The holiday season often comes and goes in such a rush and hurried manner that it often leaves us so relieved that it’s finally over.
Making Much of Jesus During Christmas with Your Preschoolers
January comes and we sit back and feel like we can breathe, finally.
There are so many obligations that we must complete during the holidays.
Lots of shopping. List making. Present wrapping. Family obligations to attend. Desserts to make. Functions to go to, even if it’s just to show your face for a few minutes.
As soon as Thanksgiving shows up, we are spinning our wheels trying to stay afloat and just survive the holidays.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
We need to slow down. We need to savor the moment. Live in the moment.
We need to start by changing our mindset. Instead of looking at the holiday season as an obligation, think of it as a blessing to spend one more holiday with those we love and hold dear.
One way that my family takes the time to be eternally focused during the Christmas season is to make much of Jesus to our children.
We have 3 young children that we get to teach and lead to Jesus. Zackary is 5, Jackson is 4, and Vayda is 2. We are busy, busy, busy! We’ve had a few years of practice so far.
We love to lift up Jesus and His sacrifice for us during the Christmas season. It is so important to us to teach them that the true reason for the season is Jesus. Not all the presents under the tree or all the Christmas cookies you can eat.
It may sound impossible to do since they’re so young but it really isn’t!
Making Much of Jesus During Christmas with Your Preschoolers
Nativity Scene Advent Calendar
We decided to not go the traditional route with the advent calendar.
You know, the ones with 25 pieces of chocolate and you get one a day up until Christmas. We did try this our first year doing an advent countdown but we didn’t like the results. No matter what we told our boys they tuned us out and only focused on getting their chocolate.
Not the ideal reaction or lessons we wanted them to learn. Their focus was on themselves and their chocolate.
The next year, we purchased the Nativity Scene Advent Calendar. The effect was amazing.
Each day one child gets to take out a piece and stick it on to the scene. Then we discuss something about the birth story of Jesus. For example, if it’s a wise man, we talk about how they followed the star to bring Jesus gifts and worship Him.
The entire month they are focused on baby Jesus and His birth–since this is the last piece that goes up. It sinks in for them that Jesus is the most important piece and He was born a baby just like us.
This has made the biggest impact for making much of Jesus during Christmas for our preschoolers!
Search for Nativity Scenes
Who doesn’t love the beauty of driving around and looking at Christmas lights? Preschoolers are no different! This is such a fun tradition that we do every year that we all love.
To keep the focus on Jesus during this tradition, we make it a challenge to find all of the nativity scenes as we drive around. We tell our little ones to find baby Jesus.
We’ve adapted this idea from Courtney, she uses it with her older children. As ours grow older, I’m sure that we will give out colored thank you notes as well!
As preschoolers, they love this hide and go seek challenge. They are always quick to tell me that house must love Jesus like we do. I love that.
Present Prayer Door
This is an idea that our Pastor incorporated with his children while they were young.
I think it’s brilliant. Not only does it put the focus back on Jesus but it encourages prayer and love for others during the holidays.
All you do for this tradition is cover a door in your home with wrapping paper, to make it look like a present. Then for each day leading up to Christmas, you let your children pick someone to pray for. After you do, let your child add a bow to the door/present and write the name of the person next to it.
By the time Christmas arrives, you will have a very full, beautiful door! How can you not enjoy the season more after you’ve prayed for your family and friends?
Bake a Treat for Your Neighbors and Friends
This is another one my little ones love. They love helping me in the kitchen!
Most of us are making Christmas cookies during the holidays, why not make an extra batch for your neighbors and deliver them with your children? We love to add the gospel story to the card attached.
We are teaching that Christmas isn’t all about them and that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We let them pick a few friends at church to bring a treat to as well to make this point as well.
We teach our children throughout the year that it is important to tell people about Jesus and how to get to heaven, we put that into practice during the holidays putting the focus back on Him while teaching our children how important it is to win a soul. We love spreading God’s Word in a non-threatening way as well. Who can say no to a dessert and cute kids?
Read the Christmas Story
On Christmas morning, before any presents are opened we read the Christmas story in Luke 2.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
While teaching them self-control (because they really want those presents!), we are taking the time to put Jesus first and talk about His gift to us.
Enjoying the holidays can be done!
Traditions to make much of Jesus can be simple and fun for everyone in your home. These traditions are what our children will remember for many years to come.
They won’t always remember what they got for Christmas but they will remember Mom and Dad taking the time to teach them strong Christian values.
What traditions do you have in place to make much of Jesus during Christmas with your preschoolers? Click To Tweet
We’d love to hear so let us know in the comments below!
Thanks, Ana, for such a practical and helpful article for parents of preschoolers! I think so many will be able to take these ideas and use them with their young children for Christmas this year. We really appreciate you and your wonderful suggestions!
You can visit Ana on her blog by linking HERE.
- Anastasia is the wife of her High School sweetheart and mama to three little ones.
- In between the craziness of laundry, meals, and homeschooling she enjoys reading, writing, sewing, crafting and anything pink!
- She has the desire to inspire women to pursue holiness in their everyday life and you can find her doing just that over at anawins.com!
**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else?
© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.