In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I fear we can too easily fail to focus on what matters most–the celebration of Christ’s birth and time with our family. I believe you can connect with your kids at Christmas (and I can too!). Today’s post gives 5 ways to intentionally make memories with your family this season. I hope you’ll enjoy it–and share some of your own in the comments!
Christmas is such a fun time of the year, but if we aren’t intentional about it, the season will pass us by without having spent any time cultivating stronger relationships with our children.
Ever since our kids were little, my husband and I have sought to create simple traditions that our children will be able to smile and laugh over with fondness for years to come.
At the heart of these ways to connect with our kids at Christmas is the gospel message of God sending His Son, Jesus, as a baby to one day save us from our sins.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways to connect with your kids at Christmas:
1. Watch a Christmas movie together.
While I personally like to savor fall and kick off the Christmas festivities after Thanksgiving, we are starting a bit early this year with a family movie date to see the new animated movie, The Star.
Movies that depict our Christian beliefs are few and far between, and Will and I were beyond excited to see this one advertised!
From everything I’ve read, The Star is a movie that will leave both children and adults alike laughing their heads off–while in awe of the miracle of Christmas at the same time.
As well, we have a December 23 tradition of watching a Christmas movie around the tree and letting the girls then sleep around it.
Each year on the eve of Christmas Eve, we bake Christmas cookies, pop popcorn, and the girls lay out their sleeping bags beside the tree and watch a Christmas movie before falling asleep.
In the past, The Nativity Story has been a family favorite, but I can also see the new movie The Star as making our line-up in the future.
2. Read an Advent devotional together.
When my girls were just toddlers, we began reading the Truth in the Tinsel devotional and doing the crafts together.
Even at 9, 7, and 5, my three girls still get excited when we begin the advent activities every year, and they are now old enough to read the devotionals to my husband and me (and to their little brother!) and even lead the craft time!
3. Give 3 gifts.
We’ve always been very intentional about the number of gifts we give our children at Christmas–just 3!
We do this in the tradition of the three gifts the Wise Men gave to Baby Jesus. Our 3-gift policy might sound harsh, but I can assure you that our children lack for nothing (and Grandma and Grandpa more than make up for anything they don’t get from Mom and Dad!).
Giving our children three gifts–something they want, something they need, and something to foster spiritual growth–helps us teach them that Christmas isn’t about them and their presents.
Yes, it’s a very fun part of the holiday season to give and receive gifts. But, the true reason for the season is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
(Note: We give stocking stuffers as well! My hubby even gave me and my readers great tips on some stocking stuffers for men!)
4. Select a charity to support together.
Our favorite charity to support around the holidays is Operation Christmas Child.
Our girls helped distribute some OCC shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items when we visited Costa Rica back in 2015.
This has made this charity all-the-more real to them! Filling our shoeboxes each year is a very special event for our family!
5. Visit a living nativity.
Our family is blessed in that we have several living nativities that are within driving distance for us. Our favorite is called A Walk Through Bethlehem, and visiting it is like taking a step back into time.
This helps bring the nativity story to life for our children, and it’s one of the traditions I look forward to the most each year.
There was one year where my husband, youngest daughter, and I even participated in a living nativity. It was fun–and funny–getting to play Mary, Jospeh, and Baby Jesus when we all have fair skin and red hair!
What are your favorite ways to connect with your kids at Christmas?
Awesome ideas! You are so right about being intentional and thinking ahead about Advent. I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, especially the materialism. And Christmas Eve Eve is fun to acknowledge!
Thanks, Claire! I feel like it’s getting even more important (and exciting) to be intentional about these things as the kids get older. The eve of Christmas Eve was their idea…and it’s been so much fun!! Thanks for “stopping by”! 🙂
The found your blog in the midst of a difficult time for me. I want to thank you for your inspiring posts. In fact I have changed my life a little to implement your suggestions. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. May your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.
A movie suggestion: Buck Denver’s Christmas movie!
I hadn’t heard of that on! Thank you!