Welcome to our special series, “Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Holidays.”
Over the next few weeks, you get to enjoy the wonderful words of my amazing friends as they share with you creative and practical ways you can keep Christ in the middle of all of your celebrations.
Our prayer is that you will come to know Him, worship Him, enjoy Him, celebrate Him, and share Him with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. People all around us need to know the love of Jesus.
May we all be bright “lights” this year – sharing hope to those who need it most!
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
There is undeniable beauty in the Christmas season.
However, the excitement and anticipation can be overshadowed by expectations and demands. Among numerous preparations, gifts to buy, cards to send, and baking to do, there are also homeschooling demands. For homeschoolers, there are preparations that must be made before taking a Christmas break. This may mean wrapping up projects and assignments, reporting progress to education authorities, or planning curriculum for the new year. All of this activity can rob us of our enjoyment of this precious time of year and before we know it, we’re mourning lost opportunities and the fact that another Christmas has come and gone.
As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to make much of Jesus during the holiday season. Click To Tweet
We don’t have to adhere to a non-denominational holiday season, we can celebrate and prepare our children’s hearts and minds for the truth of Christmas. We can bask in the glory of God’s greatest gift and we can do this all while homeschooling our children.
Here are some suggestions to make much of Jesus during the holiday season.
Before you read these, I urge you to pause and ask the Lord to prompt you as to what He wants you to do this Christmas with your children.
Study the nativity
While every child is familiar with the nativity, use this opportunity to study it in-depth. Here are some ideas for exploration:
- read Luke 2: 1-40
- research the Roman census and what a census means for the population
- study a map and calculate the distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem
- encourage your children to mark on the map the routes they think Mary and Joseph took to travel to Bethlehem
- research how long it would take Mary and Joseph to travel this distance
- work on an art project to create a nativity – perhaps your children can paint rocks for a rock nativity like the one my husband made HERE
- watch a nativity movie or go to a nativity play
- put on your own nativity play for family and friends
Have a meaningful countdown to Christmas
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Acts 20:35 A couple of years ago, I started a “Giving” Advent Calendar. Every day, from December 1-24, my children and I do something special to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. We purchase food to bring to the food bank, we bring mitts and toques (hats) to the homeless, we drop off treats for dogs and cats at the local animal shelter, etc. Each of these outings can be a field trip or activity for your children to participate in. While doing these things, it’s important to impress on our children that we’re not just doing works but that we’re helping others as Christ would do.
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2 Praise and worship always brings me closer to Christ. Try incorporating daily worship into your homeschool schedule. Perhaps you can compile a Christmas playlist of some of your favorite songs and provide lyric sheets as well. Another idea is to have a YouTube playlist of some of your favorite Christmas carols.
Write a letter to Jesus
While many children write letters to Santa, why not take the opportunity to write a letter to Jesus? Encourage your children to thank Jesus for all that He has done and all the blessings He has given them. They can decorate their letters and embellish the envelopes as much as they like! If you wish to extend this activity even further, perhaps every family member could write a letter to Jesus and on Christmas morning you could take turns reading them.
Read Christ-centered picture books
During this time, you can also read a Christ-centred Christmas books every day from December 1-24th. Some of my favorites include: This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten The First Night by B.G. Hennessey A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 We celebrate Christmas because it commemorates Christ’s birth. There are so many people in the world who don’t know Christ yet. Encourage your children to pray throughout the Christmas season for people all over the world. A fun and tangible way to do this is to visit Operation World and read about the featured country of the day. You and your children can hold the people of that country up in prayer. With Christ at the center of Christmas and our homeschools, the season will be much more meaningful for you and your children.
What an incredible and practical list, Jennifer! Thank you for this post — written specifically to encourage homeschoolers and their parents to make a big deal out of Jesus this year! This is GOOD stuff!
And, we really appreciate you taking the time to write and to share this message with us! What a blessing~
- Jennifer Bly is the author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool.
- She is also a life-loving blogger over at The Deliberate Mom and Deliberate Homeschooling. She writes about parenting, homeschooling, her faith, and blogging.
- Jennifer lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband and two daughters.
- You can join her community on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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