Last year, we began discussing Christmas with our children in terms of a birthday celebration. Christmas is, after all, Christ Mass; the celebration of Christ (his birth…his life). But that’s all fine and good until you try to explain that to a passel of preschoolers. So we explained it like this:
Christmas is the world’s BIGGEST birthday party! It’s Jesus’ birthday party! We give presents to each other as if we were giving presents to the baby Jesus…kind of like the Wisemen did when they went to visit the newborn king over 2,000 years ago. (When talking with our kids about it, we tend to delete the “2,000 years” part.)
As our older two children (4 1/2 and 3 at the time), we decided as a family to place one gift under the Christmas tree, designed and decorated entirely by the kids, that actually is a present for Jesus. Thus, the “Jesus Present” was inaugurated:
Last year, each of us (the kids had a little help) wrote something down on a piece of paper that we promised to work hard on in the coming year–issues we knew God would care about us making improvements in. While Andrew and I wrote of adult-ish things, the kids promised with utter devotion to play nicely with each other…play nicely with their toys…play nicely with their daddy…and they really took their time in considering what went down on their little pieces of paper.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter a whole heck of a lot what goes into the Jesus Present…just as long as we remember to include Him in our celebrations on Christmas day (and throughout the whole Advent season!)
How do you explain the true meaning of Christmas to your children?
P.S. – watch for tomorrow’s post: my favorite Christmas books for kids!