“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders and He will be called wonderful counsellor, everlasting Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
This is the first year that I feel we can really enjoy Christmas with our kids. There is a reason for this. There are no more babies in the mix which means all of my boys are at an age where they can have a fairly good understanding of the world around them. Therefore, in explaining the festive celebrations that are everywhere, I really wanted to help them understand the real meaning of Christmas. That is, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we don’t do santa. My kids can point him out in a picture but we do not tie him to our gifts or celebrations.
So, because I am a mom who likes big tasks, I bought a dollar store nativity scene. I set out to make a narrative of the Christmas story for my children. My plan was that every day we would put up a new star that had a Bible verse written on it and this would relay to them the true account of Jesus’ birthday. I should mention that we were a few days into advent when I was finally ready to start our advent.
I asked my mom for some help on my narration and I sent her a link that had a pretty good summary of what I wanted to do. What she sent back was way more than what I was planning –mom is a go big or go home kind of lady. There was no way that I was going to attempt what she sent me but thankfully, I did use “most” of her information to come up with my advent narration.
Two days into this, I realized that my kids were not really grasping what I was trying to show them. They loved getting up each morning to find a new star ready to be put up and they were learning the birth of Jesus storyline. The problem came about because they couldn’t move the characters and thus, there was some confusion about who was who.
Here is where I decided to play it a little bit like my mom would. I redid my narrative, adding in some questions, songs and one skit scene — (seriously you should read what she has wrote and this is where mom will insert the site link when she edits this – https://sonshinescoop.com/kathleens-blogs/christmas-advent-teaching-the-true-story-of-christmas/) — bought some candies, and then I made a list for everything I would need to make a felt board.
I am very excited to say that my kids now have a very good understanding of what the Christmas story is about. My youngest who just turned two even answers some of the questions. They enjoy moving the little figurines, singing the “Away in a Manger” song and doing their little skit.
My first advent was a fail. It was not going to teach them what I wanted them to understand – the most important reason for the season — and that is the real advent. The Biblical version and not the Christmas card version. My second attempt has been a wonderful experience for us. We have all learned the Biblical version of Jesus’ birth and my kids are counting down the days to Jesus’ birthday instead of the days until Santa arrives. In the midst of this trial and error but well-intentioned plan to present advent for my kids, I have found a little persistence combined with an ounce of creativity can reach any child at any age.
I encourage you to find as many ways as possible to incorporate Jesus’ birth into Christmas. It is your choice on how you do this and many people incorporate santa and Jesus together. I am not saying my way is the right or wrong way but I know that for this family, we want this Christmas to center around Jesus because without Him, there is no real purpose for life.
Isaiah 9:6 states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders and He will be called wonderful counsellor, everlasting Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.” (Oh and just to let you know, I didn’t even have to look that verse up. Me and my kids are not only participating in our advent, we are diving into God’s word one little piece of felt at a time)