Christmas HAS become very commercialized…when I think of how the holiday is portrayed in our society today, it reminds me of Jesus’ reaction to the market place being held in the temple. Have we forgotten the REAL reason for the season? We may not be able to control how Christmas is portrayed, but we can teach our children how to stay focused on Jesus.
The Lord brought something to my attention this season. Every year, I get upset that we can’t buy our kids all the presents I would like to. I never think what I buy is enough. It sounds bad even as I’m typing this…but I do have to confess that I’ve been preaching to my kids that Jesus, love and peace are the things we should be focusing on at Christmas, then stressing over the number of gifts I can give them. It was wrong of me, so this year I wanted to start practicing what we’ve been preaching!
Bible Readings Focusing on Jesus
With this goal in mind, our family has been doing readings and studies that focus on Jesus, the story of his birth, and stories from his life. First, we are doing this Names of Jesus study. We changed it up a little; we do the Bible verse readings, discuss the significance of the name, and we created a poster that contains all the names of Jesus we’re learning. My kids are really enjoying this one.
Here’s another great study on the Birth of Jesus. We are doing this one this month too! It’s so wonderful for me to see the joy on my kids’ faces as they’re learning more about Jesus, and celebrating the Birth of our Savior. I like this study because it has some great thoughtful discussion questions.
I haven’t tried this one yet, but I love it! It’s a Superhero study of Salvation, and it involves the use of superhero action figures…a great way to connect Jesus with little boys!
Bible Advent Readings
Reading special verses that focus on the birth and life of Jesus can help us keep our focus on Him. Advent readings are done every day, and often have a symbolic activity to go along with them. These readings and activities can become part of your family Christmas traditions!
Focus on the Family has a great suggestion for celebrating Advent. The reading verses are inspiring, and I love the Advent wreath idea. IMHO, even the act of lighting the candles brings your mind closer to celebrating Jesus.
YouVersion is a great source of Bible reading plans, and the Christmas season is no exception. If you have the free Bible app on your phone or tablet, you’ll find an entire category called “Christmas and Advent”. These readings are great for personal time with God.
Bible Advent for Kids
Of course, since this is a homeschooling blog, we need to have a section for the kids! 😉 I came across a very original COOL idea for a handmade advent calendar, complete with Bible verses. Best of all, the site has complete instructions, as well as the printables necessary. Your kids will love making this unique advent calendar.
This next advent reading is cool; it suggests ornaments to go along with each reading. Your children can take turns putting the ornament for that day on the tree or wreath. It’s called “Advent 2013 – the Coming of the Rescuer“. Want to know what the best part is? Your kids can create each ornament using the printables included with the unit!
I love being able to read relevant scriptures with my kids. This set of free printable advent verses is versatile. You can cut the verses apart, and include them in any advent calendar you have, perhaps along with a small ornament or a candy treat.
Be Like Jesus
Of course, the best thing we can do is emulate Jesus. Modeling your behavior after that of Jesus sets an example for your kids, friends, neighbors, and anyone you come into contact with. Too many of us have become desensitized to the troubles of others; whether it’s the single mom down the street that is struggling to put food on her table, a newly widowed woman, the homeless, or orphaned children.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of today’s society, and belittle those who are less fortunate, or ignore the problems of other people. After all, our society as a whole has become extremely self-centered. Our pastor says that to us all the time – it’s all about “self”. Avoiding this trap, and striving to be like Jesus will help us all remember the REAL reason for the season.
If you found this useful, please share on the social networks! Thanks!