Are you ready for Christmas? It’s one of the most commonly asked questions this time of year, and can be answered a multitude of ways. We talk about the presents we have – or have not yet – bought. We expound on how busy we are with church and other activities. We express our gratefulness for the ability to spend more time with our family during the season. We often even mention in passing that we are thankful for the manger and all that it represents to our lives.
All of the things listed above are great, but what if we considered answering the question in a different way? What if we marked our readiness for Christmas by the state of our hearts, not the number of presents under the tree? Have we, in our hearts, spent time at the manger pondering on the incredible gift God gave us over 2,000 years ago? Do we teach our children what Christmas is really all about?
I’d love to share some ideas to help you prepare yourself and your children for the miracle of Christmas.
1) Find an advent book or devotional to go through as a family. I highly recommend The Wonder of the Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp. Based on her bestseller Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp expands her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree with this beautiful keepsake that can be handed down and enjoyed for generations. Click here to watch a video that further explains how this beautiful pop-up book works!
2) Encourage your kids go through their toys/clothes and choose some that are in good shape to others who might be in need. This helps them to focus more on giving to others, not just receiving gifts at Christmas.
3) Schedule a family night to serve at a shelter in your area. Seeing others in need helps to put our own abundance into perspective and reminds us of the many blessings we have been given.
4) Throw a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve. Every year, our family makes a cake for Him, we sing to Him, and make the night all about celebrating our Savior.
5) Consider reading the story of Christ’s birth as a family Christmas Eve, Christmas morning – or both! We use the account in Luke 2:1-20. Take turns reading verses so that everyone feels like they are a part of the moment.
6) Attend your church’s Christmas Eve and/or Christmas services together as a family. Worshiping together will help to forge a special bond between your family members?
7) Invite someone who does not have family in the area to join you for Christmas. We have done that many years, and it has ended up being as much a blessing for us as it was for the friends who joined us.
Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thank you for being part of our Tyndale family. We are grateful for each of you, and we pray God’s blessings on you and your families over the next year!!
Linda Howard is Associate Publisher for Kids and Youth products at Tyndale House Publishers. She has been with Tyndale since 2007.