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Do you want to raise Children who know the true meaning of Christmas? Of course you do, right?! If you are a Christian parent, you know all too well how easy it is for our kids to get swept away in the distractions of the enemy. After all, his MO is to steal, kill and destroy. During Christmas the distractions away from the true meaning of Christmas are many.
Kids these days seem to want more…more…more. Being discontent with the “things” they have is a sure sign their focus has been misplaced and they may not be focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
When the List of Wants is Long
My kids’ Christmas list (yes, we buy them gifts) has gotten a tad bit much. They see their friends getting extravagant gifts and covet gifts like those. Most parents do the Santa Clause thing.
We have never went the Santa way.
Not that I have anything against those that do, it is just a conviction we had early on to keep our family focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
My girls know who is getting them the gifts, but realize that God is our ultimate source for everything that we have. But I want them to be content either way.
We’ve had Christmases of both feast and famine, so when we are able, we do bless their socks off! But if we just can’t swing it, they still find joy throughout the season.
My youngest daughter is REALLY into gymnastics and everything on her list this year is related in some way to this sport. The other day we were coming home from her practice and she brought up her list of wants. After the lengthy discussion covering all the items on her list my little 7 year old said very sweetly, “but mom if I don’t get all of these things, it’s okay.”
My mama heart skipped a beat. She’s been my tough kid, the one who wants it her way or no way. So, to hear her say that was glorious!
Teaching the True Meaning of Christmas to our Children
Finding balance can be so hard when you just want to give them the world. So how do we raise abundantly blessed children who are not stingy, greedy? Kids that really grasp the true meaning of Christmas?
My husband and I have toyed with the idea of not getting them gifts at all in hopes that they “learn a lesson”. But ultimately, we don’t want them to feel they are being punished for something. They are good kids, and not selfish. So we decided against that one.
So how as parents, can we gently guide their hearts toward Christ fully during the Christmas season and zero in on the true meaning of Christmas?
Set Boundaries and Limits
Being mom, the main caregiver for my children, I have to be the “bad guy” A LOT. Anyone else with me? As mom, we are the ones that have to say no. We have the wisdom (momsense) to know when the limit has been met or the line has been crossed.
I want above all else that my kids have a servant’s heart and love the Lord. What I do not want is for them to grow up entitled. Thinking that the world owes them this or that. And I’ve found that there is a fine line between blessing your children and spoiling them. So we set limits at Christmas and throughout the year.
So I thought, what about setting an 80/20 rule? With the 80 portion being what we give. We give more than we receive. By setting this limit we ultimately end up being more blessed anyway.
Giving is not only monetary. Yes, we love to buy gifts for others and each other, but this also includes gifts of service, praying for others, donating toys, letting someone go in front of us at the grocery store, saying you are sorry first, anything that puts others first. Anything to be more like Jesus.
Little Eyes Are Watching You
Let your kids see you keeping Christ Center this Christmas and be Christ-like. Pray and look for ways to bless those around you. Hold doors for people, start a pay it forward chain at your local fast food restaurant drive-up window, donate canned foods to the local food pantry, or bake some cookies for an elderly neighbor.
Tell your child about what you are doing and, if possible, take them with you. Show them your prayer list with all the different people you are praying for and encourage them to make one. When you do good things for other people, your kids will see this behavior. They will be more likely to follow by your example.
Start New Christ-Centered Family Traditions
- Get the Truth in the Tinsel Curriculum and make an ornament each day and read part of the True Christmas Story.
- Make a Prayer Calendar – On each day put a name of friends, family, the president, pastor etc. and pray together as a family for each person on their day.
- Find a great Advent book or calendar to follow there are tons online to choose from. This year we are using Ann Voskamp’s, The Wonder of the Greatest Gift! More ideas here!
- Participate in a charity to help those in need like Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child or Cure International.
- Wrap up Christ-centered Christmas books and put them under the tree. Have the kids unwrap and read to them throughout the month of December.
- Light a candle and read a little of the Christmas story found in Luke each night and pray together as a family.
- Bake something yummy and share some with an elderly neighbor. Sit and talk with them awhile.
- Use Operation World and pray for people in different countries each day to know Jesus.
- Donate toys, clothes, coats, blankets and other things to a homeless shelter.
- Round up some neighbors and go Christmas caroling.
- Have your kids write a letter to Jesus.
- Pray and seek God for what He would like you to do to be the hands and feet of Jesus in your community.
- Surround them with Christ-Centered decorations. Instead of Santa and Elf on the shelf, put up a Nativity Scene and read the TRUE story of Christmas found in the Bible.
Give God your Time
Pray and meditate on His word. This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we have to be reminded of this simple yet detrimental aspect during this busy season. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundant. We should honor that. And if we do, we will be more joy-filled and Peacebound this Christmas. This will help to keep us focused on the things of above and not the to-do list. Then our kids will follow suit. We set the atmosphere of our home.
Don’t Do it ALL
Ah, the busyness of Christmas! You don’t need to go to every Christmas party, play, event etc that you are invited to. Slow down and live in the moment with your kids. Walk in the Spirit and allow yourself to be used in mighty ways. God is always talking to you. He always has an assignment for you. Are you listening?
Don’t allow people to control you, make you feel guilty and stress you out. I’m not saying ignore your family, but just be aware of your time and set some boundaries on the amount of activities you attend. Be led by the Spirit and you will always be traveling down the path of peace and balance. It’s OK to say no. They will get over it and you will always be in the right place at the right time. When we are balanced and filled with the spirit of God your kids will notice and learn from this.
Hopefully, you have been blessed and have a few tricks up your sleeve now. We aren’t going for Pinterest perfect or Facebook fabulous here, just do what you are able, do what God puts in your heart with your family in the season that you are in. If you want your kids to know the true meaning of Christmas it all starts with Jesus. Pray and seek God for direction and you will be on the right path.
What are some ways that you are teaching your kids to know the True Meaning of Christmas?
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- 25 Christ-Centered Christmas Books
- 3 Ways to Abide in Christ Through the Difficult Times of Motherhood
- Holiday Gift Guide – The Best Gifts for Kids
- 4 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 8, 11, & 12 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves hanging out at her exclusive Facebook Group “Homeschooling 101 Community” that she started to help new homeschoolers thrive.