Christmas Parenting Guide

Kids love Christmas.  What kid wouldn't love Christmas? As a parent, I love watching my kids get excited about Christmas.  I love getting them gifts and raising their expectations about Christmas morning. In the midst of all the Christmas excitement, I want to be careful to make sure my kids understand what Christmas is all about. You may be in the same boat.  So, here are a few tips to help you parent your kids through Christmas. 

1. Read the Christmas story from the Gospels.  Read in this order...Matthew 1:18-2:15 (read 2:16-18 if you have older children) then Luke 2:1-20.  Ask your children 3 questions.   "What was your favorite part of the story?" "What did the Angels say about this Baby?" "Why do we need to remember the birth of Jesus today?"  

2. Point to the symbolism of Christmas traditions.  

  • Christmas lights:  Jesus came to be the light of the world. Everyone is born separated from God because of their sin.  It's like being in a very dark room, and we can’t see the way to God.  Everywhere we turn in this dark room, we end up tripping over our sin.  Jesus came to light the way so that we could see God, and more than that, He came to take away the sin that trips us up.  
  • Christmas tree:  The green trees we decorate at Christmas time represent the hope we have because of Jesus.  Because Christmas trees are evergreens (many today are artificial) they represent life in the midst of the cold, gray winter.  Jesus came to bring hope and that hope stands out in our world like an evergreen tree in a forest in winter.  
  • Christmas gifts:  Every gift we give and receive reminds us of the gift of Jesus, God's only Son, given to be our Savior.  The temporary joy we have opening gifts should remind us of the eternal joy we have because of God's gift of grace.  Every time we give a gift we display a part of God's heart for people.  

3. Celebrate. I hear very little about the discipline of celebration in the Church today. Throughout the Christmas story we see celebration because of the birth of Jesus.  We too should celebrate and practice what the Bible calls "rejoicing."  This means to take joy in something. Jesus' birth shows us the great love of God and reminds us that we have a future hope that is worth taking joy in.  Many people have valid reasons to be sad this time of year; perhaps due to the loss of a loved one or some other tragedy. However, we all have a reason for joy that shines above all tragedy and loss.  Jesus came to give sin and death the fatal blow, giving us a sure hope and future.  We have reason to celebrate!  

I hope this Christmas parenting guide will help you train your children to enjoy the season without missing the importance of what Jesus came to do.  Merry Christmas!

Posted by Andy Savage at 10:23 AM
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