Christmas season is full of hustle and bustle.
Schedules are full and consumers are bombarded with Santa and ways to indulge.
It is exceptionally hard to keep the focus on the reason for the season... Christ's birth.
In these next few weeks before the 25th as you are swamped with menu plans,
shopping, wrapping, baking and parties,
1. The BEST way is to read from the BIBLE! Luke 2 and Matthew 2 Make it a family affair!
2. Story/Picture books - read together as a family.
3. Put up the nativity set as a family. Make it an event! Let Jesus "arrive" in the manger on
4. Set up the manger/nativity set one piece at a time, adding to the story each night.
“Snowball” Christmas Story
To begin this activity you need a Bible and an empty manger/stable. Hold in readiness these manger pieces: angel, Mary, Joseph, stable animals, baby Jesus, shepherds, sheep, wise men and a few small wrapped empty gift boxes. Add these pieces one by one each night as you read another part of the Christmas Story from the Bible.
Additional Idea: You may want to wrap the lid of a small jewelry size box, line it with cotton and lay baby Jesus inside the box. This is a great memorable visual to show children that Jesus is a gift from God.
Day 1. A Savior King is promised – Isaiah 7: 14; 9: 6-7; Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2-5 a gold ring)
Day 2. The angel Gabriel and a visit to Mary – Luke 1: 26-38 (introduce angel and Mary to scene.)
Day 3. Joseph is visited by an angel - Mathew 1: 18-25 (introduce Joseph)
Day 4. Bethlehem journey/no room in the Inn- Luke 2: 1-7
(introduce animals, and straw, if available)
Day 5. Jesus is born! – Luke 2: 8-14 (introduce baby Jesus)
Day 6. Angels visit the shepherds- Luke 2: 8-14 (introduce angel(s)) and /or sing Christmas hymns
(Angels We Have Heard on High, O Little Town of Bethlehem, etc.
Day 7. Shepherds visit baby Jesus – Luke 2: 15-20 (introduce shepherds and sheep)
Day 8. The wise men travel to Jerusalem – Matthew 2: 1-8 (introduce camels and /or a star)
Day 9. The wise men find Jesus and worship Him in a house- Matthew 2: 9-12
(introduce wise men)
Day 10. The dream and trip to Egypt – Matthew 2: 13-15
5.Give children their own nativity to set up as they wish, to play with it and act out the story. Add
a children's story book of the Christmas Story to "read" whenever they wish.
6. On Christmas Day, have a birthday cake for Jesus. Sing Happy Birthday. Exchange gifts.
7. Use old Christmas cards to retell the story.
8. Help children make their own story book of the Christmas story. Glue the old cards into a spiral
notebook, scrapbook or old book. Let children take turns telling the story each night, in their
9. Watch Christmas sales (especially the day after)... pick up non-breakable ornaments that can be
used to tell the Christmas story.
10. Role play- acting out Jesus' birth. Props: bathrobes and towels, old gold candy boxes, a bag of
potpourri, a card board box with a doll , Burger King paper crowns, etc.
Christmas Story Scriptures and Suggested Story Props
First idea: modified from Tricia@SweeterThanSweets
1. Gabriel - Luke 1-26-28, 31 angel wings
2. Engagement - Matthew 1:18 gold rings
3. Mary’s Song – Luke 1: 46-55 sheet music or music notes
4. Angel – Matthew 1:20 angel pin
5. Salvation through Jesus - Matthew 1: 21 cross
6. Jesus bridging the gap between heaven and earth – Matthew 1: 22-23 and Isaiah 7:14
Piece of string or a bridge
7. Jesus’ genealogy – Luke 2:4 chain/ house/star of David
8. Journey from Nazareth – Luke 2: 5 stuffed donkey or statue
9. Purple royalty and Lion representation of house of Judah – Micah 5:2
Stuffed lion or purple cloth
10. Jesus is born – Luke 2:6-7 a doll
11. Swaddling clothes – Luke 2:7 a piece of soft cloth
12. The Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6 a peace sign
13. Shepherds – Luke 2: 8-11 wool stuffing or a shepherd’s hook
14. The manger – Luke 2:12 pieces of straw
15. Angels – Luke 2: 13-14 gold halos
16. Spreading the gospel – Luke 2: 15-18 jingle bells
17. Kneeling – response to Jesus as God – Psalm 95:6 dirt or rocks
18. Mary pondering thoughts in her heart – Luke 2: 19-20, 33-35 heart sticker or charm
19. Jesus’ name – Luke 2: 21 Jesus’ name printed
20. Sacrifice of doves/Holy Spirit like a dove in baptism – Luke 2: 22-24, 3: 21-22
Feathers or 2 doves
21. Revelation of Jesus as Christ to Simeon – Luke 2: 25-32 googly eyes
22. Magi’s wisdom and knowledge – Matthew 2:1 scroll (rolled up paper)
23. Jesus is King of Kings – Matthew 2: 1-2 crown , jewels, purple cloth
24. Star in the east – Matthew 2: 9-10 star sticker, charm
25. Wise men’s gifts – Matthew 2:11 3 small gift boxes (filled or not… your choice)
11. Cut apart old Christmas cards of the nativity into puzzles. Small children- 2-3 pieces. Use
more pieces for older children. Store them in an envelope - label on the outside the number
of pieces and resulting picture.
12. Use old Christmas cards and yarn to make lace-up or sewing cards
13. Encourage the spirit of giving... pick a favorite toy, wrap creatively and present to a child
in need... shelter, mission, angel tree.
14. Go shopping for your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or animal shelter
15. Participate in a family service project.
I know of a family with four small children. Every year they give each child $50 to spend
on someone else! This year the kids "shopped" from a Samaritan's Purse catalog (World
Vision is another option) and they picked out a fresh water well for a village without water
(other options were chickens, goats, school supplies, vaccines, mosquito netting, etc.). The
kids did yard work, took orders for Christmas baking, participated in a living nativity and
sold all of their match box cars, Lego's and dress up clothes in order to raise money for this
effort to help others. This family is an incredible inspiration and example of the true
meaning of the season... sharing God's love and kindness with others.
Other service project ideas to participate as a family: thank the postal carrier with a card/small gift; cookies for firefighter/police officers; leave change in the vending machine; donate toys to charity; donate to a food pantry; thank you notes to teachers, leaders, principals; collect all the shopping carts at the store and bring them to the front; write a note to a relative; leave wipes and diapers on a changing table in a public restroom; do a neighborhood (school) trash walk; hug each family member; open the door for someone; make an unexpected play date to watch someone's children; provide wish list items for the Humane Society; write a letter/card to grandparent; write a letter (make a picture) to a missionary or a soldier; make someone's bed for them read with a sibling; doorbell ditch a treat; smile at three people today; leave collected couch/car change in the bell ringers bucket; give up one of your Christmas presents to someone secretly outside the family by doorbell ditching them Christmas afternoon; deliver cookies to neighbors/friends/ nursing home; etc.
16. Spend time together as a family, interacting and communicating with each other... no electronics
Ideas: pop and string popcorn garlands; make hot chocolate and add marshmallows; play with
Christmas stickers... make a picture; tour the Christmas lights in your neighborhood--invite
and elderly neighbor to join you; go to a holiday parade; pick out a Christmas tree;
make paper snowflakes and hang on the windows or from a ceiling light; read a Christmas
book; build a snowman; go caroling; visit a live nativity; make an ornament for your tree;
volunteer for a part in the Christmas pageant at church or attend the children's program;etc.
These are just a few ideas to choose from, or springboard new ideas, for your family this holiday season in order to keep the true meaning of Christmas as your focus.
Wishing you many blessings and lots of fun, memory making experiences!
This Blog Post is inspired from the book:
Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:
Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share
by Becky B. Baxa
If you would like more fun ideas to share with your children
(that do not require batteries or electronics )
you can purchase this 180 page book,
full of color photos,
from the gift shop at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO,
Silver Dollar City General Store in Branson, MO.
This book can also be checked out from the following libraries:
Scenic Regional Library - Pacific, MO
First Christian Church - Washington, MO
Hawaii State Library - Honolulu, HI
Story City Public Library - Story City, IA
Ellsworth Public Library - Ellsworth, ME
Ludington Public Library - Ludington, MI
Denver Public Library - Denver, CO
Pikes Peak Library District - Colorado Springs, CO
Denver Public Library - Denver, CO
Pikes Peak Library District - Colorado Springs, CO
Dallas Public Library - Dallas, Texas