It’s the time of year when the calendar quickly fills up with more and more places to be and things to do as festivities around the Christmas season commence. But the ‘season of joy can also bring the pressure of keeping up with others around us to make memories for our children and join in with the latest trending traditions.
From Christmas Eve boxes to Elves on the Shelves, the pressure on parents to make Christmas magical for their children is no longer restricted to Christmas day itself. It starts as soon as the first door on the advent calendar has opened, or even before!
Beyond the breakfasts with Santa and the gifts under the tree, the advent season is also a time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. So, if you are looking for simple ways to celebrate the nativity story with your children, then the following tips may help.
Enjoy some festive carols
While busy with Christmas crafts or baking, why not listen to traditional Christmas carols?
Whether ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ or ‘Away in a Manger’ is your jam, enjoy singing carols together as a family. You can pull up some playlists on YouTube or a music streaming service. You could attend a Carols and Lessons service at a local Church together to hear the Christmas story re-told with some festive hymns. The Church of England has an online directory which can be used to find your local Anglican Church service.
Consider creating an atmosphere for reflection by displaying advent-themed art throughout your home for the Christmas season.
It can be as simple as finding a Nativity-themed print out online for your children to colour and display or you can make your own Nativity scene using craft items around the house. This can be used to help share the story of that first Christmas day in a Bethlehem stable.
Make some hand-made star decorations for your tree
You can follow a simple salt-dough recipe using just table salt, flour and water to create a dough and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to make some festive decorations, add a hole into the top and then bake to harden the dough before decorating with paints, glitter and any other items on hand ready to hang on the tree.
You can then share the importance of the star at the top of the tree with your children and the story of the three wise men following the star to find the baby Jesus in his manger.
Elf on the Shelf alternative
Following on from the last activity, an alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf trend is to invite your children to participate in a daily hide-and-seek game leading up to Christmas by hiding a star around the house.
Children can follow the star just like the wise men in this fun way to build up anticipation for Christmas Day.
Simply share a story
Lastly, the simplest way to share the true meaning of Christmas is to sit down and read the Christmas story with your children.
Whether you want to read directly from a Bible or borrow a nativity picture book in your local library you can take some time to go through the Christmas story together and open up a discussion about why we celebrate Christmas Day.
However you incorporate the true meaning of Christmas this year we hope that you and your family enjoy your Christmas celebrations and remember parents – you don’t have to do it all, we hope that just adding one of these tips into your home will give you an opportunity for reflection – especially during a time that tends to be overly busy.