It’s so difficult not to get caught in the hustle of Christmas and lose your way from the true meaning of Christmas. As you prepare your own heart for the wonders of this Christmas this year, remember to include your children (grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc.). What messages do your activities send to your children about Christmas? Is Christmas only exciting because of the presents and material things they’ll receive?
In his first Advent message John Piper made a powerful point as we prepare for Christmas… “build God-centered anticipation and expectancy and excitement into your home—especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.”
[Idea] Parenting is about teaching the gospel as you go through your everyday life with your children (Duet 11:19). You don’t have to change a thing or buy anything! You simply re-frame. For example, think for just a moment of the endless opportunities to teach a child love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, etc. (fruits of the Spirit Gal 5:22-23).
[Idea] Consider re-framing the activity of shopping. It’s more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:25). Right? So help build joy and excitement around unselfishly giving a gift and get them all excited about anticipating the other person’s joy!
[Idea] Teach the gift of service. Serving our troops who will miss their families for Christmas, the homeless, an Angel Tree gift, or even simply serving a brother or sister.
Share your creative juices with friends! What are some ideas you have to help the children in your life prepare the way for Christmas?