Along with the Jesse Tree, we love to do activities over the holidays that shout “Jesus!” There are so many voices out there, and we want His name to be the loudest. So, I wanted to share with you some of our favorite things to do throughout December.
10 Meaningful Christmas Activities:
1.) Operation Christmas Child— The national collection for this was last week, but even if you have missed it (which I have done before), you can still build your box in December.
2.) Watch Live Nativity–This is by far my favorite. Grace Bible Church in Dallas does a live nativity every year, and it is wonderful. You travel as a family from room to room to see the Christmas story live! Afterwards, there is cookie decorating, face painting, crafts, and a petting zoo–with camels! So fun, and all FREE…and so meaningful. If you are not in the Dallas area, check out a live nativity near you.
3.) Explore nature and give the animals a treat–I think there is so much each season in nature that moves us and our children to wonder and worship. So, bundle up and take a walk! My dad grew up on the farm, so every Christmas he always had us give the animals a treat just like his parents did with him. Make a simple bird feeder, and watch the birds feast!! Show your children that you care about all of God’s creatures!
4.) Attend a Christmas children’s church program. Our church does a little Christmas paegant each year, and it is so fun for the kids to see children tell the Christmas story. Not to mention…it is hilarious to watch too!
5.) Go caroling! Some say it is a dying act, but the past three years our family has joined with a few friends and gone caroling in our neighborhood. Last year, we caroled in a refugee apartment complex in the area. It is a great way to share Christ at Christmas. We usually hand out candy canes with a scripture verse attached. I cannot tell you how much the kids love this. (Yes, we have little kiddos…even babies. We just bundle up, and go for about an hour. Then come back to the house and have hot chocolate and s’mores. It’s a hit with the kids.)
6.) Buy Christmas gifts from World Vision Catalog. Last year, we did this as teacher gifts. We made the donations in the teacher’s name. World Vision even lets you print out Christmas cards to give to others to share with them you donated in their name. We just attached a card to some homemade cookies, and voila! A gift that blesses many.
7.) We clean out the toy bins! I grab a big box, and encourage the kids to fill it full. Then, we take the box and donate it to someone in need. There are so many places you can donate! Encourage giving with your kids any way you can.
8.) Planting seeds of kindness–I have wanted to do this with my kids for 2 years now, and we are finally gonna do it! Taking small pots and some grass seeds, grow straw for the manger. Your children can plant seeds when an act of kindness has been sown. Check out more info over at A Holy Experience to see how Ann Voskamp does this with her family. Love!
9.) Have your children tell you the Christmas story in their own words, and then draw a picture. We started this two years ago. While my daughter and son told the story in their own words, we wrote it down. Then, we encouraged them to draw a picture. If you have young ones that can’t draw a picture, print out a nativity coloring sheet. We are saving these stories to put in a book to pull out each Christmas.
10.) Throw a Birthday party for Jesus! I don’t know one child who does not love cake and a party. Every Christmas morning, we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and eat cake. I have a friend who hides a plastic baby in her birthday cake on Christmas morning (like a King cake), and whoever gets the baby in their piece…gets to give the first gift!
My intent in sharing these ideas with you are NOT to fill up your plate!! Or say you should do any of these things. I know how full and busy the holidays can be, and how easy it is to feel overwhelmed!! I’m right there with you, but let’s consider as we are planning our monthly activities–How can we slow down and spend time with Jesus this holiday? Whom can we serve this Christmas? And who can we invite into the joy of the greatest love story?