Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thoughtful Christmas Activities for Kids
As a parent, I want my boys to focus on Christ and others at Christmas, and I need to planfully train them for this. There are so many fun ways to practice a thoughtful Christmas. We do the Jesse Tree advent activities, and many of our friends at church are celebrating St. Nicholas day today by practicing generosity with other families just as Pastor Nicholas did years ago. I wish I had a post about this, but my pastor gave a great sermon about St. Nicholas and the way he handles "Santa Claus". He mentions books and activities, so it is worth the listen here.
Also, two new ideas came to my attention via my Pinterest boards this year. Check out their pictures and blog links below.
The first was a mom from TSJ Photography who wanted her kids to serve others and learn the popular saying, "It is better to give than receive." They made an advent calendar of service activities throughout December. She even has a cute printable that tells others they have been "RACK'd"--been recipients of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. This would be a great way to write down a verse and even a summary of the gospel as you leave the note for others.
Here are some ideas that are random and not so random: Bring a teacher, office staff person, or post office worker a Starbucks. Pay for a person in the drive thru behind you. Mail or drop off anonymous gift cards to families you know who are in need of some "help" this Christmas. Help a family put up Christmas lights who have illness or other reason for this being difficult (remember to help take them down after Christmas). Buy a Christmas tree for a young family who might not be able to afford one this Christmas. Leave a pretty Poinsettia on the doorstep of a widow or single mom. Make dinner for someone who is having trials this season. Invite single or lonely neighbors to your home to have dinner with your family. Pass out free hot cocoa or cider to people driving around looking at lights in your neighborhood. Sing with your kids and leave Christmas caroling song messages on people's message machines (short songs and a sweet message). Let someone else have the amazing parking spot you just found. Be creative! If you have older kids, let them help you think of nice activities you can do. Depending on your routine, circumstances, and neighborhood, the ideas will be specific and unique.
This other idea is much like the Jesse Tree. Pinfluence made a paper circle garland, but glued scripture print outs that point to Christ on each paper ring. Each day, you and the kids can rip off a garland ring and read the scripture together. This would be a fun activity to do at dinner. Pinfluence even includes free scripture ideas and downloads on the link.
Have a beautiful day celebrating God's generosity and gifts to us by focusing on Christ and being generous to with others!