|Denise & Steve Gray hold Caleb Forgy - our "Jesus" at the Jesus Birtday Party!|
Special thanks to the moms of Mother's DeLIGHT for some great tips to help children celebrate the TRUE meaning of Christmas! Here are some tips:
Vanessa's ideas span the whole year, but are good as a Christmas focus: Her little boys have a box labeled "Boys Without Toys" -- The little guys know they can place toys in the box to give away to children who do not have as many toys as they do. They are excited to put toys in the box for the "Boys without Toys!"
This little family also has another way to help others which has had a big impact on their children. They hand out gallon size ziploc bags filled with supplies to homeless people.
Vanessa says, "We always see these people outside of Walmart, street corners, etc. My kids would always ask about them."
"Now that we have the bags, we hand them out and we talk about how Jesus said to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. We put granola bars, etc. and capri suns in the bags. We also include hotel sized soap and shampoo, a washcloth, tooth brush and toothpaste. It has sparked many conversations, and has shown our kids how to provide for those in need." Vanessa also adds Bible verses in the bags.
Other focused and sharing thoughts include the following:
___Encourage kind deeds by having the child "add straw to Jesus manger" every time a good deed is done.
___Follow a calendar each day before Christmas which lists thoughtful deeds to make each day special.
___Choose a family to buy for and donate gifts.
___Donate to "Toys for Tots" or Prison Ministry Projects that adopt families
___Be sure to focus on the story of Jesus, reading it from the Bible
___Have a nativity set the children can play with -- You'll be amazed how many toys will visit Baby Jesus!
___Make an Advent Jesse Tree
___Sing Christmas Carols
___When you decorate the tree -- point out how the tree and ornaments tell us about Jesus:
__The tree points up to Heaven
__The star on top is like the star which lead the Wise Men to Jesus
__Lights sparkle to remind us Jesus is the Light of the World
__Angels remind us of the angels who told the shepherds about Jesus
__The bells remind us to ring out the good news: Jesus is Born!
__Candy Canes remind us of Jesus: the good shepherd - his staff
They are also shaped like a "J" for Jesus! Red represents Jesus blood.
White shows Jesus washes our sins away when we give Him our lives
__Some families give a special "Jesus Gift" on Christmas Eve -- usually a meaningful book or movie
__Light the candles on a Jesus Birthday Cake and sing Happy Birthday
__Host a "Jesus Birthday Party" for your neighborhood and be sure to read the Christmas Story
__Light the Advent Wreath each Sunday and read the Bible Verses Listed in our previous article