For many families at First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro, a necessary pre-Christmas ritual is weeding through the old toys and belongings to make room for new ones. Most of us have so much “stuff” that we can’t keep track of or play with it all. Yet we can ease the focus on materialism this season in a variety of ways. For example, consider the following.
Remind your family that Christ is the best gift. Make sure your children know that we celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday and that God sent Jesus because God loves us. When families decorate and prepare for Christmas, leave a nativity scene manger empty and add pieces to the nativity each week adding to the story of Christmas. Wrap the baby Jesus figurine in a special box and open it on Christmas Eve. Then read Romans 6:23b: “The free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Discuss the gifts we give to God. Talk about how you respond when someone gives you a gift. Ask your family what they can do that pleases God such as prayer or sharing with a friend about the good news. As a family, fill out gift cards listing what demonstrates love for God and “neighbor.” Hang the gift cards from your Christmas tree or wrap them and place them under your tree as gifts to God.
Encourage children to be generous. Emphasize the importance of giving not receiving during the season of Advent. As a family, participate in a service project for people in need or donate time and money to others in the community. Talk about how it feels to give and discuss some ways you can continue doing so in the new year ahead.
These are just a few ways to try to create an Advent and Christmas season characterized by love for God and neighbor. May the First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro family truly experience and share the most wonderful gift of all—Christ Our Savior.
Minister of Preschool and Children
First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN
Adapted from Parent Connect Newsletter