If you asked your kids where they should go to find the true meaning of Christmas, would they answer with “the mall?” Gift-giving was a noble part of the Christmas story, but there was a lot more to it. Many kids view the Christmas story as something that happened in ancient history that has little relevance to us today. However, if Jesus is who he claimed he was, then the Christmas story has everything to do with our lives now. We need to learn how to tell the story to our kids so that they are engaged and understand what it means for us.
The Story of Christmas tool will help you take your children on a journey to the heart of Christmas. The story has seven parts and takes place in seven locations. There are lots of ways you can use the story. We have listed some, but I encourage you to list your ideas in the comments below. Here are 8 ideas for using the Story of Christmas tool.If Jesus is who he claimed he was, then the Christmas story has everything to do with our lives now.
1. Use the manger scene.
Use your own manger scene figures with the story, or cut out the figures we have provided.
2. Stage each part of the story in a different part of the house.
For example, the angel may have appeared to Mary in the kitchen. Today’s version of the manger could be the garage. The shepherds would be outside in the yard. King Herod would be in your best room.
3. Read one part of the story every night for a week before Christmas.
Or load up the camel (that would be you, Dad) and give the kids a ride from place to place all in one night.
4. Have the kids act it out.
Give each of the children a story figure to hold and allow them to act out the story as you read it.
5. If your children can read well, allow them to narrate the story.
You can read it sentence by sentence and have them put it into their own words. It will help them remember it.
6. Use household props to make it fun.
For example, a dishtowel with a shoelace tied around a child’s head makes a great shepherd hat. Crowns can be cut out from this template for the kings. A pastel sheet wrapped around a child and tied with a rope makes a great Mary dress. Wrap your angel with a white sheet and put a little garland on her head.
7. Remember that the Magi were the gift givers from which we get the gift-giving tradition of Christmas.
An effective way to limit gifts and point children back to the real meaning of gifts at Christmas is to tell your children they will get three gifts just as Jesus received three gifts. If your children believe in Santa, you can throw in a fourth gift from him or have Santa fill the stockings.
8. End your story with a birthday celebration.
Get some cupcakes, or perhaps make them together. Discuss why Jesus’ birthday is worth celebrating. Most likely you will also need to explain why Easter is also worth celebrating.
Enjoy sharing stories with your children? Here are 10 free Christmas stories to tell after you’ve shared the Story of Christmas.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think we celebrate Christmas?”