notice those who are doing their work heartily!
  8. Don’t forget to appreciate those who work to support your family.  One stay-at-home mom wrote a poem and made a card with her 4 1/2 month old to show appreciation for her husband diligently working to provide for them. FullSizeRender

 

Enjoy Labor Day with your family!

 

Share