Christmas. Is just around the corner. I love this time of year! Everything is so shiny and bright, joyful and pleasant. Somehow, everything, everyone, comes together and decides that things will simply be good.
The wonderment could be attributed to the decorations, the good food, the thoughtful gifts, or even to the songs that we wait all year to sing. I think it goes beyond that though. I think that the magnificence of the season is rooted in the tiny bundle of unprecedented joy that founded it. I think that the generosity of the season is only as grand as the grace that squeezed itself into human form, waiting to burst out all over humanity like confetti out of holiday poppers. I think that joy and selflessness and beauty are so prevalent because Jesus is allowed to be.
Christmas is His day. When all the bad in the world realized that its time on center stage was over and there was a new sheriff in town. When, through the birth of one man, rebirth would be possible for all. When good tidings and great, great, unspeakable joy became available to all people and victory was visible. When rich and poor and young and old were grouped together as one under the fulfillment of God’s promise and plan. When God began to dwell with us, and never ever left. That’s why it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Because the greatest gift was given. And it will never be topped.
I can’t wait to get these hung! Photo Credit: Kelsey Lasher
I have a deep desire for my children to understand and appreciate this. I need them to understand the gift of love that is Jesus. I need them to understand why He’s so amazing, why we spend all year waiting for the season that marks His arrival. They have to know!
So, here’s my plan. I’ve taken a tried and true holiday tradition and slipped in some teaching moments. Care to join me? I know it’s a little early to talk about, but in the interest of giving you time to prepare, here’s how!
Get an advent calendar of some kind. Here’s ours.
Photo from amazon.com
If you don’t want to spend much on it, you could even just label gifts bags with numbers 1-25 for the days of December. Or, even better, you could check back in with us at GLOW starting December 1st for our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. A beautiful advent calendar is one of the coming goodies (more details to come)!
Inside each door, I place a little treat. Last year, I tried to change it up for Judah. Some days I put in chocolate, others he got stickers, and still others, little toys like crayons or something. You are welcome to do this but I found that the chocolates were the coveted item. You can get all of this for less than $10 if you look in the dollar section at Target, less than $5 if you stick with chocolate!
Next, in each door, I put a little something else. Here’s where the teaching moments come. In each compartment, I put a strip of paper with a scripture written on it and each scripture pertains to the character, actions, or goodness of Jesus. The kids can nibble on their sweets while you read to them about something even sweeter.
My hope with this tactic is to take time each day of the Christmas season to point out the greatness of our God. We spend time telling our kids that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and that God gave him to us. That’s great! But here’s the thing, how can we expect them to get excited about that if we don’t tell them more? Why is Jesus the greatest gift we could ever receive? Why do we love and adore Him? What’s so great about this baby in the manger sitting in our nativity sets? It goes far beyond the Christmas story. There’s so much to tell our kids, and, just like a new present opened on Christmas morning that our kids explore and play with for hours, we can take the time to explore the many facets of Jesus. The way I see it, this is prime time for teaching!
When their little hearts are captivated by the wonder of the season, let’s explain why the season is so captivating
Judah helping us decorate the tree when he was 1.
Let’s take this season to recognize that Jesus is the greatest gift. And let’s talk about why that is. Here are the verses and the lessons that my family will be focused on this December. Feel free to join us! You’ll find a verse for each day with a short little lesson that sums it up for the hearts of our kids to ponder and learn.
December 1. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
Jesus is our greatest gift!
December 2. “You are the Messiah. The son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
Jesus is the Son of God
December 3. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11
Jesus is our Savior
December 4. “You have filled my heart with greater joy” Psalm 4:7
Jesus gives us joy
December 5. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Jesus took our punishment
December 6. “So in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22b
Jesus gives us life
December 7.“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
We praise Jesus
December 8. “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Jesus is crazy about kids!
December 9. “Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.” John 10:32
Jesus can do anything
December 10. “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14
Jesus is powerful
December 11. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1 :13-14
Jesus rescues us from darkness and made us light
December 12. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Jesus covers up our sins with grace
December 13. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Jesus will always love us
December 14. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
No one is stronger than Jesus
December 15. “The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life.” Psalm 121:7
Jesus protects us
December 16. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Jesus gives us what we need
December 17. “God is love” 1 John 4:8
Jesus is love
December 18. “Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
Jesus gets rid of our fear
December 19. “For the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 3:16
Jesus is always with us
December 20. “But I have called you friends.” John 15:15
Jesus is our friend
December 21. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Jesus gives us rest
December 22. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
Jesus wants to spend time with us
December 23. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
Jesus listens to us
December 24. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28: 18-19a
We tell people about Jesus
December 25. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Nothing can separate us from Jesus